It had the body of a fighter and a bomber’s soul.

An F-84E attacks a ground target with rockets. In Korea, the F-84 was outclassed by the MiG-15 in dogfights, but was prized for bombing rail lines, troops, and vehicles. (National Museum of the USAF)
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Neubeck and a small group of fellow Republic alumni have formed the Long Island Republic Airport Historical Society, which meets in Farmingdale on the third Saturday of every month to reminisce about their place in U.S. aviation history, collect information about their former employer, maintain contact with friends and relatives of former employees, and help researchers who are studying Republic and its place in the evolution of U.S. military aircraft.

Nearby, the American Airpower Museum displays an F-84, as well as a flyable P-47D and an F-105. The museum’s directors, mindful of the area’s important history, have seen to it that special attention is given to the two aircraft that bookended the designs of a modest Russian genius.

William E. Burrows is an Air & Space contributing editor. A retired New York University journalism professor, he is the author of This New Ocean: The Story of the First Space Age (Modern Library, 1999).

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