The McDonnell F-101 Voodoo evolved from an earlier aircraft known as the XF-88. This prototype aircraft was designed in 1946 to serve as an escort for bomber aircraft. After World War II, the role of an escort fighter was no longer felt necessary and the program was dropped.
During the Korean War it was found that escorts were needed and no current aircraft could do the job and the aircraft was reborn as the F-101. However, the extreme long range of the B-36 was beyond that of any fighter and F-101's were reassigned to tactical duties. The F/RF-101 set a number of speed and point-to-point records shortly after its introduction in 1957.
A second version of the F-101 was produced, the F-101B, and was used as a high speed interceptor. It was armed with the Genie air to air missile and served as part of the North American Defense Command. A total of 17 squadrons were equipped with F-101Bs.
A third use evolved for the F-101 during the Vietnam Conflict. There, Voodoos were used as reconnaissance aircraft and its speed of nearly Mach 2 helped it survive over enemy territory. At the end of the Vietnam Conflict, F-101s were withdrawn from active service and transferred to Air National Guard units until their retirement in 1982.
The aircraft on display at Castle Air Museum is a "B" version and served with both the Air Force and a Texas Air National Guard unit until its retirement in 1982. For a time it was assigned to the 84th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Castle Air Force Base and it is painted in the unit's former colors.
Category: Airplanes - Military - Static Display - Fighters