• RF-101C in ROCAF Service

    Posted on May 3rd, 2006 Administrator 28 comments

    Quite a few years ago, a USAF veteran, Roy Colding, told me that his unit, the 45th TRS, had loaned four RF-101C to ROCAF.  Unfortunately, I lost the original message.  Today I asked him to tell the story again:

    The four RF-101C’s were from the 45th TRS at Misawa, Japan and this was in the summer of 1962.On the way down to Taiwan we stopped at Kadena AB, Okinawa and painted out all USAF markings and added ROC markings.The base in Taiwan was CCK if I remember correctly [Note by Wei-Bin: should be Taoyuan] Our pilots were disapointed when they were  told that they could not fly over the mainland. The few RF-101A models that were on the flight line were in pretty bad shape and that was the reason we were down there to help out by “loaning” our aircraft to the ROC.

    There was a U-2 just down the flight line from us.

    I was assigned approximately 125 Camera Repairman and one interpreter, a warrant officer with a duck tail haircut and taps on his shoes, thats him on the upper left hand of the picture I  sent. My first job was to explain how to torque the nose of the aircraft when  it had been opened.I demonstrated the use of the torque wrench and how to set it at 80psi and not to overtorque it. The warrant officer said they understood. We left them  and started down the flight line. About 50 yards away I looked back and saw them using the torque wrench to “chin” them selves(grab the wrench and pull themselves up until their feet came off of the ground). This had been the way they had been doing it ever since they had the RF-101A’s and had not a case of a nose coming loose.

    I would assume that the reason there is no paper trail showing we were there was the classification at the time, along with the U-2.

    During his tour at Taoyuan, Roy had a picture taken with members from ROCAF’s Photo Technical Squadron.  Do you know anybody in this photo?


    Roy Colding and Photo Technical Squadron members
    Roy is second from left in the front row. (Courtesy of Roy Colding)

    Roy working on camera
    Roy (left) working on RF-101C’s cameras.  (Courtesy of Roy Colding)

    The famous Polka Dots RF-101C of the 45th TRS.  (Courtesy of Roy Colding)

    Close-up of tail
    The serial number seems to be 60048, which belongs to an RF-101C.  (Courtesy of Roy Colding)

    Since there is no official declassified documents showing that ROCAF had operated RF-101C, I would appreciate if anybody could provide photos or other information.



    28 responses to “RF-101C in ROCAF Service” RSS icon

    • Only thing I can find is the RF-101C painted in ROCAF color in Robins AFB Air Museum….


    • Plus this reference to a ROCAF RF-101C shotdown in March 18, 1965.


    • Administrator

      Since the RF-101C were sent to Taiwan in the summer of 1962, I think it may have something to do with the Taiwan Strait crisis in that year. In mid-June, US detected large ChiCom military buildup in the Taiwan Strait area. A meeting was held at the White House on June 20 as a briefing of JFK on China. Ray Cline was also present.


      Cline’s memorandum states that McNamara and the JCS recommended “(a) augmentation of carrier strength by retaining fourth carrier in 7th Fleet which had been due to return to the United States; (b) deployment of carriers closer to Taiwan; (c) all-out reconnaissance effort by F-101 and high-altitude photo-recce aircraft based on Taiwan; (d) doubling high-altitude force to permit maximum effort.”


      Before that time, one ROCAF RF-101A had been shot down on August 2, 1961, and another was badly damaged in an accident on July 23, 1961. So it is possible that an augmentation by USAF was necessary.


      According to the Chinese book “Fight to Protect Motherland’s Airspace”, between June 20 and July 8, 1962, thirteen RF-101 sorties were flown. Some of them may have been flown by the C model.

    • 王太佑教官跟我說他有飛過C model,但我一直找不到佐證,在此再度感謝版主大人,又解答我一個疑問,功德無量,善哉善哉!

    • 非常有意思且相當值得挖掘的歷史,
      台灣現在所看到的資料都只說明 Operation Boom Town 接收使用RF-101A,然後RF-104G接替RF-101A,
      提供一張照片,蔣介石視察美軍RF-101C之情形,時間不詳,依機身之塗裝條紋判別,可能是432nd TRG所屬的20th TRS,不過這架RF-101C可能只是純粹去台灣參加聯合演習。

    • http://www.simonb6.co.uk/gallery/WRB/abi

      這架國軍塗裝的RF-101C是在喬治亞州Warner Robins的The Museum of Aviation,應該是館方知道RF-101在台海的戰史,特意將一架RF-101C塗成張育保的座機。該博物館還將一架P2V-7塗成RB-69A,實際上現在沒有任何RB-69A存在。

    • RF-101已知機號:
      5650 54-1500

      5652 54-1503

      5654 54-1499 桃園基地

      5656 54-1518

      5658 54-1506 軍史館(原先也漆成5660)

      5660 54-1505 中正航科館




    • 模型專家光俊穎的資料


    • 國軍最早損失的巫毒偵察機應該是李盛林摔掉的那架,這是中國之翼的書有提過,李盛林有受傷,因而離開4中隊

    • 李盛林那架重落地損傷,但有written off嗎?假如上表正確的話,會不會就是5652?機體交給美方因為無法修護所以就沒有再回台灣?而且5649到5652是連號,是第一批4架?而後面補充的就變成是雙號編號?有待各位高手解惑。

    • >>會不會就是5652


    • Administrator

      Roy wrote the following message to me, after I asked him if he had more information:


      There may have been some “loaners”, but the only one of which I am familiar with is the one I mentioned. I rotated back to the USA in early 1963. It is very possible that you met up with some of the pilots that flew the RF-101C, because they wouldn’t let USAF pilots fly any missions from Taiwan. When the mission was over the ROC markings were replaced with the USAF markings. I am not sure as to when the exercise was over as I got called back to Japan to go TDY to Nellis AFB for the Recon version of “William Tell”.


      Will keep digging through my library and anything that might be of interest to you will be sent ASAP.

    • We are restoring the nose section of RF-101A, serial number 54-1503, at the Hill Aerospace Museum. This aircraft entered Air Force service in 1957 and served with both the 363 and 432 Tactical Reconnaissance Wings before being transferred to the Nationalist Chinese Air Force in 1959 under Project “Boom Town.” It was recovered from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in the fall of 2005–nothing more of its history is known.

      Our plans are to carefully document all of the markings found on the aircraft and carefully restore it while preserving as much originality as possible. We will then repaint one side to 1503’s 1959 Taiwanese markings and paint the other side in its final, camo paint scheme.

      We are looking for any information or photos of this aircraft at any point in its career. According to our research, 1503 was reserialed 5652 in Taiwan.

      Restoration is being carried out within our Lindquist-Stewart Fighter Gallery as time permits. Our museum is open to the public seven days a week, 9:00 to 4:30. Admission is free. Please stop by!


    • Just went to the website of the Hill Aerospace Museum, at Utah. Few pictures of the nose section of 54-1503/5652 on that website is very interesting, at least that we don’t see often in Taiwan any longer.




    • Administrator

      Photos of RF-101A 54-1503 (ROCAF 5652) under restoration at Hill Aerospace Museum can be found at:


      If you want to contribute documents/photos/information to help its restoration, please contact the museum directly or send it to me.

    • Administrator

      The following is part of the messages that Scott Wirz, Director of Hill Aerospace Museum, sent to me:


      I don’t know when or why 1503 was returned to the US. It was one of several F-101-type aircraft surplused by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology last year. We only knew it was a single seat, RF-type at the time we acquired it. It was the only single seat Voodoo present.


      1503 was in a long row of F-101 fuselages, all of which were heavily damaged. As there were no wings or “tail feathers,” we elected to acquire just the forward fuselage. This was carefully removed from the rest of the airframe along a factory joint. The aircraft was in South East Asia markings–complete with US insignia–and I was initially told it was a “C.” It was only after we received it that we discovered the serial number.


      I found your blog by doing a Google search for RF-101A 1503 several weeks ago while digging into the history of the aircraft. We have not yet had success tracking down detailed information here, so I thought your visitors might be able to help. Your site has given us information confirming 1503’s CNAF serial and the pictures you sent a day or so ago are fantastic. I look forward to working with you and your web visitors as we move forward in this project.

    • Administrator

      I just checked Military Assistance Program Master File and found that six RF-101A were transferred to Taiwan between 1950 and 1963 (the record does not give the exact year if the program year is before 1963) and two were transferred in FY1965 under the MAP.  It is interesting that the acquisition unit price for the two in 1965 in the record is $1,604,963 USD, exactly the number painted on the RF-101A 54-1503 in Hill Aerospace Museum (see http://www.hill.af.mil/museum/info/aircraftimages/RF-101_10.jpg).  Note that I am not suggesting that 54-1503 is one of the two transferred in 1965; actually 54-1503 came to Taiwan much earlier.  The acquisition unit prices for the six transferred prior to 1963 are all zero in the record.  I don’t know why.

    • I just call Gen. Tsai Ron-ban, author of 悶葫蘆裡的春秋. He says he only knows one guy from Roy’s photo. The far right one at front row is 楊正剛,the Chief Photo Mechanic of 4th Sqn. 6th Group. Hope this helps.

    • Larry Margolies

      I don’t have much info to add, but I do know that 2 RF-101A models showed up on our ramp (15th TRS) at Kadena sometime in late 1965. They both had ROC markings and were in very poor condition. We were told that they were on loan to ROCAF and were being returned under an assitance program where we replaced them with C models. They most likely were replaced by the 2 RF-101C 1965 MAP aircraft you mention. Sorry I have no pictures or more information on them as I went TDY to Udorn 2 days later. I do have pictures of deployments to Saigon (Able Mabel) and Udorn (Green Python).

    • I was attached to the 4th TRS at Taoyuan AB for flying from 1962 to 1964. The 4th had four or six A models when I arrived and received, on loan, 6 C models during my tour. During that time the A models were returned to the depot at Hill because of skin corrosion and when reskinned returned to Taoyuan. I believe at one time there were at least 10 RF-101’s with Nationalist Chinese markings sitting on the ramp. I also flew the RF-84F and was unfortuneate to have crashed the T-33 once. I’ve looked through my photos but the only one I can find is one of the Wing Commander, Gen. Lee, pinning on my Chinese pilot wings. Perhaps this may be of some use to you.

    • I am quite certain that 5652 (54 -1403) was piloted and crash-landed by Major Li (the same pilot who landed his RF-86F 002 /52-4657 or 24657 in Hong Kong in 1956)on 23 July 1961.

      One will find that between 5660 (54 – 1405) and the 5662, there should be 5661. This number was probably given to a Fairchild C-123B Provider of 34th Squadron. In one of the DIIC magazine, a photo showing a large painting on the wall of the 34th Squadron headquarter showing the aforementioned aircraft. The aircraft 5661 had natural metal finish and not in camouflage.

    • 這是精彩!

    • My name is Jim Standke. I am the person setting to the right of Colding. Stan Mau is the person setting to the left of Colding.

      We we TDY from Misawa AB, Japan in June(?) 1962 to assist the Chinese by training and and general assistance. Some of our aircraft were there repainted with chinese markings.

      We left about 60+ days later about the same time a typhoon went through with most of the aircraft, equipment and personal leaving ahead of it. I was one of the last Americans to leave.

      We loaded the remaining equipment in a C-124 and returned to Misawa AB, Japan.

    • Jim, thank you very much for your comment because it enables us to know more about this “secret” operation!

    • I am doing a book on the 101 and don’t have much on these aircraft thus far. I do however have a question on aircraft #54-1505, which is thought to be the aircraft on display at the Museum #5660. I have an accident report on this aircraft for 10/22/68 showing it was crashed off shore S. Carolina by 2nd Lt. Bailey when attached to the 4414th CCTS. He got out fine, but that aircraft was lost. So I am wondering what aircraft is actually is at the museum????? And does anyone have more information on the shot down aircraft and one crashed landed?

    • My grandpa worked on these and I have a lot of information if you need any

    Leave a reply