100 Missions Exhibit

The National Museum of the US Air Force on March 19 plans to unveil a new permanent exhibit showcasing the stories surrounding the “100 Missions” patch, which was “a symbolic mark of courage” for airmen flying Operation Rolling Thunder from 1965 to 1968 during the Vietnam War, according to a museum release. “When people speak about completing 100 missions, they do so with reverence and respect,” said retired Maj. Gen. Charles Metcalf, museum director. The new exhibit, housed in the Modern Flight Gallery, will comprise more than 50 historical photographs, some 100 artifacts—such as flight suits, boonie hats, unique patches—and first-hand accounts of the airmen who flew and supported Rolling Thunder. The Air Force in late 1965 began using the 100-mission mark or a full year to signify when airmen flying “downtown”—over North Vietnam—could rotate home. (Read about one F-105 driver who volunteered to serve consecutive 100-mission tours in Air Force Magazine’s “Here I am. Send Me.”) (Museum release by Sarah Parke and fact sheet with more 100-mission stories.)