IIRC, the F-104 Starfighter did not engage in many air-to-air battles. A Pakistani F-104 vs. an Indian MiG? Something like that? I don’t remember the outcome. Who won?
The ‘missile with a man in it’ has been called ‘The Widowmaker’, since apparently it was not an easy aircraft to fly. I know that West Germany used them for a while. What role did they play in the U.S.A.F.? Were they used in Vietnam?
I know NASA has at least one, and that their speed was useful for a chase plane. Chuck Yeager crashed an NF-104 while trying for an altitude record. (IIRC, the peroxide rockets that would provide directional control at altitude were not powerful enough.)
So was the F-104 a success, or a flop?