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The First F-105 100-Mission Tours

Captains Ben Bowthorpe (l) and Don Totten (r). (U.S. Air Force photo)

Captains Ben Bowthorpe (l) and Don Totten (r). (U.S. Air Force photo)

Capt. Totten pictured wearing the Sportsmatic watch and knife (the knife is in his left lower leg pocket). He carried both of these items on his 100 mission tour. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Capt. Totten pictured wearing the Sportsmatic watch and knife (the knife is in his left lower leg pocket). He carried both of these items on his 100 mission tour. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Totten received this certificate from the manufacturer of the F-105. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Totten received this certificate from the manufacturer of the F-105. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Upon landing, Captains Totten and Bowthorpe were met by Gen. Hunter Harris, Pacific Air Forces commander. Bowthorpe is wearing the flight suit, g-suit, and cap on display.

Upon landing, Captains Totten and Bowthorpe were met by Gen. Hunter Harris, Pacific Air Forces commander. Bowthorpe is wearing the flight suit, g-suit, and cap on display.

L to R: Captains Bruce Holmes, William May, Richard Ely and William Ramage, taken just after they completed their 100 missions together on Jan. 15, 1966. (U.S. Air Force photo)

L to R: Captains Bruce Holmes, William May, Richard Ely and William Ramage, taken just after they completed their 100 missions together on Jan. 15, 1966. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Capt. May’s mission card that he carried on the 100th mission. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Capt. May’s mission card that he carried on the 100th mission. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - In this case from the 100 Missions Up North exhibit in the museum's Southeast Asia War Gallery are Capt. Ben Bowthorpe’s flight suit and g-suit worn during his 100-mission tour. Later pilots flying over the North wore “sanitized” flight suits with no rank or unit insignia. Bowthorpe wore this cap from the briefing room to the airplane, stored it in his g-suit pocket before takeoff, and put it back on after landing. Also shown is Bowthorpe’s flight jacket. On the right is Capt. Bruce Holmes' tiger suit, Capt. Richard Ely's helmet and oxygen mask wore during his 100-mission tour (Ely used this air navigation computer during his 100 missions) and Ely’s F-105 100 mission patch. Ely and the other three were the first to wear this symbolic patch. Display also includes patch for the 355th Fighter Wing at Takhli RTAFB, Capt. Ely’s Red River Valley Fighter Pilots stein, and an enemy bullet and fragment dug out of the cockpit of his F-105 after one of his missions. Additionally, a g-suit and kneeboard used by Capt. William May on his 100-mission tour, May’s party suit with 100-mission patch and a g-suit worn by Capt. William Ramage on his 100-mission tour. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - In this case from the 100 Missions Up North exhibit in the museum's Southeast Asia War Gallery are Capt. Ben Bowthorpe’s flight suit and g-suit worn during his 100-mission tour. Later pilots flying over the North wore “sanitized” flight suits with no rank or unit insignia. Bowthorpe wore this cap from the briefing room to the airplane, stored it in his g-suit pocket before takeoff, and put it back on after landing. Also shown is Bowthorpe’s flight jacket. On the right is Capt. Bruce Holmes' tiger suit, Capt. Richard Ely's helmet and oxygen mask wore during his 100-mission tour (Ely used this air navigation computer during his 100 missions) and Ely’s F-105 100 mission patch. Ely and the other three were the first to wear this symbolic patch. Display also includes patch for the 355th Fighter Wing at Takhli RTAFB, Capt. Ely’s Red River Valley Fighter Pilots stein, and an enemy bullet and fragment dug out of the cockpit of his F-105 after one of his missions. Additionally, a g-suit and kneeboard used by Capt. William May on his 100-mission tour, May’s party suit with 100-mission patch and a g-suit worn by Capt. William Ramage on his 100-mission tour. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - Close-up of objects in the First F-105 100 Mission Tour exhibit case in the 100 Missions Up North exhibit in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - Close-up of objects in the First F-105 100 Mission Tour exhibit case in the 100 Missions Up North exhibit in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

On Jan. 11, 1966, Capt. Donald Totten and Capt. Benjamin Bowthorpe, 334th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 355th TFW, became the first F-105 pilots to achieve 100 missions "out-country." The next day, Capt. Michael Cooper, 334th TFS, reached his 100. 

On Jan. 15, 1966, four F-105 pilots from the 388th TFW at Korat completed their 100 on the same mission: captains Gilbert "Bruce" Holmes Jr. and William May of the 469th TFS, and captains Richard Ely and William Ramage of the 421st TFS.

Click here to return to Badge of Honor: 100 Missions Up North.

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