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F-4 Phantom II (Air Force)
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photo courtesy of Chris Emory
McDonnell Douglas F-4C Phantom II Guide Pages.pdf
McDonnell Douglas F-4C USAF Serial 64-0825
First flown in May 1958, the
originally was developed for U.S. Navy fleet defense and entered service in 1961. The USAF evaluated it (as the
) for close air support, interdiction and counter-air operations, and in 1962, approved a USAF version. The USAF's Phantom II, designated F-4C, made its first flight on May 27, 1963. Production deliveries began in November 1963. In its air-to-ground role, the F-4 can carry twice the normal bomb load of a World War II
Flying Fortress. USAF F-4s also flew reconnaissance and "
" anti-aircraft missile suppression missions. Phantom II production ended in 1979 after over 5,000 had been built -- more than 2,800 for the USAF, about 1,200 for the Navy and Marine Corps, and the rest for friendly foreign nations.
Up to 16,000 pounds of externally carried nuclear or conventional bombs,
rockets, missiles, or 20mm cannon pods in various combinations
General Electric J-79
-GE-15s of 17,000 pounds thrust each
1,750 miles with one 600 gallon and two 370 gallon external tanks
38 feet, 5 inches
58 feet, 3 inches
16 feet, 6 inches
58,000 lbs. maximum takeoff weight
The Fort Worth Aviation Museum has two
-type aircraft. This one is the
F-4C-24-MC Phantom II, Air Force Serial No. 64-0825, c/n 1164. It was produced by
in St. Louis, Missouri and was accepted by the US Air Force on October 7, 1965.
The aircraft was assigned to the
4520th Combat Crew Training Wing
Tactical Air Command
Nellis Air Force Base
, Nevada, in October 1965. Six months later, in April 1966, the aircraft was assigned to the 4453rd Combat Crew Training Wing at
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
In November 1966, the aircraft went to the
366th Tactical Fighter Wing
Pacific Air Forces
Da Nang Air Base
, Vietnam. The squadrons of the 366th were now all in Vietnam: the
390th Fighter Squadron
(FS) was assigned to Da Nang Air Base, the
FS was at Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, with the rest of the wing at
Phan Rang Air Base
Pilots were frustrated by missed opportunities to shoot down enemy MiGs because the F-4C lacked a cannon and its missiles were ineffective at short ranges. So wing maintainers and aircrews modified the mounting of an external 20-millimeter Gatling gun pod on the F-4Cs used for ground attack for use in air-to-air combat, and in less than a month, starting on May 14, 1967, the wing’s pilots had scored four MiG kills. The gun pod innovation and the MiG kills that followed earned the wing the nickname it carries today, the “Gunfighters.” During this period, the wing earned a Presidential Unit Citation for shooting down 11 enemy aircraft in a six-week period and other combat actions.
It should be noted that not all the action was in the air. Starting with a Viet Cong rocket attack in February 1967 followed by similar attacks in July and September of that year and with increasing frequency thereafter, several ground personnel were killed and injured. The number of enemy attacks throughout the remainder of the conflict earned DaNang Air Base its well-deserved nickname: "Rocket City."
In January 1968, the aircraft joined the
12th Tactical Fighter Wing
(FTW) at Cam Ranh Bay Air Base. In March 1970, the aircraft joined the
479th Tactical Fighter Wing
at George AFB, California. In October 1971, the aircraft was assigned to the
35th Tactical Fighter Wing
at George AFB. In April 1972, the F-4 joined the
170th Tactical Fighter Squadron
183rd Tactical Fighter Group
, Air National Guard, at
Capital Airport Air National Guard Station
in Springfield, Illinois. In May 1984, the aircraft joined the
142nd Fighter Interceptor Group (FIG)
Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base
at Klamath Falls Airport, Oregon; and the
, Fort Worth, Texas (tailcode TH). In May 1987, the aircraft was dropped from the USAF inventory and declared surplus. The Fort Worth Aviation Museum received the aircraft in _(date)_.
Our F-4C while with the Illinois Air National Guard. Circa 1970s.
Our F-4 while on duty with 301st at Carswell AFB.
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