By 1945, Alexander Kartveli had developed a jet version of his very successful P-47 Thunderbolt design. The prototype XP-84 first flew in 1946.
The F-84 Thunderjet was the first jet fighter to fly across the Atlantic and the first jet fighter with air to air refueling. The F-84 was also the first USAF jet fighter to carry tactical nuclear weapons.
Entering service in 1947, the F-84 was used in Korea, replacing the P-51 and F-80 Shooting Star.
The F-84 was initially to escort the B-29 bomber. With the debut of the F-86, the Thunderjet was relegated to spend most of its career in the bomber role and was very successful in the destruction of dams, bridges, railroads, supply depots and other ground strike targets.
In all, 7,889 aircraft left the assembly lines, nearly half would serve with allied countries. The final variant F-84F saw a drastic change with the adoption of the swept wing and entered service in 1954.
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