F-4B of VF-111 "Sundowners"
F-4B of VMFA-542 "Bengals"
EARLY PHANTOMS - F-4A (photo) has faired-in intakes used with lower powered J79-GE-3 engines. More powerful dash 8 engines required redesigned intakes. Both models have smaller nose used with 24" radar dish, and original canopy outline, later changed when seats were raised to provide better over the nose visibility for Pilot and Radar Intercept Officer.
Guy Freeborn and Bob Elliot after their MiG killing mission.
RECORD SETTING PHANTOMS - F4H-1 (F-4A) set altitude records.
F-4Ds of the 389th TFS, 12th TFW, at the arming pit prior to flying a strike mission from Phu Cat AB, May, 1971. The long fuses on the bombs insure that they will detonate above the ground.
F-4D of Brigadier General Darrell S. Cramer, CO of the 432nd TRW. General Cramer was an ace in World War II, with 13 victories to his credit. Aircraft carries the tail code of the 555th TFS. MiG kill markings on the splitter vane belong to the aircraft, not to General Cramer. Fuselage bands are blue (front) and red. This aircraft carries an ECM pod on the inboard wing pylon.
VF-92 F-4. Arrowhead and pawn on tail are yellow, with black outline.
VMFA-323 F-4B loaded for a strike. MAG-13, Chu Lai, South Vietnam, 1967.
VFMA-542 F-4Bs configured for the air defence role.
Lineup of VMFA-314 F-4B Phantoms at Da Nang. The Marine Corps has used the Phantom predominantly in the ground attack role. Phantoms flown by Marine aviators played a major part in the close support operations undertaken by the 1st MAW in the I Corps area of South Vietnam.
F-4B rotates off the runway at Da Nang as it begins a close support mission for MAG-16, Vietnam , 1965.
Twin tongues of searing flame burn the Pacific air as, afterburners ablaze, this F-4B roars off the waist catapult of the USS Kittyhawk (CVA-63) during a tune-up cruise prior to 1968 Westpac deployment. Combined power of the Steam catapult and the Phantom's twin J-79s have accelerated the F-4 from 0 to 120 knots in less than 300 feet.
F-4 launching from the waist cat of the USS Independence for a strike on North Vietnam.
Red Rippers. VF-11 F-4Bs over the Med. 2980 rolls over his wingman (photo) and joins up for return to the USS Forrestal. Late model F-4Bs retain the infra-red sensor housing beneath the nose, though the sensor has been deleted in favor of avionics antenna.
The Marine Corps received its first Phantoms in mid-1962. A total of nine USMC squadrons were equipped with the F-4B. Shown here are two views of 149457, belonging to VMF(AW)314, homebased at MCAS El Toro, California.
A well-worn Phantom enroute to a North Vietnamese target in July, 1967.
Enroute to targets of opportunity. An F-4 loaded for a close air support mission, South Vietnam December, 1971.
VF-213 'Black Lions' Phantoms enroute to targets in North Vietnam, 1968.
In March of 1962, these two Phantoms were transferred from the Navy to the USAF Tactical Air Command for crew familiarization. This was as a result of a DOD directive to evaluate the Phantom in comparison to the standard USAF interceptor, the F-106. The F-4 won the competition easily and was adopted by the USAF as the F-110A. Mission differences dictated that a new model of the Phantom be produced for the Air Force, and in 1963 the first F-4Cs were delivered. F-4Cs carry an improved inertial navigation system and APQ-100 radar, which makes for a more accurate ground attack system. Air Force Phantoms are also equipped with dual controls. (Air Force philosophy calling for two Pilots vice the Navy crew of Pilot/RIO)
A flight of VF-142 Phantoms. The plane flown by Guy Freeborn in the action of August 10, 1967 is number 2247.
F-4Ds of the 8th TFW, armed with Mk84 laser-guided bombs, enroute to a target, November, 1971.
A pair of Ubon based F-4s of the 8th TFW look on as an F-4 of the 432nd TRW, based at Udorn, takes on fuel from a KC-135. November, 1971.
In-flight refueling. USAF strike aircraft would not have been able to carry out their devastating strikes on North Vietnam had it not been for the KC-135 tankers that serviced them inbound and outbound from their targets.
F-4D of the 81st TFW on final approach. The 'D' succeeded the 'C' on the assembly lines after a production run of 583 aircraft. Principal changes included an improved air-to-ground weapons delivery system.
One of only 12 F-4Gs being hauled to a stop by Kitty Hawk's arresting gear. F-4G was actually the F-4B modified by the addition of Automatic Carrier Landing System. VF-213 operated the F-4G over Vietnam in late 1965.
A USAF Weapons Specialist is readying Sparrow IIIB AAMs for loading onto F-4s. The Raytheon Sparrow is the primary armement of the F-4. The missile has a 60 lb HE warhead, and a range of 13 miles. It is radar guided.
An F-4B in mothballs at Davis-Monthan AFB, January, 1972.
QF-4B undergoing tests at Point Mugu, California, April, 1972.
Red Rippers. VF-11 F-4Bs over the Med. 2980 rolls over his wingman and joins up (photo) for return to the USS Forrestal.
A Phantom of the 497th TFS dropping a laser-guided bomb. These bombs are part of a generation of new 'smart bombs'. Aircraft overhead is directing a high intensity laser beam on the target. 'Flyable' bomb will home on this beam.
Cambodian Strike. A Phantom pulls off the target after dropping its ordnance during the 1970 attacks on North Vietnamese sanctuaries in Cambodia.
F-4C testing the 20mm Vulcan gunpods on outboard wing stations.
A Phantom taxies to the elevator after recovery aboard the Kittyhawk, November 1968.
VF-142 Phantom. Orange and white stripes on rudder, orange vertical stabilizer tip and wing tips, orange outline on NK. Lightning bolt is white with orange and black outline.
F-4Ds of the 37th TFW line up on the end of the runway at Phu Cat for a formation take-off. March, 1970.
Marine Corps (former Navy) Phantom, with air refueling probe extended. The Navy uses the probe and drogue method of aerial refueling, largely because of the need to employ the 'buddy system', whereby another aircraft of similar type can be fitted with fuel tanks with extendable drogue.
A Later model of the F-4D. Air Force Phantoms are equipped with an explosive cartridge starting system, enabling them to operate from airfields with less exotic maintenance equipment. Navy Phantoms, rarely called upon to operate from forward areas, do not employ this system.
An F-4C, configured for a long-range MIGCAP mission, taxies to the arming pit prior to a mission from Da Nang. Phantom emblem on the splitter vane is black with white trim. The worn spots on the nose show up as light reddish-brown.
RECORD SETTING PHANTOMS - F-4A, with Lt. Huntington Hardisty and Lt. E.H. DeEsch at the controls, set a low altitude closed course speed record of 902 miles per hour, in August of 1961. (U.S. Navy)
Personal marking on an F-4D 66-7673A, of the 555th TFS, at Udorn, Thailand.
A Phantom begins a mission against the Viet Cong, as it taxies from its revetment at Cam Ranh Bay. June, 1967.
Phantoms with fresh warpaint await their baptism of fire at Da Nang.
EARLY PHANTOMS - F-4A has faired-in intakes used with lower powered J79-GE-3 engines. More powerful dash 8 engines required redesigned intakes (photo). Both models have smaller nose used with 24" radar dish, and original canopy outline, later changed when seats were raised to provide better over the nose visibility for Pilot and Radar Intercept Officer.
Combat veteran of VF-21, with a late model AIM-9C Sidewinder missile fitted.
VF-111 Phantom in markings carried during 1971 cruise aboard USS Coral Sea.
An F-4B of Marine Attack Training Squadron 101 (VMFAT-101). Rudder markings are dark green.
Loaded for an anti-personnel strike, (note 250 lb. bombs, air-to-ground rockets) this Marine Phantom awaits the arrival of its crew. 1966.
VF-33 Phantom, sans various antennae the F-4B later sprouted as Vietnam war experience was put to use in the development of ECM equipment.
Dawn in the Med heralds the dawn of an illustrious career. VF-74 Phantom is made ready for launch from the deck of the Forrestal.
The F-4 above is armed with the AIM-4 missile (starboard inboard station) the sophisticated follow-on to the Sidewinder, it had teething problems in early usage.
A thirsty F-4 eagerly climbs to accept fuel from the tanker boom, prior to a May, 1970 strike.
A Phantom from the USS John F Kennedy launching a target drone over the Mediterranean. Following F-4s will track the drone on target acquisition radar and try to shoot it down.
Early production model of the Phantom test firing a Sparrow AAM off Point Mugu, California. F-4Bs were the first models to assume the by now familiar 'droop snoot' appearance, occasioned by the installation of the 32" radar dish and the infra-red heat sensor.
VF-143 Phantom, post strike at Da Nang.
VFMA-115 F-4B rolls out, post strike, Da Nang, 1966.
VF-96 Phantom, with tailhook extended. Black and yellow stripes on fin tip.
Don't tell the crew of this F-4B that the flak isn't intense and accurate over North Vietnam. The severely mauled Phantom managed to limp back to Da Nang.
The consequences of too tight a formation, and the resulting mid-air collision while dodging SAMS.
Demise of a proud bird when it crashed on return to Da Nang after receiving hits up North.
The low level raid on Thai Nguyen. The Phantom of Brigadier General Robin Olds is shown on the run-in to the steel mills at Thai Nguyen. The three F-4s made their run-in (all the way from the Red River) at 25 feet. Note the assymetrical loading consisting of a 370 gallon fuel tank left outboard, 3 500lb Snakeye highdrag bombs on each inboard station, and an ECM pod on the right outboard station. The 600 gallon centerline fuel tank was punched off on crossing the Red River on the run-in.
Lt. Randy Cunningham and Lt JG William Driscoll are returned to the deck of the USS Constellation after their triple victory and subsequent dunking in the Gulf of Tonkin.
An RF-4E of the West German Luftwaffe. Germany is also flying the F-4F, an export version of the F-4E.
RF-4B of VMCJ-2. Colors of rabbit marking on tail are as follows: white rabbit on black square, red outline to square, red necktie on rabbit.
RF-4C of the 12th TRS, 460th TRW, in a revetment at Udorn, Thailand.
An RF-4C in Air Force livery. Primary differences between Air Force and Marine recce Phantoms include dual controls in the Air Force model and more sophisticated avionics.
An RF-4B of the Marine Corps. The first RF-4B (151975) is illustrated above. The white strip near the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer is an antenna for long range HF communications equipment, one of several modifications made to the standard F-4B airframe to convert it to RF standard. Other differences include: a battery of cameras for forward, side and oblique reconnaisance, infra-red and radar reconnaisance equipment and flash ejectors for night-time duties.
British F-4K on its initial test flight from Lambert Field.
F-4M of the Royal Air Force.
F-4M at the end of a test hop. British Phantoms use the Rolls Royce Spey engine, which results in slightly different lines at intake and exhaust.
F-4M during gear retraction sequence. Also evident is the drooped flap configuration which provides additional lift during slow speed flight.
Sharkmouth Scramble! Captain Ronald Flake, of the 421st TFS, runs to his F-4E during the 1970 attacks on North Vietnamese sanctuaries in Cambodia.
F-4E fresh from the factory for its 1969 debut with the U.S. Air Force Flight Demonstration Team, the Thunderbirds.
An F-4E of the 469th TFS, 388th TFW, out of Korat, Thailand enroute to a target, May, 1970.
USAF F-4Es. The 'E' is the latest U.S. version of the Phantom to enter service. It will be operated by the Air Force only. The F-4E mounts a 20mm Vulcan rotary cannon under the nose, capable of up to 6,000 rounds per minute rate of fire It also has the up-rated version of the J-79 engine, which puts out 17,900lb of thrust.
F-4Es homeward bound after a 1968 strike.
F-4EJ of the Japan Air Self Defense Force. This model is being built under license in Japan.
Late version of the F-4E, equipped with leading edge slats for greater maneuverability in dog fighting situations.
The Thunderbirds' wedge formation.
The Thunderbirds make a five plane formation pass at the 1970 DuPage County Airport show.
The Thunderbirds solo pilot makes a low level pass with everything hanging out to demonstrate the F-4E's low speed maneuverability.
Aircraft of CVW-9 on the after flight deck of the USS Constellation prepare for a strike against North Vietnam on May 9, 1972. Note the MiG kill symbols on the vertical fins of VF-96 Phantoms.
VF-96 F-4J. VF-96 aviators Lt. Randy Cunningham and Lt.JG William Driscoll became the first aces of the Vietnam war, downing their third, fourth and fifth MiGs on May 10, 1972.
Two views of the late model F-4J for the Marine Corps. The 'J' has numerous improvements over the 'B', including AWG-10 pulse doppler radar fire control, improved AJB-7 bombing system, drooped flaps and slotted leading edges in the stabilator for better control at approach speeds, as well as a slightly larger fuel capacity. Note the position of the open drag chute door under the rudder.
F-4J Phantom of Blue Angels leader Commander Bill Wheat, at Pax River in 1969.
The Blue Angels in their characteristic tight, 36 inch separation diamond formation.
A Marine Phantom recovers after a close support mission.
Wave-off from the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. With an ear-shattering roar, an F-4J climbs back to pattern altitude for another shot at a 'trap'.
Late model F-4J in the colorful markings of VF-102. Diamonds are red, as is the outline around the 'AG' tail marking. All lettering is black. A 600 gallon centerline drop tank is carried. The tank on the port wing pylon very likely is used to carry pilot's personal baggage.
VMFA-232 Phantom decelerates with the aid of its drag chute.