5 American jet fighters that later became devastating bombers

Harold C. Hutchison
Jan 28, 2019 6:44 PM PST
1 minute read
Fixed Wing photo

SUMMARY

Some planes have long had a reputation for being deadly in air-to-air combat. That is an arena built for the fast and evasive — and planes get faster and more evasive all the time. But what do we do about the older fighters? Retirement or being pa…
An F-51 Mustang of the U.S. Fifth Air Force's 18th bomber wing releases two Napalm bombs over an industrial military target in North Korea. The Mustang was a preview of jet fighters that later proved very capable at bombing the enemy. (USAF photo)
F-86H Sabres deployed during the Pueblo Crisis. While F-86A/E/Fs were rapidly retired, the F-86H served until 1972. (USAF photo)
A North American F-100D Super Sabre drops napalm on enemy positions. This plane hung around with the Air National Guard as a fighter-bomber until 1979! (USAF photo)
20 years after the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, the F-4 was still a reliable plane for attack missions, dropping precision-guided weapons like this TV-guided GBU-15. (USAF photo)
Maverick, Goose, and Iceman made the Tomcat a movie star as a fighter in Top Gun, but in the War on Terror, it was carrying laser-guided bombs to blast terrorists on the ground. (DOD photo)

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