The F-100 was the USAF's first operational aircraft capable of flying faster than the speed of sound (760 mph) in level flight. It made its initial flight on May 25, 1953 and the first production aircraft was completed in October 1953.
North American built 2,294 F-100s before production ended in 1959. Designed originally to destroy enemy aircraft in aerial combat, the F-100 later became a fighter-bomber. It made its combat debut during the Vietnam conflict where it was assigned the task of attacking such targets as bridges, river barges, road junctions and areas being used by infiltrating enemy soldiers.
The F-100C, which made its first flight in 1955, featured such advances as an in-flight refueling system, provisions for extra fuel drop tanks and bombs under the wings and an improved electronic bombing system.