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Thud Warriors

Posted by Jolly on January 5, 2013



Dick Jonas forwarded me this to spread the word on a great effort to preserve our heritage and history.  Filmmakers are trying to produce a film about the great history of F-105 Warriors.  You can help contribute to the effort at .  Here's the email I got from Dick, a video about the project, , Dick Jonas song "My F-105", and details on the effort to produce the film:

This msg is in support of a documentary effort about "The Forgotten F-105 Warriors of Rolling Thunder."

     As many of you will recall, Rolling Thunder was the name given the bombing campaign against the heartland of North Vietnam. I flew 31 combat missions as an F-4 pilot in that campaign. I remember one mission in particular. Our force of Phantoms was directly behind a battle box of 16 Thuds (F-105 Thunderchief.) Ingressing to the target near North Vietnam's capital city of Hanoi, I saw a SAM (surface-to-air missile) strike one of the Thuds in the left side of the fuselage. The airplane began burning and disintegrating and descending out of the strike formation. I never saw a parachute, but I know the guy got out because I heard him talking on guard channel to his flight mates as they egressed the target area. The last words I heard him say were, "They're all around me." This stalwart Thud pilot would spend the next six years as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese.

     "Forgotten F-105 Warriors of Operation Rolling Thunder" is an effort to produce a film documentary of the brave men and women who flew and supported the F-105 in the Vietnam War. I think it's a story worth the telling. I am donating to the effort, and I hope you will, too.

     For more information on the project, and details on how to help out, watch the video at

     Thanks for your consideration.
Dick Jonas

My F-105, by Dick Jonas


Filmmakers Jonathan Chambers and Patzi Gil invite you to join us in honoring these forgotten warriors.

In the bitter aftermath of the unpopular Vietnam War, the stories of the heroes of Operation Rolling Thunder, one of the deadliest air campaigns ever conceived, have been largely ignored.

Forgotten F-105 Warriors is a documentary film that captures the personal stories of these heroes - these warriors - for this generation and the next.

An Opportunity to Honor our Heroes

Long after handwritten letters have faded and newspapers have crumbled the history of wars will be told by what has been preserved on film. Soon it will be fifty years since these warriors finished their last missions. Now is the time to get them in front of a camera to recall those days when they stepped forward to serve our country.  

We’ve Made It Our Mission Not to Forget

Our mission is to capture their stories and provide insights into how an air campaign planned for eight weeks dragged on for over three years. In their own words, the ground crews and the pilots will recollect that turbulent era in American history.

What is Kickstarter?

For those of you who have never heard of Kickstarter, it is a new way of raising funds for many different types of projects; from inventions to art to films. It’s safe and secure.

You simply make a pledge - your contribution - and you start by clicking on the BACK THIS PROJECT green button at the top of the page.

How does it work? 

Raising funds means reaching out to people who care about our project. Here is why we chose Kickstarter:

-     They use as a third party escrow agent to handle all credit card transactions. Your contribution commitment is stored with until such time as we meet our funding goal of $293,000. transactions are safe and secure.   

-     Kickstarter and do not share your information with third parties.

-     When you click on BACK THIS PROJECT green button, you will be connected to If you’re already an customer, you will use your password. If not, they will ask you to log in and get a password. Next, you will need to provide them relevant information so that they can identify you as the credit card holder and so that the rewards you selected can be sent to you. 

-     You do not need to become a Kickstarter member to contribute to our film.

-     Again, if we do not reach our funding goal YOUR CREDIT CARD WILL NOT BE CHARGED and the film will not be made.

-     By the way, when you complete making your contribution, you will receive two emails: 1) from giving you the details of your contribution with a note that your credit card will not be charged if we do not meet our funding goal and 2) an email from Kickstarter thanking you for your contribution.

Our Goal – An award winning film

Filming is expensive—especially one that encompasses such a big subject and large group of people. We will require a top-notch film crew, which will include people to handle cameras, sound, electrical. Moving a film crew is an expensive operation.

In addition, we plan to use animation to help explain what it meant to fly an F-105.  We will spend many hours reviewing archival films and, if needed, repairing them. New film will be shot in Takhli and Korat in Southeast Asia to add depth and to create a dynamic story that will interest a wide range of audiences.

Our budget is based on many years of experience with equipment costs, travel expenditures and insurance. One of the biggest expenses in creating a full-length documentary is in post-production. We will have hundreds of hours of film that will be needed to be edited as only a small portion will make it into the film. However, none of it will be lost. It will be preserved on our website for family, friends, and historians to watch.

Could we do it for less? No; not if we want an award winning film that will receive a wide viewing and distribution or one that will look great in a theater or on a wide-screen television.  We want this film to stand the test of time. This film is for all veterans – for those who have served and sacrificed so much.

Their Stories

For the ground crews, Operation Rolling Thunder was the story of 25-hour days spent working on a flight line.  Young men, mostly just out of high school, who grew up quickly as they put their blood, sweat, and tears into their work. Each time an F-105 took off, they would say a prayer and wait anxiously for it to return. When it didn't they died a little inside and, even after all these years, the pain is still with them. They didn't just lose a pilot - they lost a friend.


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Posted by custis on
Hey, guys, I've got the utmost respect for the Thud drivers, but IMHO couldn't the movie be called "F-105 Warriors of Operation Rolling Thunder" ? I guess I think there are too many other "forgotten" warriors out there to characterize everyone as forgotten . Just my $.02. I back it and sent a donation.
Grouchy Curmudgeon Club
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