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Off hand does anyone know if the F-104s  out of Udorn in 1967 performed any missions with 2x wingtip tanks and 2x underwing tanks?  My thoughts were escort of some type (B-52s)? 



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When googling (which i presume you did as well) and looking for "Vietnam F104C" it shows quite some pictures of that era with the aircraft having both wingtip tanks, but no evident ones on also having carried the pylon tanks, and that is the aircraft in SEA camo, there are some without the camo, bare metal as it were, which carry both the tip and pylon tanks aswell.....

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Posted (edited)

Looking at the photos over at the International F-104 Society, I only see one with all 4 tanks.






If they were configured for an AG mission, it looks like they used the wing pylons for weapons and tips for tanks.  For AA, they used the tips for Sidewinders and wing pylons for tanks.  I’m guessing that the belly Sidewinder launchers weren’t available or developed yet, meaning that if all 4 tanks were carried, the only AA armament would be the gun, and it seems doubtful that they would go into combat with just the gun.


I’m betting the 4 tank aircraft pictured was on a ferry flight, not combat.

Edited by Dave Williams
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Have to think, if it had 4 tanks, it would have to have the gun loaded and Sidewinders on the belly launchers, otherwise it would be useless as an escort. I did a NMF Vietnam bird, did wingtip Winders with pylon mounted tanks, can't remember any pics with 4 tanks though I wasn't looking, either. Maybe for ferry missions 4 tanks?



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  • 3 weeks later...

In a CAP role the jets indeed carried their weapons (AIM-9) on wingtip rails and the external fuel tanks on their belly stations because they had the ability to jettison their stores for maneuverability if they ever needed to for engagement of enemy aircraft. I hope this helps.

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