Republic F-84F-71-RE Thunderstreak with registration P-191 and the emblem of 314 squadron of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) in front of the entrance of Gilze-Rijen Air Base in The Netherlands, photographed on 5 July 2011. The true identity of the aircraft is somewhat misty. The Dutch Air Force received 180 Thunderstreaks from the United States in the 50's of the last century under a mutual assistance program. The aircraft remained property of the United States. Therefore they retained their U.S. serial number, painted on the vertical tail. The American registration consisted of two ciphers indicating the fiscal year in which production was approved by Congress and an individual number. Thunderstreak P-191 had the American registration 53-6916, but the gatekeeper of Gilze-Rijen has the American registration 53-6567 on the tail. This registration belonged to the Thunderstreak with Dutch registration P-205, an F-84F-61-RE type. P-205 served for some time as a gatekeeper in front of an air force building elsewhere in the Netherlands, but was later broken up at Gilze Rijen. The emblem of 314 squadron on the tail provides a clue to the true identity of the aircraft. Thunderstreaks never served at Gilze-Rijen, but after conversion to the Northrop NF-5, 314 moved to Gilze-Rijen. P-191 flew with 311 and 316 squadron, which do not have a Gilze-Rijen history. It looks as if the vertical tail of P-205 with the logo of Gilze-Rijen's 314 squadron was attached to P-191, which had served for some time as a decoy at Gilze-Rijen and may have been damaged. So we could have here the fuselage of P-191 with the tail of P-205. Although there is a lot of information about former Dutch aircraft on the internet, the true history of gatekeeper P-191 has not been described. Another gatekeeper at Gilze-Rijen, a Northrop NF-5, also received the identity of Gilze-Rijen based 314 squadron because originally it never served at Gilze-Rijen. P-191 started its career with the Dutch air force on 14 August 1957 and was phased out on 2nd October 1970. P-205 served from 23 March 1956 to 28 October 1970. The Thunderstreak was difficult to fly. Of the 180 aircraft delivered to The Netherlands, 42% crashed, killing 30 pilots. See also other images of Dutch gatekeepers.
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Images of gatekeeper Northrop NF-5 at Gilze-Rijen
See more images of Dutch gatekeepers
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