F-104C-10-LO, 57-0923, Lt. Col. Robert A. Preciado, 435th TFS,
479th TFW, Udorn RTAFB, Thailand, July 1967
F-104 serial number 57-0923 arrived in Udorn
on September 19, 1966. It was assigned to the
flight commander Lt. Col. Robert Preciado who
let both sides of his aircraft nose painted with
the nickname of his wife Dolly Hellooo Dolly,
long Hellooo coming from the famous musical
Hello Dolly starring Barbra Streisand. After the
operations in Udorn were completed, the aircraft
was flown back to the USA where, in July 1967,
it arrived in Muniz AFB in Puerto Rico. Starting
in August 1968 it was assigned to the 198th TFS.
Robert Preciado was a veteran of three wars.
During WWII he flew in the Pacific with the Air
Transport Command and continued his aviation
career in Korea and Vietnam.
F-104C-5-LO, 56-0886, 476th TFS, 479th TFW, Da Nang AB,
South Vietnam, April 1965
In 1965 Starfighter serial number 56-0886 flew
out of Da Nang airbase in the South Vietnam.
Its nose was decorated with the red inscription
Fannie and it was one of few 479th TFW planes
that had their nicknames painted on the fuselage.
In April 1965, the 479th TFW dispatched 28 F-104C
to Da Nang airbase. They flew the combat patrols
over the bay of Tonkin to protect EC-121 Warning
Star nicknamed College Eye or Disco. The effect
of the F-104 deployment on the North Vietnamese
and Chinese MiG operations was immediate. The
Vietnam Peoples Republic‘s pilots learned very
soon to avoid any contact with EC-121 airplanes
which were escorted by F-104. During the whole
479th TFW deployment in 1965 only two brief
encounters between F-104C and MiGs took place.