Lockheed F-104G Koninklijke Luchtmacht HistorY, camouflage and markings English

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Authors: Tim van Kampen, Luuk Boerman en Henk Schakelaar
Publisher: Dutch Profile
ISBN: 978-94-90092-28-3
Printed 2021
63 pages
Price: 14,95 euro.

Few aircraft in post-war history have captured the imagination of many as much as the Starfighter, a myth that still persists more than sixty years after the first flight of this aircraft. The appearance was revolutionary, almost sexy and uncompromisingly focused on pure speed and the plane was packed with innovations. The howling sound that the engine produced, it was loved or hated, but above all recognizable without having to see the plane. But as often happens, this myth was not uncontroversial; in the tabloid press, especially in Germany, the word Witwenmacher was often used in association with the F-104G
 . The sales methods of the manufacturer Lockheed were not always fresh, which led to the 'Lockheed affair' in the Netherlands at the time, in which the research result of the Donner Committee almost led to a constitutional crisis.

On December 12, 1962, the first two F-104Gs, the 8013 and the 8022, arrived at Twenthe Air Base. Earlier that day, the delivery to the KLu had taken place at Schiphol, after which the pilots Janssen and Okkerman could transfer the aircraft to their future home base. In 1965 the last Fokker coffin, the 8343 arrived at Volkel Air Base. The last FIAT Starfighter landed from Turin to Leeuwarden in March 1966 and the last two-seater, the 5702, arrived in August 1965. The Starfighters were given three home bases in the Netherlands: Twenthe for the photo reconnaissance and the training, Leeuwarden had the interceptors in service with 322 and 323 Squadron and the bombers operated from 1964 on Volkel with 311 and 312 Squadron. Initially only in the nuclear attack role, but shortly after delivery the NATO strategy changed: from massive retaliation to flexible response. This meant that 311 and 312 Squadron could also be used with conventional weapons: Mk-82 500 pounders, napalm bombs and later also BL-755 cluster munitions.  The firing of unguided 2.75-inch missiles was also possible and of course the 20 mm Vulcan gun was also suitable for attacking ground targets from close range.

Here I leave the history, which you will find in this edition of Dutch Profile.
The Starfighter is my favorite aircraft, you can safely call me Starfighter freak. I don't know how many times I've been to Volkel AFB (that was the closest) to watch and also listen to the specific howling sound of the Starfighter. Only later after saving a lot, I could buy photo cameras with telephoto lenses to actually take pictures. It will not seem strange to you that I have browsed and read this edition of Dutch Profile with more than normal interest and yes, given the above, I am certainly biased.  

Let me start by mentioning that this edition is again bilingual, Dutch and English, where the photos are not published twice. With those photos it is all right again with contributions from Henk Schakelaar, Gerrit Boxem, Gerrit Hiemstra and Jerry Stok to name a few. Luuk Boerman I responsible again for the profiles the first being a profile of the French Mirage III in air force colors, 323 sqn at Leeuwarden. It could just be realized if there hadn't been the Lockheed affair, I guess. Interesting, also showing the different camouflage schemes seen from above, including what if......

Commando Tactische Luchtstrijdkrachten (CTL)
Commando Luchtverdediging (CLV)
Conversie en speciale units

I would like to make a comment on this last subject. In my experience, demo teams consist of several aircraft, but that has never been the case with the Starfighter, they were always single displays (one aircraft), where the demos of Captain Hans van der Werf are still engraved in my memory and not only with me I think, but certainly throughout Europe. What he did with the F-104 was really on the edge but phenomenal.

This edition reflects very well the "life" of the Starfighter in all its facets, colors, samples and loads. No Starfighter is the same, especially as the active life of the aircraft progressed and knowing that I looked intensely and with immense pleasure at the pictures, especially the ones I did not know.  necessary for those who simply want to have and read a profile about the Starfighter. Everything related to history is in it and with nice pictures.

For me a valuable addition to my Starfighter collection of publications that now consists of 29 books apart from the articles. In particular, the fact that this Dutch Profile is from 2021 means that there is much more material available compared to the previous editions makes this Profile certainly also valuable.
Many older books are no longer available to buy and that makes this edition an excellent choice for interested parties but certainly also the freaks, partly because of the price.
A complete registration overview completes the picture.
Thanks to Dutch Profile for making this review copy available.

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