West Germany received over the years a total of 916 Lockheed F-104 Starfighters that were operated by both the Luftwaffe and Marine.
Due to the sad record of the loss of 233 aircraft with 52 fatally injured pilots, the Starfighter was scolded as widow maker "Witwenmacher".
In October 1958, the Federal Republic of Germany selected the Lockheed F-104 as its primary fighter aircraft. On 6 February 1959, a formal
contract was announced for 66 model 683/F-104G and 30 model 283/F-104F to be built by Lockheed at Palmdale. The F-104 Starfighter was selected
to replace the outdated Republic F-84F Thunderstreak and R-84F Thunderflash; the Canadair F-86E Sabre Mk.5 and Sabre Mk.6 and the FIAT F-86K
Sabre jet aircrafts in service with the Federal German Air Force (Luftwaffe der Bundesrepublik Deutschland) and the Hawker Sea Hawk Mk.100 and
Mk.101 in service with the Bundesmarine (West German Navy). Over the years, Germany received a total of 916 F-104s in 4 versions, comprising 749
F/RF-104Gs, 137 TF-104Gs and 30 F-104Fs, forming the major combat and reconnaissance equipment of both the Luftwaffe and Marineflieger. The
Starfighters were operational with the Luftwaffe and Marineflieger in the period February 1962 - September 1988, with its peak in the mid-1970s.
After being withdrawn from operational service, a few German F-104s continued to serve with the test and evaluation unit WDT 61. This unit
retired its last remaining Starfighter on 22 May 1991, bringing the flying career of the German Starfighters to an end.
In 1966, Lockheed RF-104G Starfighter EB+247 and EB+252 of the German Air Force AG52 were photo-graphed above the clouds from a RNethAF TF-104G Starfighter
Lockheed RF-104G Starfighter EB+247 (s/n 683D-8255) was built by Fokker and flown first as KG+355 at Amsterdam-Schiphol on 29 April 1964. The same month, the
KG+355 went to Weserflug in Bremen to equip the airframe in the RF-104G photoreconnaissance version. After being handed over the Luftwaffe on 31 August 1964,
the RF-104G KG+355 was stored with LVR 3 (Luftwaffenversorgungsregiment 3) at Manching on 16 October 1964. On 4 March 1966, the RF-104G was finally delivered as
EB+247 to Aufklarungsgeschwader 52 (AG52) at Leck. In 1964, this air base was rebuilt and modernised in preparation of the RF-104Gs that Reconnaissance Wing
(Aufklarungsgeschwader) 52 was to receive. Until that time AG52 had been stationed at Eggebeck flying the RF-84 Thunderflash. On April 1971, the RF-104G was
modified to the Fighterbomber version F-104G by LVR 3 and on 2 August 1971, delivered as 25+02 to WaSLw 10 (Waffenschule der Luftwaffe 10) at Jever AB. In
November 1975, the 25+02 went to the Marineflieger and entered service with MFG 1 (Marinefliegergeschwader 1) on 19 December 1975. The 25+02 was withdrawn
from use and became an instructional airframe with MFlgLehrGrp at Westerland/Sylt, on 22 September 1981. The airframe moved to Pferdsfeld AB in 1992. After
Pferdsfeld AB the Starfighter found its home at Laage AB, where the airframe was preserved first as a gate guard coded 'BB+105' as interceptor in old
camouflage scheme. In 2004, the F-104G was refurbished and recoded '25+02'. Today, the '25+02' is still present at Laage AB near Rostock.