Well, I made my own Belgian F-84G before, but I could not leave out a KLu F-84G for my Dutch mates! (KLU: Koninklijke Luchtmacht or RNLAF: Royal Netherlands Air Force). Included is a version usable with the Italian and American F-84G in the game in a 2K, 4K DDS and TGA version, all with working damage models as well.
Seen here is F-84G ex-USAF 51-16727, which was registered in the RNLAF inventory as K-167 in 1952. The skin represents the aircraft as how it was seen serving with 315 Squadron, one of the squadrons at Eindhoven air base together with 31 and 314 squadron during the 1950’s. However its career with the KLu was short-lived, and by the second half of 1956 the squadron’s F-84G’s were replaced by the newer F-84F Thunderstreak. The last Thunderjet was to leave the 315 squadron on the 23rd of August, 1956. The aircraft was ultimately written-off in April 1957, although written-off more likely just means ‘discharged from active service’ in this case. It was then used for rescue training at Eindhoven, the same air base the jet had operated from.
At some point it was decided to put the aircraft on display as a gate guard at the Eindhoven air base as K-85, but the airframe was later adjusted to its original markings as K-167 / TB-22. The aircraft can still be seen there today.
Unlike the aircraft the 315 Squadron has not survived the test of time. Although it was the first squadron to switch from F-5’s to F-16 aircraft in 1986, and also received the last F-16 of the (Dutch) Fokker production line in February 1992 (airframe J-021), the squadron was disbanded at Twenthe Air Base in 2004 due to budget cuts. This was only 2 years the ‘Lions’ squadron had celebrated its 50th anniversary.
The F-84G with the KLU
As part of the NATO alliance, the Netherlands soon became one of the Mutual Defense Aid Program partners during the early 50’s. As like many other countries, they received well over 200 F-84G airframes. The first 21 (K-1 to K-21) were of the F-84E type. Most of them would fly their first months of service with the KLu in USAF markings and registrations beginning with FS- instead of the Dutch K-. The other 166 aircraft in the inventory (K-22 till K-187) were of the F-84G type.
To accommodate the new material, a second ‘command structure’ was erected, the Commando Tactische Luchtstrijdkrachten (CTL or roughly translated as ‘Command Tactical Air Battle Force’). It consisted of 7 attack squadrons (306, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315 & 316 Squadron), all of which were initially outfitted with Thunderjets.
But as with many other European air forces the aircraft’s service with the KLu was short-lived. By 1956 all squadrons had switched over to the F-84F Thunderstreak or RF-84F Thunderflash. Many of the ‘retired’ F-84G’s were stored at the Dutch Air Force base at Gilze-Rijen before being transferred to other Mutual Defense Aid Program members like Denmark, Portugal or Turkey on request by the United States.