After having been returned to the USA, 22 of the Canadian CF-101Bs were modified by the Ling-Temco-Vought Corporation of Greenville, South Carolina as two seat reconnaissance aircraft. This was done under a December 30, 1968 contract that was issued to cover a perceived shortfall in tactical reconnaissance capability. The armament and fire control system in the nose of the F-101B were replaced by a battery of forward and vertical cameras in a nose of modified contour. The reconnaissance package that was installed included three KS-87B cameras in forward, left split vertical, and right split vertical configurations, plus two AXQ-2 television cameras in forward-looking and downward-looking positions. Most of the instrumentation in the rear cockpit was removed, and the pilot's cockpit was equipped with a TV viewfinder control indicator. The flying boom receptacle installed on later F-101Bs was added behind the cockpit.
These modified aircraft were redesignated RF-101B. This work was carried out between September 1971 and January 1972. Serials were 59-391, 397, 398, 402/404, 410, 424, 436, 411, 447, 448, 450,452, 457, 459, 463, 467, 477, and 481/483. A 23rd F-101B (57-0301) was a development test airframe and did not come from Canada. It was an ex-USAF machine and had been similarly modified before being assigned to the Air Force Logistics Command as a test vehicle.
Upon their completion, the RF-101B conversions were immediately turned over to the 192nd TRS of the Nevada Air National Guard. Upon the arrival of the RF-101Bs, the 192nd TRS sent its RF-101H (a reconnaissance conversion of the F-101C) aircraft to the Kentucky ANG, while the Kentucky ANG sent its RF-101G (a reconnaissance conversion of the F-101A) aircraft to the Arkansas ANG. It turned out that the RF-101B was extremely expensive to operate in the field, requiring several costly and time-consuming fixes in order to maintain an acceptable operating standard. The career of the RF-101B with the Nevada ANG was relatively brief, giving way to the RF-4C Phantom in 1975.