The U.S. Air National Guard finally retired its last Super Sabres in 1980. 325 completed their service as shiny orange QF-100 target drones used as missile test targets, though a few F-100s remain in flyable condition.
America’s first supersonic jet did not excel as a fighter and had beastly accident rate—but it still pioneered revolutionary new technologies and tactics, and ended up doing much of the grunt work supporting hard-pressed ground forces in the Vietnam War.
Sébastien Roblin holds a Master’s Degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing, and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring. This first appeared in September 2018 and is being reposted due to reader interest.