F-100 Super Sabre With Foreign Air Forces

Last revised November 27, 1999






The Super Sabre served with four foreign air forces, those of France, Denmark, Turkey, and Nationalist China.

FRANCE:

France's Armee de l'Air was the first foreign air force to receive the Super Sabre. The first Armee de l'Air Super Sabre arrived in France on May 1, 1958. It was an F-100F two-seater. Eventually 85 F-100Ds and 15 F-100Fs were supplied to France. They were assigned to two Escadres, Nos. 3 and 11. Since at that time France was a full member of NATO, French Super Sabres were initially attached to the NATO 4th Allied Tactical Air Force and were stationed in Germany.

Long before American involvement in Vietnam, French Super Sabres had already flown combat missions, these being strikes flown from bases within France against targets in Algeria.

When President Charles De Gaulle pulled France out of NATO's command structure in 1967, German-based Armee de l'Air F-100s were transferred to air bases on French soil, these bases having recently been vacated by USAF personnel.

The last French Super Sabres were withdrawn from service in 1977-78, and were replaced in service by Jaguars. Surviving Armee de l'Air Super Sabres were returned to American control and they were flown to Great Britain for storage and eventual scrapping.

DENMARK:

F-100D and F fighters were supplied to Denmark's Det Kongelige Danske Flyvevaben beginning in July of 1959. A total of 48 F-100Ds and ten Fs were eventually delivered to Denmark. They replaced Republic F-84G Thunderjet fighter bombers, and operated in the primary role of close air support, with a secondary air defense and maritime attack role. They were operated by Eskadrille 725 based at Karup and by Eskadrilles 727 and 730 based at Skrydstrup.

The F-100 had a bad safety record in Danish service, with fully a third of the fleet being lost to accidents. Danish F-100s were grounded, returned to flying status, then grounded again several times. The Danish F-100s were finally retired from service in the early 1980s when they were replaced by General Dynamics F-16As. Some ex-Danish F-100s were reportedly transferred to Turkey. Two F-100Fs (56-3870 and 56-3908) are gate guardians at Skrydstrup. F-100F 56-3927 has been kept for a Danish museum.

TURKEY:

Beginning in the late 1950s, Turkey's Turk Hava Kuvvetleri (THK) received some 206 F-100D and F Super Sabres. Most of them came from ex-USAF stocks, but a few were apparently supplied by Denmark. They were operated by at least five THK Filo (equivalent to a squadron): 111 at Eskisehir, 131 and 132 at Konya, 171 and 178 at Erhac-Malatya. Turkish Super Sabres reportedly saw extensive action during the 1974 conflict with Greece over the status of Cyprus. The last Turkish F-100D was retired in 1982.

NATIONALIST CHINA:

The Chinese Nationalist Air Force on Taiwan operated early F-100As. It was the only air force besides the USAF to operate the F-100A model. The first Super Sabre aircraft to be delivered to Taiwan was actually an F-100F, arriving in October of 1958. It was followed by 15 F-100As in 1959, and by 65 more F-100As in 1960. In late 1961, four unarmed RF-100As were delivered. Thirty-eight ex-ANG F-100As were delivered later, to bring total CNAF strength to 118 F-100As and four RF-100As. China actually obtained over half of all the F-100As built. Most CNAF F-100As were retrofitted with the F-100D vertical tail with its AN/APS-54 tail-warning radar. It was also equipped to launch Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. One of these retrofitted F-100As was tested at the Air Force Flight Test Center in October of 1959.

CNAF Super Sabres flew intelligence-gathering missions over the Mainland, and several F-100s were reported lost on such missions. Most of these operations were shrouded in secrecy and few details about them are available, even today.

Sources:


  1. North American F-100 Super Sabre, David A. Anderton, Osprey, 1987

  2. The North American F-100 Super Sabre, Ray Wagner, Aircraft in Profile, 1965.

  3. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft Armament, Bill Gunston, Orion, 1988.

  4. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  5. The American Fighter, Enzo Angelucci and Peter Bowers, Orion, 1987.

  6. Fighters of the United States Air Force, Robert F. Dorr and David Donald, Temple Press Aerospace, 1990.

  7. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.