D-8318 on pole at Leeuwarden


Recently the F-104G D-8318 has been erected on the pole at the entrance of Leeuwarden Air Base. It carries 323 squadron badges on both sides of the tail. Sadly the team could not yet find side winder "skates" (centerline carried sidewinder rails) to give the aircraft a more interceptor appearance. Hopefully these will be added in the future. The aircraft really looks stunning in its new paint and markings. (Photo thanks to Frank Swinkels)


  1. Henk Talen/Documentatiegroep Volkel

    The “skates” for the Sidewinders had the name PAL rack.

  2. Peter Labrenz

    I was at udorn when it was the 432nd supply Squadron and f4 sept 74-75

  3. Carmel Gilligan

    My name is Carmel Gilligan and I am hoping someone can help me in locating a friend from my past. His name is Tom Smith, he was from the Philadelphia area and has 2 brothers (That I know of) called Mike and Dave….. I think..
    Tom and family visited Athlone, Ireland in 1970, before he served in Vietnam as a US AIRFORCE PILOT. Tom, along with his friend Dave Bird were stationed in DaNang and unfortunately I lost contact with Tom after 1971/1972..
    I would appreciate it if anyone who reads this that might know Tom can let him know I am looking for him..
    It is really important to get in touch with him again.
    I pray every night that someone may see some of my posts that just might know Tom.
    Your help is truly appreciated.
    God bless,
    Carmel Gilligan

  4. Carmel Gilligan

    I am looking for a dear friend, Tom Smith who served in Vietnam in 1971/1972 as a US Air Force pilot along with his good friend, Dave Bird. They were stationed in DaNang in 1971/1972.
    Tom was originally from Philadelphia. In 1970, he vacationed in ATHLONE, Ireland along with his father and two brothers, Mike and Dave…. . In 1972, I lost contact with Tom.
    There is a chance that both Tom and Dave Bird may have been stationed in Germany afterwards..
    Please help me find Tom Smith or his dear friend Dave Bird. To get in touch with Tom would be nothing dhort of a miracle.
    Thank you for any help you can give me.
    Kindest wishes,
    Carmel Gilligan

    1. Harry Prins Post author

      Hello Carmel, I assume he was not an F-104 Starfighter pilot since these aircraft were stationed at Da Nang in 1965. I also did not find him inside the starfighter pilot list just as his friend Dave Bird. Sorry for not being able to help you out.
      In the 1971/1972 period the main USAF jets seen at Da Nang were F-4 Phantoms. Maybe you contact the International F-4 Phantom Society – http://www.f4phantom.com/drupal/

  5. Carmel Gilligan

    Hello Harry,
    Thank you for your help. I appreciate it very much even though you were not able to connect Tom with the F-104 Stargfighter squadron. Unfortunately, I don’t know what he flew. I was very young…… teenager.. 16/17. There is so much information I never know which is so vital in finding Tom. I presumed I never needed to know.
    I was unaware of the complexities of the Airforce and the Vietnam war. The innocence of a teenager so far away from the realities of war. I will contact the F4 Phantom site. I am still convinced both Tom and Dave Bird spent some time in Germany after their time in Vietnam.I am not giving up on locating Tom. Life is very short!
    I wish you well always,


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