The F-100 is remembered with affection by Danish pilots, despite the fact it had a high accident rate. Doug Gordon finds out what the attraction was.
North American F-100 Super Sabres served with the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF – Kongelige Danske Flyvevåben) for 22 years from May 1959 to August 1982. Seventeen F-100D single seaters and three F-100F two seaters had first been offered in March 1958 by the USA, as part of a Military Assistance Program (MAP), with the Danes accepting two months later. Eskadrille 727, based at Karup, was the first unit to receive the aircraft, replacing its Republic F-84G Thunderjets.
Prior to the arrival of the first F-100s five RDAF pilots were converted to the aircraft at Nellis AFB under the command of Flight Lt (later Major) F T Petersen. They returned to join Esk 727 and were responsible for training Republic F-84G pilots to fly the new advanced, heavy, and not very forgiving airplane. Two USAF pilots also took part in the conversion. In September 1959 the squadron was declared operational with three F-100Fs and 17 F-100Ds.
Orders for more F-100s were placed by Denmark in 1960 under the MAP scheme and 31 F-100Ds and seven TF-100Fs (the two-seater) were delivered, replacing the F-84Gs of Eskadrilles 725 and 730 based at Karup and Skrydstrup respectively. Ground attack, close air support (CAS) was the primary mission of the aircraft, often referred to as the Hun, a shortened version of one hundred. In USAF service, the aircraft could deliver a nuclear bomb, but it did not have this role with the RDAF.
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Photo caption: North American TF-100F Super Sabre, GT-874, of Esk 730 flying over the Baltic Sea. Latterly, the F-100’s mission became focussed on preparing and training to counter an invasion from offshore. Flyvevåbnets Historiske Samling