The pilots who flew this jet had nerves of steel, and needed them. A typical mission of the pilots was to bomb the jungle canopy using cloud cover, or engaging targets in and around Hanoi. The Thunderchief was used for bombing and strafing. A total of nearly one-thirds of all Thunderchiefs were shot down in Vietnam. F-105 missions were so long that the pilots needed in-air refueling before they could continue on with their mission. These aircraft flew tremendously long, dangerous, and frequent missions. In Vietnam, you had to fly 100 F-105 sorties. Now, take into consideration everything north of South Vietnam was trying to kill you, 1/3 F-105’s were shot down, but at least the missions didn’t take too long. Oh wait. Lucky you. Since the F-105 could refuel in mid-air, your missions were quite long. One of the saddest facts is that a study proved that by the time you reached your 68th sortie, you were much overdue and would probably be shot down very soon.