Aviation Historian 29
B.Cahill - The Mayaguez Incident
Captain John Zink of the 13th TFS beside an F-4D at RTAFB Udorn shortly before the Mayaguez incident. The Phantom carries a Pave Knife laser designation pod on its port inner wing hardpoint and an ECM pod in the port forward missile well. Note the six red star "kill" markings on its splitter plate, acquired during the Vietnam conflict.
Air-to-air refuelling played a vital part in enabling air support to remain on station throughout the Mayaguez incident, and F-4D-32 serial 66-8719 of the 13th TFS, wearing the unit’s “OC” tailcode, is seen here taking on fuel during a mission. The 13th TFS “Panthers” had been deployed to Vietnam in May 1966 and remained in South-east Asia until June 1975.
A Lockheed AC-130E Spectre of the 16th Special Operations Sqn at RTAFB Ubon, Thailand, circa 1972. The 16th SOS played a significant part in the Mayaguez incident, when it was attached to the 388th TFW at RTAFB Korat. Visible beneath its starboard wing are the ALQ-87 electronic warfare pods the unit used to jam North Vietnamese antiaircraft and surface-to-air missile radars.
Wearing the 14th TRS’s “OZ” codes on its fin and a stylised Playboy bunny on its intake splitter plate, RF-4C-40 serial 68-603 taxies in trailing its brake parachute at RTAFB Udorn after a successful mission. Note the LORAN navigation antenna on the spine; this Phantom was one of 20 Block 40 and 41 RF-4Cs fitted with the AN/ ARC-92 high-frequency radio suite, many of which served with the 14th TRS.
An F-4E of the 432nd TRW's 421st TFS with shark’s mouth - to spit deadly fire from its M61 nose-mounted six-barrel cannon.
An F-4E of the 421st TFS over a typically South-east Asian landscape. The 432nd TRW was disbanded in December 1975, with the 14th TRS and the 13th TFS also disbanding. The 421st TFS and the 4th TFSs were returned to the USA, while the 25th TFS was deployed to Kadena on Okinawa, Japan.