Air International 1987-12
J.Cupido - The MiG Killers of Tinker AFB
The 465th Tactical Fighter Squadron is a component of the Air Force Reserve, as shown by the AFRES inscription on the rear fuselages of its F-4D Phantoms. The squadron’s three “MiG killers", shown together in this formation photograph, each bear a red star on the port side intake splitter plate to commemorate their successes in Vietnam.
The photograph was taken on the return flight, after the bombs had been dropped
Notice the practice bombs on the wing racks;
The three Phantoms in formation as they returned to Tinker AFB after the training mission to the Smokie Hill range. The tail codes are derived from Shawnee, as the only other TFS based in Oklahoma - the ANG's 125th TFS at Tulsa, uses the more obvious "OK" code.
Another shot of the F-4D Phantoms, about to take-off for the sorties, pause for the "last chance" checks.
The aircraft in which the author/photographer flew, F-4D 66-7773, is the squadron commander’s Phantom, as indicated by the 465th TFS legend on the fin in place of the usual presentation of the aircraft serial. Although not a *'MiG killer”, this Phantom also saw operational use over North Vietnam.
One of the "MiG killers", serial 66-7550, receives minor maintenance overnight in preparation for the mission. The Phantom requires an average of some 47 maintenance man hours per flight hour.