America’s first supersonic jet did not excel as a fighter and had a 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.
This article first appeared in 2019.
Image: U.S. Air Force / Wikimedia Commons