I worked on the F-4E at Homestead AFB from mid 1974 through mid 1976. Avionics Communication Specialist. I left Homestead for Elmendorf, AK for my remaining time in. At that time the Alaskan Air Command alert aircraft were the F-4's. Seemed that no one there liked the F-4's that much, so they were happy when I joined the shop - they took good care of me.
Buddy Black, e-mail, 11.03.2013 01:23
I served with the Vermont Air Gurd for 35 yrs. We had the D models for 4 short yrs before changing to the Falcon. I was a POL guy that pumped alot of gas in those Phantoms. Loved when the car alarms went off @ the 09:00 takeoff. Awsome Jet. The military definately got their moneys worth from them.
Rick Middleton, e-mail, 09.03.2013 02:05
I was with 8th CSG, FMS Sheetmetal. I love to look at the F-4E with its long gun mounted nose. But that thing was a nightmare to fix from sheetmetal point of view. Replacing Jo-bolts on the Horiz stab was a special delight. I worked on F-4, AC-130, B-57, OV-10 and other aircraft at Ubon RTAFB 70-71 & 72-73. I also worked on the Navy F-4 at North Island Depot.
Gary R LaBagh, e-mail, 08.03.2013 03:43
Did not know so many ,were as proud of the F4 as I am.I was in the390th july70tojuly71 and Kunsan Korea with the 68tfs before that.19 out of tech. school.At 20 in Danang in charge of one of the badist smoke burning,bomb droupin,Charlie chasen,Mig killen and most versatile acft.ever designd by man.I was so fortunate to be able to strap in the good men that flew front and back seat.acft 755 which crewed ,never flew after battle damage but brought the pilots home safe.acft 228 replaced her and what flyin s.ob.it was.always ready and dependable.yaah what A honer to have your name on the canopy of an F4 phantom.I was proud of my acft,the men who flew them,and worked on them,and I still am.
G. Walterreit, MSgt . Ret., e-mail, 05.03.2013 19:17
Congratulations Chief Mike....sounds like a blast.... Looking back, I wish I had pushed for a retirement ride in the the F4. I was in the A/C maintenance side of the F4 for the last six years of my career. I stared with "E" and finished with the RF at Shaw AFB, SC. Great airplane.... I hope you relish your memories of the F4 as much as I do. Enjoy your retirement...
Mike Trout miketrouttriplecrow, 04.03.2013 23:56
Vote for Lucifer
michael jake jacobssen, e-mail, 27.02.2013 21:29
Anybody know the oldest person to fly in an F-4? I'll put my bid in at age 59 and 147 days....Oct 29, 2009 in QF-4E, 74-1626 at Holloman. My retirement ride after 29yrs, 3mths and 19 days. CMSgt (ret) Mike Jacobssen, Crew Chief, Vietnam Vet.
SgtVern, e-mail, 27.02.2013 18:54
Seems Marines are under-represented in these reminiscences! Well, this old Marine remembers this old bird fondly. (Danang & ChuLai 66-67 and MCAS Beaufort 67-68). The thing I remember most is (@ Danang) when we'd get a bird back from O&R: Everyone wanted to give it a test ride. These flights were flown "clean". Throttles to the stops; brakes off; stick back; wheels up; nose straight up. That was some sight!! Never saw a clean Phantom anywhere else. Semper Fi
Rick Stockstill, e-mail, 03.02.2013 23:57
worked at 366 wcs danang 1970-1972 great plane and looked like what a fighter should look like went to madill then got out live in IL best wishs rick
Gary Retterbush "Busch", e-mail, 25.01.2013 11:04
The Double Ugly was just that but it got the job done. Got two MiG 21's with the gun in the E model flying out of Korat in '72.
Bill Smith, e-mail, 10.01.2013 22:07
This was the most beautiful, mean looking bird in the Navy inventory. I was honored to have flown this most capable bird. The F-4J was an awesome machine... great for carrier work... superior in the air. Great memories of the Phantom that will remain with me forever. Cadillac of the skies!!!
Bill Woody, e-mail, 07.01.2013 04:16
DaNang Jan. 1968 - Jan. 1969 with 366 AMS Radar Shop. Got to tech school at Lowry AFB, CO in Nov. 1965, left there in Aug. 1966 but got to see a few F-4Cs at Buckley NAS (then). Birds were from Davis-Monthan. We had to sign waivers so we could drive out to see them. Got to DaNang a coup of week before Tet'68, got sent out to fix a plane while the NVA regulars we off the east perimeter, snipers shot hole in the roof of the shop. Took a direct order for me to go out there, scared as hell, with my 3-level helper. We were in the southern-most reventment facing east. I could see the trees off base. An SP came up the ladder and asked if we had weapons. I said NO and he said you better get some because they're trying to overrun the perimeter. Moment of truth-I told my helper to get down on the ground, he'd been sitting on the right intake watching me test the radar in the back seat of the F-4. I wanted to run but got the job done and there was nobody anywhere to be seen on the whole flightline. We walked back to the shop, must have been close to a mile. I'll never forget that day. I loved the F-4, proud to work on it, just the C and D model, never worked on an F-4E. I made Staff under four but stupidly got married before Nam. They say you shouldn't carry regret but I know I should have made a career out of it. I loved the USAF and serve now in CAP. Keep 'em flyin'
Bruce Bilbrey, e-mail, 06.01.2013 23:48
One highlight of my life was serving as a crew chief of the F 4 C @ Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ with the 4453 CCTW from 1966 to 1970, with a TDY with the 49 TFW from Holloman, NM to Germany for a special NATO exercise in 1969 with F 4 D's. An unforgetable experience!
Raymond Appenzeller, e-mail, 11.12.2012 05:41
Stationed at Homestead 1977-1982, F4E's then to F4D's. 31st EMS Weapons Release. PCS'd to Moody AFB, Ga. 347th EMS Weapons Release 1982-1986. Became a FTD Instructor 3751st Field Training Squadron FTD 322 Moody AFB, Ga 1986-1988 teaching back shop classes and flight line maintenance classes on F4D's until they were being phased out with F-16's A/B models. I loved the Phantom, especially the F4E model. Solid aircraft, at times difficult to fix electrical problems but worth every minute of bites. Aircraft was very strong and versatile, GPU-5 30mm gun pods and SUU-23 Gun Pods. Loved working on all the gun systems including the nose gun M61A1, what a system! Great memories!
John W. Van Dyke, CMSGT, Ret., e-mail, 08.12.2012 23:37
My first "taste" of the "Phantom" was at 476th TFS (1968 thru 1970), George AFB, California, later changed to 4452nd. TFTS. We first had F-4D's, one Christmas we had "C's" then prior to my departure we received F-4E's. Onward I went to Udorn RTAB, Thailand, working Phase Dock (night shift) 13th TFS. It was quite experience. Awesome jet to work on. Then, 18 years later, (1988) my last US Air Force assignment brought me back to George AFB and the F-4E Wild Weasels, Component Repair Squadron.
Pete Rohrig, e-mail, 03.12.2012 18:50
Was a WCS troop 322X1Q from Jan 1971 to Mar 1975, Korat from 11/71 to 11/72 then Eglin's 4485th TS. You always remember your first love and she was an F-4E. From her blood red shark teeth nose to her carbon coated tail, she was a brute. I would love to hear from other WCS/ECM who know the name. Pete
Lauren Eastwood, e-mail, 01.12.2012 18:45
Worked on the F-4C/D at Kunson AFB, Korea and while TDY to Korat RTAFB, Thailand 71-72. Taught the hydraulic/pneumatic system as an instructor while assigned to FTD 533at Hill AFB, Utah and 311 at McDill AFB, Florida. Did many a guard conversion with the F-4, and made a lot of friends.
Reid, e-mail, 05.11.2012 21:59
I flew this plane from 1967 to 1982, over 3300 hrs. Japan, Germany, USA, and Thailand. Great airplane, very strong and powerful, and absolutely the one to get you home. J-79 ran very well with only two failures during my time in the saddle. This was a hard to maintain airplane! I miss her!
Doug Freeman, e-mail, 26.08.2012 18:55
Love this bird. I was on the weapons crew that loaded Steve Ritchie's F-4D in Udorn Thailand Aug 28 1972 for Mig #5. It was a proud day. Still hung over from the party. I still have the photo of me and my crew next to the plane taken during the photo session.
bill zimmermna, e-mail, 25.07.2012 18:33
I was stationed at Miramar NAS in 1958 in VF-121 when we received our first f3-H Phantom, it replaced our worthless F3-H Demons. It was the most beautiful aircraft I had ever seen. It was then and still is today.
Freddie Curry, e-mail, 19.07.2012 15:55
I served in VF-41 (Navy Fighter Squadron) when the F-4's were first received and went to Viet Nam aboard the USS Independence. The plane was a delight and very impressive. I still remember much about the aircraft as an aviation structure mechanic.
Dave Walsh, e-mail, 23.06.2012 03:45
I was in the firsr radar class the Airforce ran thru Lowry AFB in 63 12 of us and one guy washed . . Got to McDill Dec 63 as part of the 12th TAC fighter wing which later changed to I believe the 9th. and had to wait for birds but got to work on old F84's. Went with 555 (triple nickle ) twice as the first phantoms in the far east in 64,Went to Naha Okinawa. Jumped to 558/9th can't remember, squadron to go to Ubon Thailand in jan 1966. 555th went to Cham Ran Bay shortly after I left McDill. Spent a year in Ubon and was seperated Jan 67.Great experience every kid should go thru. Where can I get a Phantom Phixer patch for my Yankee hat. email@example.com Best time of my life was with that beasty on the flight line.
Mike Wieczynski, e-mail, 12.06.2012 20:39
After loading f-100’s, mainly in VN, I went to Bentwaters RAF in England were I loaded F-4 C,D’s with the 92nd TFS Armament 1970-71. When I first laded eyes on one it looked like it was doing 200MPH just sitting still. Always loved the plane but I have to say I never liked loading it. For me pylons were at a terrible height. They were too high for me to kneel and the wing was to low for me to stand. The other thing I hated was no two parts used the same tool, just having to carry all the different tools weighted you down in that “duck walk position”. And man did it carry a lot of ordinance with TER’s , MER’s. and missiles. The Aim 7 missiles has the racks build up in fuselage another pain in the back, and to make matters worse the two aft racks where part of the frame, when taken out for maintenance if the plane was towed the frame would shift and the rack mounts no longer lined up. I remember spending half a day having the plane towed around in circles trying to get the mounts realigned. I began to look forward to the days when we loaded nukes. Add the cold and usually wet English weather, 18 months of loading this beauty as enough for me. If you were their send me and email.
Timothy Bintz, e-mail, 10.06.2012 19:03
USAF 1966-1970. Stationed at Eglin A.F. B. Florida. I was assigned to the 33TFW Headquarter Squadron, Office of Information. I have taken the picture of and I have the picture of the 2000th F-4 Phantom being delivered to the 33rd TFW. Also, I have the Article from the Eglin Eagle (2-Full Pages) from April 18, 1969, about the 4th TFS with the F-4E, being deployed to South East Asia. It was then assigned to the 366th TFW in DaNang AB, Vietnam. I took some of the pictures and wrote some of the articles. I had the Honor of being two or three office doors down from and working with Col Chappie James, Col Robert W. Maloy, and many other commanders. All I can say is Thank God for the F-4 Phantoms and the brave pilots that flew them.
Runner Brown, e-mail, 12.03.2012 03:42
Like crawling back into mother's womb! This Fighter is the last ever jet to have been flown by warriors who did so for love of country, but more so for love of the airplane itself. The electric jet jocks and Ego jet pilots of latter years will never understand the lump in the throat feeling when Phantom stories are told.
LARRY REID, e-mail, 18.02.2012 10:10
I LIKE TO SAY I CUT MY TEETH ON PHANTOMS, I ARRIVED AT MACDILL AFB, DEC 1963. WE RECEIVED F4-B'S BORROWED FROM THE NAVY. WORKED TEST CELL FOR 2 YEARS, THEN DISPATCH, THEN OFF TO CAM RAHN VN, CONTINUED WORKING FLIGHT LINE DISPATCH. LOVE THE OLE PHANTOM, JUST JOINED THE 12TFW ORGANIZATION. SHE IS NOW AT TYNDALL, PULLING DROWNS, THEN SHOT DOWN IN THE GULF. :(:(
Fred Treadway, e-mail, 07.02.2012 06:35
In 1969, my first permanent duty assignment was on F-4E models at Homestead AFB, FL with the 4531st TFW. From there, I went to Tan Son Nhut Airbase, Vietnam and worked on RF-4C models with the 460th TRW, 12th TRS "Blackbirds". Then it was off to Ubon, Thailand with the 8th TFW where I was crew chief on 2 F-4D models with the 433rd TFS, "Satan's Angels". I was certain when I returned to the States that I would go to another F-4 base. Wrong!! The Air Force sent me to Columbus AFB, MS to work on T-37s! Back then, no one with F-4s on their record ever went to T-37s! Anyway, it was a good experience. I eventually re-enlisted so I could a base of preference and get back with the Phantoms. Ended up going back to Homestead with the 31st TFW. Later on after discharge, I worked with the Department of Defense at an aircraft overhaul facility in Birmingham, AL. Back on Phantoms again! There it was Navy and Marine B, J, N, and S models. I loved Phantoms then and still do today. I have one room in my house dedicated to the F-4. Fantastic airplane!!
Ahmad R Sakebi., e-mail, 29.01.2012 20:13
i have seen f4 in action over operational zones in iran irac border line.she was absolutely fantastic thanks to mc donnel douglas.iran irak vetran
Jake Jacobssen, e-mail, 25.01.2012 20:29
Larry, sorry,......correction 63-7607. My bad, I transposed the last 4. 63-7607 shows SCRAP by AMARG.
Mike Jacobssen, 25.01.2012 20:24
To Larry Grove - Larry, your bird (63-7067) shows to have gone to Fritz, Enterprises in Taylor, Michigan in Sept 1999. Fritz = SCRAP. Sorry, Crew Dawg,...my D-model from 480th Phu Cat (69-70) went to same place in 1998. Your plane did carry an N number of N423FS at one time at Mojave. Not sure if still there,....but AMARG shows it went to FRITZ in 1999. :(
Larry Grove, e-mail, 25.01.2012 00:41
Was assigned to the 4453 cctw at MacDill till we moved to Davis-Monthan in mid 1964. Went to Nam in 1966 till 1967 with the 366th tfw 480th tfs at danang. came home in july 1967. was crewchief on 63-7607 and am going to find it in the desert in feb. 2012. Loved being a crewchief on the f-4c. In nam we were called the gunfighters for shooting down migs with our gatling guns.
Randy, e-mail, 16.01.2012 23:47
i worked F4s at SJ NC Vietnam Phu Cat H S Fla Germany Han enjoyed working on them missed them awesome Airplane loved watching them take off in Nam fully loaded and come home emty
Noel Rodriguez, e-mail, 22.11.2011 11:01
I loved this book so much I wrote a whole book on the Blue Angels F-4 Phantom teams - Phantoms and Angels. Phantoms forever! phantomsandangelsdotcom
Harry Parr, e-mail, 14.11.2011 01:56
I was honored to have been one of the first crew chiefs of the F-4B's when the Air Force took possession in late 1963. We were sent to learn the aircraft under the Navy's supervision at Miramar in Calif. We were the 4453rd CCTS that was then moved to Davis-Monthan in Arizona. If anyone that was in this group happens to read this article I wouls appreciate it if you would contact me by E-mail.
Marc Bellapianta, e-mail, 12.11.2011 18:21
Crewed the F4-E at Homestead AFB, 31st TFW 1972-1975 one tuff aircraft wasn't built for maintenance but sure was a great maintenance experience did it all in those days. Our unit also particpated in the Thailand rotation twice a year back then. Always amazed by the perfomance of this jet, loved watching those FCF takeoffs.
James Morris, e-mail, 04.11.2011 02:48
hppened to be looking on Mcdonnell Douglas F-4 PhantonII 1958 and saw you comments , that you where a clerk for flying Safety at SAFB S.C I was Born there in 1963 My dad was stationed there and was incharge of of team of mechanic on the F-4C His name was Robert( Bob) H Morris My uncle also was there .and I thing he was a training SGT Norman T Dockstader.If you happen to know them please wright back.Ho my neighbor was Thomas Odom He worked at the bakery on base.sorry the next comment on this page is mine , but I was thinking I was sanding it to aother comment.
James Morris, e-mail, 04.11.2011 02:43
hppened to be looking on Mcdonnell Douglas F-4 PhantonII 1958 and saw you comments , that you where a clerk for flying Safety at SAFB S.C I was Born there in 1963 My dad was stationed there and was incharge of of team of mechanic on the F-4C His name was Robert( Bob) H Morris My uncle also was there .and I thing he was a training SGT Norman T Dockstader.If you happen to know them please wright back.Ho my neighbor was Thomas Odom He worked at the bakery on base.I beleive the photo might help, the one how is kneeling down in frount is my father. Just looking for information.
jock watson, e-mail, 14.10.2011 19:05
I flew the F4m RAF DFGA version for seven years and was RAF Germany's low level aerobatic display pilot with John Cosgrove as Nav.Used to end the display with two vertical rolls starting at 20 feet RA 650 kts indicated hitting 30000feet in 35 seconds...Unforgetable fantastic performance from a cold war Jet.Met some ex NVA Mig pilots in 1995 in the old East Germany and they couldn't believe the look up radar ranges we had from our F4m radar at low level.Thank goodness we never had to use it in anger...The best war bird of its day.
Daryl Smith, e-mail, 04.10.2011 22:11
The only thing I love more than the F-4 is my family. It looked so ugly it was beautiful. As a reservist I flew it over in Nam 68-69 with VF-161 on board CVA-43 Coral Sea. Trained in the J's but combat was in the B's. Like some people have already said, "It could take a beatin' but keep on tickin'. I'd love to saddle one of them back up again for another mission. What a graceful beast.
Paddy O'Flynn, e-mail, 20.09.2011 17:23
Great fighter in its day. Flew it on and off from 1968 (RAF FGR2) in 1974-77 F-4C at Luke AFB and FGR2 in the Falklands off the metal strip at RAF Stanley - every landing into the cable. Took one from UK to Singapore, another from UK to Ascension Island and return. She never let me down badly in 3000hrs - same number of take-offs as landings and not a scratch on any of them. In the 310th at Luke we won the Turkey Shoot 3 months in a row using a fixed depressable sight for air-to-ground and beat the F-15s many times on combat dart - even got a kill on the F-15s with a dart in tow! Thnkyou Uncle Mac.
Dan Chance, e-mail, 13.09.2011 05:02
I was clerk to the flying safety officer at Shaw AFB in 1965. My office was right next to the flight line and the F4's often reved up right outside. I have lost 70% of my hearing in both ears and this is the only exposure to loud piercing noises in my entire career. The rest of it occuring later was in banking. Can you supply the decibel level generated by the engines they used?
Art Dunn, e-mail, 29.08.2011 22:59
The RF-4C aircraft was the first jet I ever worked on. I was in AR (R&R) at SAFB SC from 78-81. Single airman working on F-4s and doing the recovery stuff was a great start to a thankful career. I was in hangar 1200 and worked with a great bunch of guys. Had a super shop chief MSgt Moody. Good memories for sure. Used to sneek out to EOR at night and watch them land from a very close distance...very impressive no doubt!
Bill Downey, e-mail, 27.08.2011 05:11
For ten years I got to fly the RF-4C, F-4D, and F-4E. Between being a Fast Fac SCAR pilot in the RF or Air to Air in the E, I can't decide which was more fun. I've gotten to fly numerous other planes, but none will ever match the Phantom
allen morris, e-mail, 26.08.2011 16:32
I count my blessings daily and my 4 years of flying the fabulous Phantom was the highlight of a unique and adventuruous 36 year aviation career. My book, The Rogue Aviator, will give the reader plenty of exhilirating nostalgic flashbacks as author Ace Abbott describes some "out-of-the-box" F-4 experiences. Ace Abbott/aka Allen Morris
Lewis Godfrey, e-mail, 19.08.2011 22:50
Worked on the F-4D's with the 301 TFG, USAFR out of Bergstrom AFB, TX '85-'88. Got an incentive ride in one from Bergstrom to Holloman AFB, NM. Weather was bad so it was a staright and level flight. Almost made myself sick when the pilot let me fly for about 2 minutes over San Angelo, TX! To much stick inputs corrected way too late!! When offered a ride in an F-16, I proudly declined by saying, "I got a ride in a REAL airplane; an F-4!"
John Palm, e-mail, 12.08.2011 04:16
My first wonderful Fighter which saw me safely through 71 combat missions in Vietnam. It took me to over 60,000 feet and supersonic below sea level through Death Valley once. Oh what good memories and the folks I flew into combat with have a special bond and they are all Sierra Hotel!
Jack Schultz, e-mail, 21.06.2011 10:39
DaNang, Nam '67-68,Crew Chief, 390th TFS, 366 TFW, F4C/D. Best plane God blessed us with. Nothing more sweeter than the howling sound she made and the black smoke trail behind her as she returned safely and intact from a mission. Holloman AFB, NM after that. 3 1/2 years under her wings. Thank you, Lord.
Ben McCorkle, e-mail, 13.06.2011 18:03
USAF 1966-1970. Other than training,served all my time at Hahn AFB,Germany in Structural Repair. Replaced many wing tips on the F4-D. Proud to have served and had the connection to such a powerful bird. Never failed to watch one take off or fly by........
Mike Macek, e-mail, 07.06.2011 06:12
I worked RF4's at Shaw AFB '69, C's D's and E's at DaNang '70 and DM '71 '72. I worked auto flight controls. To this day the smell of hydraulic fluid or burned kerosine turns my brain into a time machine and takes me back to those days when I crawled all over those fantastic machines. They were the cutting edge of the time. Remember the whooping sound when the boundry air blew over the flaps when they were lowered in the pattern and the flames with blue shock diamonds blasting from the engines in Ab? What sights to see and jobs to do at 19 years old!!!
JJ Watson, e-mail, 14.05.2011 21:57
worked RF-4 at Alconbury from 77-81 in AR and job control and again as Prod Super at the 'bury from 82-86. Best tours I ever had.
B2Boy, e-mail, 05.05.2011 18:19
Worked on C models at Hahn, D model at Torrejon, and was fortunate enough to work on them again at Wright-Patterson for the Reserve outfit there. The SPOOK will live forever.
Allen, e-mail, 22.04.2011 08:30
Danang viet nam 1970 ,USAF our F4's looked pretty good to me flying over ,they might have looked ugly to the Vietcong and NVA with there mouth and teeth painted on ,just before dropping napalm on the trail
ryan murray, e-mail, 14.04.2011 09:42
the three viw that you guys had will help me tons on a rc project of this plane it will be some time in the working though. this is just a starting point to base everything off of.
Russ Brown, e-mail, 26.03.2011 08:02
USAF 68-72, and was a weapons/ munitions specialist on the F-4C/D/E models. What an impressive aircraft! Loved the "banshee howl" of the engines as it approached for landings. I loaded countless tons of ordnance in '69 at Udorn, Thailand as part of the 432 Munitions Maintenance Squadron supporting the 13th and 555th Fighter Squadrons.
Jeff Joseph, e-mail, 20.03.2011 05:01
Jake Jacobssen. RE Chuck Benham, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
TERRY ROBERTS, e-mail, 08.03.2011 02:06
15 TAC AT MCDILL, 12th AT CAM RANH BAY 67-68 INSTRUMENT SHOP.
Jake Jacobssen, 07.03.2011 19:16
To Jeff Joseph....did you ever know a Mr Chuck Benham,..he was our McD Rep for the Thunderbird F-4Es in 69-74. Just a super guy. Ditto with a Lt Col John Harty, also worked F-4s at McD, a pilot with the 131st MOANG in STL.
Jeff Joseph, e-mail, 06.03.2011 06:40
F-4 B/C/D Tech Rep 1964-1967. Any Dept-92 Guys out there ?
Jerry Walterreit, USAF Retired, e-mail, 22.02.2011 03:51
I had the pleasure of working on the F-4E while assigned to Camp New Amsterdam, Holland from May 1972 through October 1975. Then I worked on the RF-4C at Shaw AFB, SC until I retired in March of 1979. In both assignments I was assigned to the Avionics Maintenance Sq. in the Instrument/Auto-Pilot Shops.
BlackWidow 42, e-mail, 13.02.2011 02:55
There was nothing better than to have an F4 come in low level in support of our troops on the ground in 1967-68. God Bless America.
John Nanni, e-mail, 09.02.2011 16:12
Someone earlier mentioned an "indigenous quirk" with the F4 design and it reminded me of our old saying "when you hear the beat, use your feet." The F4 is a bit of rarity, requiring the use of the rudder alone for control at high angles of attack (most airplanes can be turned using a combination of rudder and ailerons). The F4 has a sound system to warn pilots of high angle of attack and when it came into our headsets, in the form of a "beat", you learned to use rudder controls and keep the ailerons (stick) neutral. Over time it just became second nature. By the way, I'm familiar with the details of the Dean Paul Martin accident and it was a result of pilot error (primarily vertigo in poor weather). I flew the RF4C and it was an incredibly fast and stable reconnaisance platform at extremely low level. What a fabulous aircraft. I still miss flying it after many decades, but was lucky to have the same number of landings as takeoffs.
Sgt. USMC Nam 66-67, e-mail, 29.01.2011 09:35
Marines on the ground loved these Phantom "Fast Movers" especially when they were making deliveries of "Snake & Nape", they would leave the "Zips" in a world of hurt !
Howard Blake, e-mail, 19.01.2011 21:38
I worked the RF-4C and couldn't be prouder of the bird - loved it! I was an Avionic Sensor System Tech working the cameras, side-looking radar, AAD-5 IR system, and many more systems on this unique bird starting in 1981-1985. Had phantom bites galore from the nose wheel well door and many hand pinches from the nose bay doors, but would love to work on this bird again.
Dan Listul, e-mail, 16.01.2011 00:03
Homestead AFB, 1976 to 1979. Inertial Nav and WRCS tech. Worked the E models mostly but they were being replaced by the D models when I left. Got a ride in F-4E 66318 shortly before my discharge. What a memory THAT is. Don't remember my pilot's name (I think his first name was Steve); he told me of the time he hit a turkey vulture at 450 knots when flying near the deck at Avon Park.
Tom Barclay, e-mail, 10.01.2011 16:22
Loved the Bent-Winged Bug Sucker. Worked C Model Wild Weasels at Hahn and Zweibrucken Germany, Tiseos at Galena AFS Alaska Alert Cells, D,s at Hahn again, G Wild Weasels at George California. Thomas D. Barclay MSgt (Retired) USAF
John C, e-mail, 02.01.2011 19:17
Anyone know how to locate Adelbert W. Carpenter, was a AF Capt, front seater, 1972 era, flew into Kunsan on a PAR to 17 (blo mins) and loved it so much he flew another one. Then wrote about both!
Safetydude, e-mail, 31.12.2010 04:49
My,my,my! Jeremiah Weed. The Devil in a bottle. It made you to go toe to toe and nose to nose with the Wing King and he enjoyed it, laughed out loud, and kept pouring just to see how stupid a Load Toad could become before he fell over. I think most of us who worked the Rhino, and I know all the operators, loved that jet. Sucked a lot at 100% after a night of weed and beer.
Combat Clint, e-mail, 30.12.2010 00:00
Oh my! Isn't this a pleasant surprise. Thanks to George Tuttle for making me aware of this site. 2K hours in the "pit" of the F-4C/D/E/G! Most fun I ever had with my pants on! USAF FWIC in 1982, then Seymour Johnson but this was my second tour to Goldsboro as my first one was in 1975 with the 335th TFS "Chiefs". Names to recall: Bob Russ, Sam Johnson, Mike Kirby, Barry Bridger (POW), Pat Garvey, Wayne Holum, "Bristle" Bill Burnette, Coach Myers (former CSAF), Joe Bob, Bucks Walters, Bob French and too many more to list here. I recall an article in Air Force Magazine in late 70s with Talon, Eagle, Viper (oops, Falcon) and Rhino, all nose on! Comments by each airplane went something like this: Talon-This airplane looks like a toy. Eagle-This airplane looks like it has nice lines. Falcon/Viper-This airplane looks like it would be fun to fly. Rhino-This airplane looks like it was built to fight! Nuff said! Anybody got any Jeremiah Weed? Here's a nickel on the grass!
Mark Ryalls, e-mail, 29.12.2010 19:43
I was an electrician on F-4J models in Marine Fighter Attack squadrons VMFA-451 and VMFA-235. I had a run-up license for maintenance. Great beautiful plane. Got checked out for a backseat ride. When it was my turn, the CO stopped allowing rides. The guys who got a ride were lucky, but none were flyers. I was and really wanted a ride. I removed a CSD-Gen. by myself one day. That thing was heavy, but I did it. The autopilot was tough to remove and replace. I studied the Natops manual for flight, but of course never got to fly the plane. I almost re-upped to go to OCS and flight school. Bad time for military at the time though, so did not go that route. I still would like a ride in the F-4.
Phantom is the only jet I ever flew. I think I was the only WSO to command a Rhino (F-4E) squadron in combat (Desert Storm). Men flew the Rhinos and the jet took us and brought us home! I think even today if given the choice between the newer jets and the Rhino, I would choose the Rhino! I like flying the jet and not just having a vote. Lighty
Don Beierwaltes, e-mail, 26.12.2010 03:20
I worked F4E's at SJAFB NC Jan 82 till the last one went to the boneyard in early 91. That was a sad day. Had hoped for a super Phantom. I primarily worked Instruments and loved this aircraft!!!
Bob Middleton, e-mail, 21.12.2010 16:00
Face it, Gang -- The F-4 is ugly! --Especially when compared to the Thud. Don't think there's a crew chief out there who didn't get a "bug bite" from the F-4 while doing a preflight. Started out "strike" then switched over to Wild Weasels just in time for our "great retreat" --orbitting over Saigon in the last days of April 1975.
Gary L Sturgis, e-mail, 07.12.2010 17:48
This aircraft has to be one of my favorite. This & the Tom Cat.
Retired engine tester. GE
Chris Madsen, e-mail, 05.12.2010 23:18
Flew F4B's and J's. 200 + combat missions from Chu Lai and Danang. It was the greatest of the 30 + aircraft I got to pilot. Roomy cockpit for a fighter. Needed an internal gun, but the Mark 4 Hipeg 20 mil cannon with a 7,200 rpm was a real fun weapon for air to ground.
Zeke, e-mail, 01.12.2010 17:16
I worked RF-4C avionics at Mtn. Home AFB, ID 69-71, then E, G, Hs at Ubol RTAFB, Phu Cat, and other locations 71-72. The Central Air Data Computer under the left console backseat required some pretzel moves to install even with the backseat out. Crawling up the hot tail pipes to check engine temp thermocouples, what a thrill. Lots of fond memories of the F4. Felt like I knew the instrument systems so well I could repair them in my sleep. Which in Thailand was not an uncommon requirement.
a.casais, e-mail, 23.11.2010 21:16
Really is a very nice plane and always i love it for his airframe and very menace siluette.They use to called the Mig-killer without real mig pilots, only a few were good to challenge at this amazing machine.In the other side the AK-47 did the job and won the war.
Dave, e-mail, 22.11.2010 22:18
The best aircraft at the time, the F-4B USMC VMF-314 1962-67.. Ya we were the FIRST Marines to have the F4.. But then we also came from the F4D-1 (Douglas Skyray (FORD))great aircraft AFTER changing the Allison J35-A-17 turbojet to the Pratt & Whitney J57-P-2. To me BOTH aircraft were GREAT!!
William Van Syckle, e-mail, 11.11.2010 04:09
I remember when the first F-4 landed at our base in 1983 and it taxied over to the alert hangar and parked where I was on duty. I was with the 194 FIG at Ellington. I believe the F-4 is the most beautiful Aircraft in the air when it has a full armament load on board. When I would see one fly over from a return from an intercept mission, I stood taller and my chest would puff out more.
Safetydude, e-mail, 05.11.2010 01:08
I was 'Weapons Systems Technician' aka Bomb Loader on D models with the 128th TFS/116 TFW, GA ANG, stationed at Dobbins ARB. I started on F-105's, transitioned to F-4's, F-15's and finished on B1-B's. The Rino will always be my favorite. It leaked and groaned as you put fuel and bombs on her. We load toads were proud of all the blood stains on the back of our T-shirts from scraping our backs across one of the many drains under the ac while loading AIM-7's on the two rear stations while laying across the Jammer and operating the accelerator and brake pedals by hand. Hard earned I also remember having to ask the Egress folks to pull the back AcesII so we could get to miscellaneous relay panel four to do troubleshooting and keeping my fingers crossed that I was right. I the years that I worked the F-4 I got to fly it twice ...
Msg(Ret)Peter Olsson Safety Manager, 116th BW. GA ANG
Ray Phillips, e-mail, 28.10.2010 05:10
Worked on Phantoms with VF-151,1966thru1970, and have the Phantom Bites to prove it. 151 was a great squadron and the F-4 was a great aircraft. Great memories.
Joe Kricho, e-mail, 27.10.2010 20:46
I worked as a final sub-assembly inspector on the F-4K & F-4M models for the UK at McDonnell-Douglas in St. Louis, MO. Believe it or not, I was hired for this job right after graduating from high school. My areas of responsiblity were the air inlets; engine bays; fuel cells; and the APU. Loved that airplane.
wayne, e-mail, 22.10.2010 16:20
I worked in Udorn tower all of 1967 and still find it hard to believe an F-4 could even fly from North Vietnam or Laos to Thailand missing as much of an aircraft as I witnessed in a number of emergency landings during that year. The saddest was the time the rear seater landed the plane because the front pilot was dead. The toughness of the F-4 was matched by the guts and skills of the men who flew them and the men who kept them flying.
Mike Mullinax, e-mail, 18.10.2010 17:14
RF-4C Shaw AFB, SC 1969 and Udorn, Thailand 1969-1970 555th TFS> Tough Bird, Crew Chief Watched them leave and watched them come back shot up but flying. Not difficult to work on except adding that nasty oil. Pull the panels and wait on Electronics. Repack the Chute and change the Breaks. I am proud of the F-4. Workhorse. Marines were a showoff hitting afterburner on take off at end of runway straight up.
martin waldman, e-mail, 14.10.2010 19:12
One of the thrills of my life,got to fly in the back seat of a F-4E,from Eglin to Tinker and back,Capt Hank Biship in thr front seat.
Jim Helms, CMSgt, Ret, e-mail, 14.10.2010 06:38
Started with the F-4C at Udorn RTAB in Dec. 1965, assigned to the 433/555 FS. I was there for Bolo, talked into re-enlisting by Col Olds following the Jan 2nd 1967 MIG kill. Rotated back to MacDill went to Elmendorf with the 43rd in 1969, Holloman 1975, etc. Crew chief – Maint Super on all the AF models over a span of 14 years. We all have fond memories of a love that didn't last long enough; the F-4 is one of mine.
Bill Rid, e-mail, 13.10.2010 07:27
Best of the f-4 was the expression, "A MiG at six is better than no MiG at all". Put a MiG at a F-4's 6 and that F-4, in no time have the MiG out in front. I know, I flew them and took MiGs all day long at six.
Jake Jacobssen, e-mail, 07.10.2010 14:50
Trained as crweby on Cs at D-M in late 69...then to Phu Cat (480th) D's from Dec 69-Dec 70...then Thunderbirds E-models in 72 and 73...crewed #6 (66-0289)...then Ds and Es with AF Reserve (301st FW) in Fort Worth in the 80s. Took my last ride (for my retirement), in a QF-4E (Heritage Bird (74-1626) at Holloman,....Oct 29, 09...brutal on a 59yr old bod, but I did it (no chuckie cheese) and it was AWESOME on the White Sands Missile Range avoiding the Jap Radars on our run-in's. Loved that ole beast!!! Always will!
Larry Grove, e-mail, 04.10.2010 20:49
Was with the 4453rd at MacDill in Jan.1964 as an assistant crewchief, the we moved to Davis-Monthan. In July 1966 went to Danang with the 366th as crewchief on 637607. Returned in July 1967 the night after our big attack. Loved that Phantom and still do.
Dave Blaney, e-mail, 30.09.2010 23:00
I provided War Readiness Spares Kit (WRSK) support to a squadron of F-4E's at Seymour Johnson AFB in the mid-80s; compliments of 4th Supply Squadron. Loved the pre-dawn deployments; watching Phantoms take off in pairs; tarmac trembling under your feet; smell of JP-8; watching the twin engines disappear into the darkness; and then crawling into the back of a C-141 for a long drive to Cold Lake, Nellis, or Hahn AB. Followed-up with 2-4 weeks of long-days/late-nights waiting for the commited maintenance crews to turn around the day's last sorties and call it a night. Long after the F-15 and F-16 crews had completed their post-flights and hit the town. Good duty; great aircraft; unforgettable experiences.
Jay Ahearn, e-mail, 28.09.2010 19:34
I was a WCS guy from Febuary 1971 to 1976. Anybody ever in Udorn Thialand 73-74?
Bill Gindhart, e-mail, 24.09.2010 05:26
I cut my crew chief eye teeth on F4D's at Seymour Johnson in '68 with the 336th FTR SQDRN, 4th TAC FTR WG and still have Sparrow III bites to prove it. In late '69 I went to Tan Son Nhut and crewed RF4C's with the 16th TAC RECON SQDRN. Still by far the best multi purpose aircraft built.
John Joss, e-mail, 09.09.2010 22:16
After many happy hours as a photojournalist in the back of the Blue Angels' F-4Ns at El Centro, introduced by J.D. (max departure) Davis, plus time with #3, Kevin ('KO') O'Mara and #5, the late, great Skip Umstead) and with VMFA-531 (the Red Devils) at MCAS Kanehoe in Hawaii (thanks, again, KO), I can attest to the magnificent performance. Nothing like two J-79s on 'burner, eh! For those who like to see traps performed perfectly, I recommend going to Google or YouTube and keying in 'aircraft carrier deck landing Buccaneer' and watch the first F-4K trap on ARK ROYAL: constant descent rate, no throttle antics, three wire. The R.A.F. pilots in the Buccaneer were not quite up to speed, wouldn't fly the ball, did too much deck spotting and flew a lot of bolters in perfection sea conditions. Check it out.
Woody Baldwin, e-mail, 08.09.2010 19:17
ADJ overhaul and maintanence w/ the Fighting VF-84 Jolly Rogers. Made the last Med. cruse on the "Rusty Rosy" USS F D Rosavelt(mispelled) in '75 with the F-4..Awesome times with a awesome plane and a more awesome crew
Rick "DZ" Dziobecki, e-mail, 04.09.2010 16:18
Proud to have Phixed the Phabulous Phucking Phantoms for nearly all of my 26yrs in Uncle Sam's Phlying Circus.
EWtech81to01, e-mail, 30.08.2010 07:22
I got to work E's and G's at Spangdahlem, GE from 86 to 89 as an Electronic Warfare tech out of the CRS squadron's Radar Homing and Warning Sys shop. Then about 5 yrs later, I got assigned to Nellis AFB, NV and worked the flightline for the last of the Weassls before they were decom'd a year or so later. Lots of memories! A fun aircraft to work! I recall having to boresight the RHAW system and doing to cable line tests as well. Lots of challenging experiences.
steve le chot, e-mail, 25.08.2010 21:31
My first love! Worked C's,D's and E's at MacDill then Danang 1969-1972 again at Homestead as hydraulic tech. Mostly worked night's on her, sweated profusely, cussed alot but loved it all. I always enjoyed the power brake control valves and the mosquitos flying around. Seriously, one of the best aircraft ever made.
Fred T. Keith, e-mail, 25.08.2010 05:25
I was a parachute rigger on this great airplane. Started @4453 in 1967,to the 347th Yokota 68 to 72, then to Shaw with 363 Recee and then to 8th TFW Ubon 73-74 then back to the F-4 at 31st TFW Homestead until they left there,packed it seemed like thousands of those drag chutes everyday. Great air craft sure do miss seeing them.
STUART HILTON, e-mail, 24.08.2010 10:34
I was extremely fortunate to work as a R & D Engineer at RR from 1960-1966 and carry some of the design drawings from Derby to the British Admiralty for the UK Fleet Air Arm version of the Phantom aircraft. My eldest brother (Ken) was also senior Project Engineer on both the RB 211 and also the Conway (Vulcan/Victor Bomber). The white body this beatiful bomber streaking across the Derby skys makes it difficult to choose which was the love of my life - the Phantom or the Vulcan. Time has moved on and I now live in the USA but no experience will ever surpass my days in Derby working on the "Magic of the Name". (PS) Anyone seen the new DVD on the latest RR engines WOW
Howard Easterbrook, e-mail, 13.08.2010 12:41
I was stationed at Homestead from'74to'79.I crued 66382 an E model assigned to the 308th/31TFW. My bird was the last block 33 airframe made.A very good and dependable bird.She went to Iceland as a reserve bird then was sold to RoKAF.I sure hope she was never made into a drone.
Mike Solon - AKA J79 Engine, e-mail, 03.08.2010 16:12
I too liked and have a passion for the F4 Phantom and the J79 Engines that power it. The J79 gave me employment for 22 years in the Air Force and since my retirement here at GE Aviation. Still over 500 aircraft flying in foreign countries as of 2010.
hamed, e-mail, 23.06.2010 19:55
One questions can iranian work in USA AirForce or not please tell me no my E MAIL www.hamedgeraminejad@rocket mail.com
Hamed, e-mail, 23.06.2010 19:47
I'm iranian and i love piloting i will work in iranian air force on phantom aircraft i now iran has 70 or 75 phantom's in 1979 iran has 207 but naw has 75 and meny of them is E model and iranhas 3 of R model all of them is overall and has best. iranin phantom radar's range is 290km and D model's range of radar is 300km it's true iranian airforce best in1979 and naw has 12 F14& 30MiG29 &20Su24& 70F5 & 25 C130 it's very bad for iranian
Ricky Talbott, e-mail, 14.06.2010 22:07
To all U.S.A.F. Personel Need a Phantom fix ? I would like to extend an invitation to all to join your fellow airmen at airforce.togetherweserved.com . This is a web site for active duty & veterans & family only . My profile # 77475 come join us you may find some old freinds for sure old Phantom Phixers like my self !Hope to hear from any one !
Tom Erickson, e-mail, 06.06.2010 15:22
Is there anyone out there who saw an F4 from MAG 13 try to engage the wire at Chu Lai, gear not down, two tanks and racks still on, that broke the wire and caught fire from the trailing edge of the wings on back, lit burner and using the tanks as skids become airbourne again. He turned out towards the bay and the RIO and pilot both ejected over water and were picked up by choppers. I watched it from the top of an A-4E at the Mag 12 trim pad. Absolutely the most amazing aircraft feat and display of brute power I have ever seen. This occurred about July, 1968.
Clinton Biediger, MSgt, (ret), e-mail, 30.05.2010 18:53
I spent almost 11 years on the Phantom, started at Nellis in 1969 on an E model, 67-7331, Fighter Weapons School CC's acft. 2 Trips to Alaska, Eielson and Elmendorf and 3 years on the Kodak Killers at Bergstrom. Wish I'd been smart enough to stay on the bird when I could. I remember on one launch at Bergstrom, had an electrical problem, changed almost everything in the system w/o shutting down the engines. Finally made the flight with an on time TOT. If they could have found someplace else....almost anyplace else....for the battery in the C/D/E models, it would have definately helped. Hope to see the one that's being maintained by the private organization before it becomes too expensive to fly. My only regret is I never got a ride in one.
Keep 'em flying.
Hutch, e-mail, 10.05.2010 06:21
Trying to locate Dan Lucero worked A-10's at England AFB in the late 80's.
GARY, e-mail, 07.05.2010 19:05
NOISY,SMOKY,FAST,AND HAD GREAT WEAPONS CARRYING CAPACITY.THE F-4e WAS THE BEST "PHANTOM" VARIANT BECAUSE THE U.S.MILITARY ASKED THE GUYS AT MCDONNELL DOUGLAS TO INSTALL AN INTERNAL MOUNTED 20mm CANNON ON THE BRAND NEW F-4e.
Andy Sadowski, e-mail, 04.05.2010 22:28
The British Royal Navy had a carrier squadron of F4Ks (892 squadron) It operated from HMS Ark Royal which was much smaller than the USN carriers, as a result the F4K had an extendable nose leg to increase the angle of attack on carrier launch and get extra lift! I served on 892 squadron and the Ark Royal, would like to thank Cecil Fields air base in Florida and its golf course for a great time in 1973 when we visited for live Sparrow shoots.
Robert Anderson, e-mail, 02.04.2010 05:30
I served on a weapons loading crew from 11/66 thru 07/68 on the F4 C/Ds. My first service with them was with the 8th TFW at Ubon RTAFB, Thialand from 11/66 thru 09/67 with the 555TFS and the 433 TFS. I was then rotated Stateside to Davis-Monthan AFB and the 4457 Air Training Wing. I had the honor of serving with the Late Robin Olds and Chappy James in Thialand and to actually speak to both of them several times. In my estimation the F4 C/Ds were one of the best fighter bombers ever built.
Charlie (Dick) Lauer, e-mail, 30.03.2010 01:48
I worked on F-4's from early 64 to late 65 at Mac Dill, then at Cam Rahn Bay RVN 65 to 66.I loved working on it from day one.I worked on the RF-4C from 66 to 67 at Shaw AFB.You could always tell an F4 man by the scratches on his head, and back from the aux air doors,and drain tubes!
Kennetth Bennett, e-mail, 22.03.2010 23:23
Where can we find photos of other models? I notice the picture shown is an RF-4. I performed comm/nav maintenance on RF-4C's out of Shaw AFB, SC. from 1977-79.
Rick, e-mail, 17.03.2010 03:34
Yes, Crew Chief
Rick Brown, e-mail, 17.03.2010 03:32
Depends on how much fuel is left in Cells 5 & 6 to answer your question accurately. If neither the electric nor hydraulic transfer pumps get all the fuel forward during flight, when you walk on the back of the aircraft, you can get the thing to stand on its tail. So I guess the answer is the distance it very short.
Bristol Bill Burnette, e-mail, 16.03.2010 03:27
3600 hours plus in the Rhino. Great Jet, great times.
Don Mau, e-mail, 07.03.2010 21:30
I was one of the original lucky 10 nav/ro's from Waco selected to set up training for the back seat pilots at McDill AFB, FL. As part of Pete Everest's 4453 Combat Crew Training Squadron, we converted the F-84 drivers from the 12th and 15th TFW's to F4C's, along with their back seat pilots, many of whom were former F101B ro's who had gone to pilot training to get out of the back seat. The training actually started in 18 F4B's we borrowed from the Navy until we got the first F4C's. It was great fun to take one to a static display and have a full armament load arrayed in front of the aircraft. The 4453rd eventually became a wing and moved to Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, where we trained replacement aircrews for many units throughout the world. I had about 2200 hours in the airplane and about 10,000 in the F4 simulator, which was very advanced for it's time. After a tour at Udorn, I was fortunate enough to land a flight acceptance job at McDonnell in St Louis, so I got to fly every model but the Navy J and the British airplanes. When I left there in 76 the 5000 copy had rolled off the line.
Dominick Fanelli, e-mail, 05.03.2010 04:39
Crewed this jet in Viet Nam in 1966, it was one heck of a jet. they came back from missions with more bullet holes the Swiss cheese.And Not having a internal gun was one big mistake.
gary sutton, e-mail, 02.03.2010 10:49
You can keep your F 16's and Typhoons the phantom was what a jet fighter should be. Hope the greek and turkish airforces keep bringing them to the RIAT at RAF Fairford and keep letting us sit in them !!Best jet ever to fly love them.
Don Kisamore CMSGT, USAF Retir, e-mail, 26.02.2010 03:31
I have to throw in my two cents. Crewed F4Cs in Viet Nam's 12th TFW, and more of them,(Ds and Es) at Seymour Johnson, then on to more Cs,Ds and Es in Germany. Later met up with some Ds and Es in Iran while on TAFT team in '75& '76. The external tanks are 370 gallons each, and they used to install a door on empty napalm cans to haul golf clubs and pilot's luggage. While in Korea, on the Pueblo thrash, we made a 600-gal centerline tank into a baggage pod to haul stuff back from Japan, including a miniature Honda motorcycle. This was Wing/CC Chuck Yeager's 4th TFW out of SJAFB. All in all, I spent almost ten years on the Phantom, and have the scars on my back from missile fins and bomb arming wires to prove it. We called them "Phantom love bites".
Engine Eddie, e-mail, 21.02.2010 08:31
Was fortunate to be 33rd pilot to live through more than 200 combat missions in F4B from aircraft carriers Enterprise and Constellation 1965-1967, was flying fighter escort right next to LtCdr John McCain when he was shot down by 1 of 14 SAMS shot at us in less than 5 minutes.
Earl Mundy, e-mail, 21.02.2010 00:10
My first job out of engineering school was with McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis. I cut my teeth working on the wing trailing edge and later the forward fuselage structures. I want to tell you what a dedicated hard working bunch of folks built these airplanes. We worked 48 to 60 hours a week to make sure we met delivery schedules. I am still proud of my small role in delivering one of the best fighters aver to fly.
Vic Jeffers, e-mail, 20.02.2010 20:37
The F4 was a great aircraft, with plenty of power from the J79 GE engines. Worked F4s at Shaw AFB 1965&66,Udorn RTAFB 1966&67, Eglin AFB 1967to69 and was FTD Jet Engine Master Instrucor from 1975 to 1982 at Seymour Johnson AFB,FTD 205 on the J79 engine, taught F4 engine mech's from Israel,Jordan,Saudi Arabia and Iran. Had the pleasure of working on Col, Robin Olds and Col Chappie James F4s.
Dick Mansfield, e-mail, 17.02.2010 19:59
Vietnam 1965-1966, CVAN-65, VF-92 Great airplane except for turning radius at altitude. Sparrow performance was poor, but sidewinders were OK. Retired in '71.
Bill Ayers, e-mail, 14.02.2010 06:47
Use to refuel them at Bergstrom AFB in the early 70's. Loved watching them take off in the late sunset, what a sight.
Bobby Thrower, e-mail, 09.02.2010 01:27
While in Air Force - worked on C's @ D's at Bentwaters, Eng. Good plane. Only trouble was the ground troops. They really didn't care and it really showed with the maintenance troubles.
Lance Grace, e-mail, 02.02.2010 06:22
Had to get my name in here right next to Bater's. First met him in an F-4E at Hahn in 82, then at Edwards in 85 in all kinds of F-4s, then in 89 at Holloman in other fighters. Expereienced my first departure in an F-4 with Rick, but that's a long story. I last flew my personal F-4D in 2003 flying with BAE Systems out of Mojave. When I would stop by some Air Force base for fuel, the old men would come out just to touch the plane once again. As one of the last three American pilots who were current in air refueling, I went over to Egypt and ferried back a handfull of F-4E models that had been sitting in the sand for a number of years. Some great stories go with those trips. The old boomers just loved being able to give us fuel while the young boomers were afraid of us, having heard too many bar stories through the years. As a test pilot, I had the opportunity to fly lots of airplanes including very modern ones. But there is a special place in my heart for the Rhino!
Rick Bates, e-mail, 01.02.2010 17:22
Correction to my typo on previous. I have one less landing than takeoff.
Rick Bates, e-mail, 01.02.2010 17:11
She was/is a "Lovely Beast". I have about 2500 hours in the C,D,E,Thunderbird E,F,and RF. Havew flown lots of others from the FG-86 and F100 to the F-15 and 16. It's still my favorite. Flew it in combat as a WSO in VietNam, as a front seater in the US an USAFE. She didn't do any one thing better than wvewryone elsae but she did so much so good. I flew air to air, air to mud, fast fac, laser bombs...you name it. The engines were her heart, she proved the aerodynamic theory that we could get the Pentagon supersonic with big enough engines. She was sure stout. I have one landing tghan takeoff thanks to the north Vietnamese.
Joseph Parker, e-mail, 30.01.2010 20:48
As a child of an Air Force doctor I lived on Clark Air Base from '67 to '69 and I used to love the camo'ed beasts flying overhead. Little did I know that a few years later I would be loading bombs and missles on the same birds. I was an AO in VF-151 on the USS Midway for two years and had a ball loading those things. For those of you who have not seen the photos of it, look up "USS Midway shipwreck" and see the photos. We were turning the "Alert 5", fully load with Sidewinders and Sparrows when this ship collides with us. The ships name was the Cactus and you should see what it did to the Phantoms on deck. Luckly, myself and another squadron mate pulled out the pilot and rio before the plane might have slipped off the deck. The damage was amazing but they actually sent the birds off to get repaired. What a plane... One of the best to ever fly!!!
William J. Griffin, e-mail, 27.01.2010 00:22
I flew 110 combat missions out of Chu Lai in F4B & F4D's. This bird is the "Rolls royce of fighter aviation. If you missed the 500knot breaks at Chu Lai and the whistle of the Phantom you haven't lived!
Buck Seibert, e-mail, 22.01.2010 05:08
Air Force here. 4453rd Combat Crew Training Wing 62-66. MacDill and Davis-Monthan. We were the first AF Wing to go operational with the F-4. Actually started with 29 F-4Bs on loan from the Navy. I am an Air Force trained jet engine mechanic plus 33 years testing Development Engines at GE Evendale. I've been retired for 8 years.
AL, 22.01.2010 02:45
Anyone here stationed at Macdill in '63 to '66? That was my home base for 4 years, with a TDY to Clark AB, Ramney, P.R. and Rygge in Norway, all in 1965. I love the F-4. (First squadron to get them from the Navy...F-4B's) AL
Jeff, e-mail, 18.01.2010 17:41
The first jet I ever crewed was the E model at Homestead, 1979. We got the D models in after our E's were sold to Egypt. I loved crewing the D. Bless them hydraulic wing folds! Besides the great guys I worked with, such as Wes Coles, other notables were the 31st Vice, Col. Eugene Fischer, my pilot was Jeff (Fang) Feinstein (last USAF ACE), our 307th CC was Lt. Col Anderson (i believe)later lost in the massive loss with the Thunderbirds (?).
After a tour at Griffiss I went back to E models at Keflavik Iceland in Feb 1983 where i became run certified. When the 57th deployed back to the US for the first time in years I stayed at Keflavik as a liason for the two units that came in for two weeks each to pull our alert commitment. I remember one was the Rainbow Guard out of NY but I don't remember who the other unit was. I left the Kef in Sept 84, after having temp. reunited with Wes Coles again, who was returning to Keflavik after having been there for the transition from C's to E's and would now be there for the transition from E's to F-15s I heard.
Gary Eubanks, e-mail, 16.01.2010 09:28
TAKES A LICKIN'AND KEEPS ON TICKIN'
I was assigned combat camera to 192 TRG Nevada ANG. We were a recce outfit and were using F-101 H/B's when I got in and RF-4C's at the end. Great new concept of a war story about a Phantom "battle damage" absorption and definitive OJT for a back seater. (navigator) Bird is buzzing a big desert lake (unofficial SOP) at 450kts. Bird meets big bird in form of rare white species of pelican which is WAY bigger than the little brown ones in the Atlantic. Equation is:45,000# bird (fast) vs 20# bird (slow)-mass x velocity= energy, squared. Bird plays kissy face with pilot (thank God for visors) after bull's eye hit in center plexi. Pilot out like a light, front cockpit (thanks MD guys for partition between seats) spray paints everything with blood, guts, "stuff" and feathers. Navigator now pilot in charge, could'nt punch out because pilot had inertia reels unlocked and he's hanging way forward and would'nt have survived the G load of the E-seat. Forward vision left a lot to be desired but low time nav greases them in for a perfect landing. Any of you Phantom jocks ever practice landing from the back seat looking through a soda straw with the top down? Since the endangered species bird committed suicide by Phantom, no apology to US Wildlife Dept. Unit sent to the Gulf War with something the guys in 'Nam would have killed for; GE finally figured out how to stop the J-79's from smoking. Our guys took all the pictures of the good stuff in Baghdad, we all saw it totally blown to hell on TV. To Paul Gettinger- yes everybody and his brother and kids just had to have a "Spook" patch and I've still got one on my old MA-1 jacket. To Luis- if you don't like (love) this airplane you never strapped one on. The best seat at a race track is in the lead car, same thing with Phantoms. (well, maybe sex applies too)
Paul Gettinger, e-mail, 15.01.2010 02:21
After my discharged from the AF I went to work at McDonnell Aircraft for 42 years. I cut my baby teeth on the F4 Phantom II. Later I accepted a job as Tech Rep and worked side by side with the military at such bases as George, Bergstrom and Eglin. During this time I deployed to Saigon, (Tan Sun Nuht) Viet Nam when SOD McNamara ordered the first deployment of the RF-4C's to Viet Nam. That was a very exciting tour. Second tour was to Udorn (1969) The F-4 was 50 yeaars old in 08 (1958-2008) and do any of you F-4 buffs remember the "Spook" patch? The Phantom was a great aircraft, but working with the military folks were even greater. Sadly I left the Phantom and spent the next 25 years with the F-15 Eagle, another great aircraft.
CMSgt Mike Jacobssen, e-mail, 11.01.2010 14:17
I crewed C's at D-M in 69, Ds at Phu Cat 69-70, Es on the Thunderbirds 72 and 73, and Ds and Es again with 301st FW (Reserves) in the 1980s. Flew a phinal phlight (retirement ride) in QF-4E (74-1626) this past Oct (29th) at Holloman. Loved that ole beast!
T Schott, 07.01.2010 20:17
After accumulating over 23,000 hours in many different aircraft, including 5 supersonic fighters, the F-4 still moves my heart strings. I flew many different Navy models during the 10 years that I flew the Phantom all over the world, from land and sea. Although not a particulaly easy aircraft to fly it had abundant qualities of power and speed. In the hands of a highly capable pilot, that employed it properly, the F-4 was always a force to held it's own and more. During a fighter derby that consisted of newer generaion fighters I saw the F-4 barely miss first place,on the last day of competition while flying against 7 other squadrons in an extremely high level of competition. Of course the crews flying the F-4's were highly experienced reserve pilots flying against active duty pilots with mixed experience levels. It was shown once again that man is the dominant factor in air combat. I loved the power..From a standstill to 400 kias at the other end of the runway or from sea level to 35,000 feet, 60 seconds ... that was a thrill.
martin waldman, e-mail, 07.01.2010 20:09
Went to korat ab in 1968 with the first f-4e from Eglin A.F.B. Florida.
Paul Perry, e-mail, 03.01.2010 19:16
I WAS A MUNITIONS SPECIALIST ON THE F4C,D,AND E MODELS. STARTED AT HOMESTEAD AFB IN 1968 TO UDORN IN 1973. IT WAS A GREAT WORKHORSE. HARD TO WORK ON SOMETIMES BUT MADE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE A MECHANIC.SOME LATE NIGHT REPAIRS WITH A GREAT DAYS OR`S. IT WOULD STAY FIXED FOR A LONG TIME WHEN FIXED RIGHT. MANY LOX AIR DOOR PHANTOM BITES. I WILL NEVER FORGER THE PLANE I WAS WEENED ON. RET.OCT. 1988
Sam Herron, e-mail, 03.12.2009 02:15
I checked out in the RF-4C at Bergstrom AFB, was in the initial cadre of the 14th TRS. Flew one to Udorn Thailand, then transferred to 11th TRS and flew 100 counters in '67 and'68. A good, stable aircraft that would really move out, thankfully.
David Allen, e-mail, 14.10.2009 01:55
I worked the F4Js in the Squadron pictured above, VF-74 aboard the USS America (CV-66) West Pac Viet Nam 72-73 and on the USS Forrestal (CCV-59) 1974 MED cruise. I can say without a doubt that these aircraft could take a beating and kept on doing their job. This was one heck of a work horse in Viet Nam, I worked on the flight deck and seen a lot of things happen to the F4Js and again they brought the flight crews back home through it all, plus they delivered their ordnance to the targets.
Carter Clark, e-mail, 06.10.2009 22:19
I'm looking for the same info as sumbal was back in 2006. What's the center of gravity form the nose and what is the center of mass? I'm putting one on a pedestal for a veterans memorial
James Hathorn, e-mail, 28.09.2009 22:29
After 42 years I still feel the thunder of my birds burning down the psp at Cam Ranh Bay (1966-1968). Then the test ops straight up at over mach I at McDill before discharge. Went to college for degree to get USAF commission... graduated too old to fly. Oh, well. Magnificant flying machines F4C-F. Weapons Control System Mechanic USAF 1966-1969.
Sam Lassiter, e-mail, 23.07.2009 04:28
Was with the 431st at Homestead with the E models in '71/72, then the D model in the 479th (13th Panther Pack)in Udorn, Thailand, in '72/73. Got to do two FCFs for rudder actuator changes (I was a crew chief). Bought a Super 8mm movie camera (no sound) while was in Udorn and filmed a lot - I put together an awesome DVD summarizing my tour at Udorn and put music to it - precious memories!
d.jay, 04.07.2009 13:06
One of the greatest war planes of all time but not realy a good fighter more of a supersonic missile base.Only the high skill of U.S. and Isrealy crew and the poor skill of North Vietnamise and Arab pilots made this plane efective in air to air combat.But it made up by having a good range and being a good strike plane.
David Cook, 22.06.2009 21:12
Oh yeah, and the RF-4C at Kadena 1981-1985.
David Cook, 22.06.2009 21:09
Worked on F-4E's at Homestead AFB, Udorn, Clark AB - 1971-1973 1975-1979 and F-D's at Ubon 1973-74.
A real pain to work on but they were an honest jet. When they were fixed they stayed that way. Got my share of Phantom bites!
J Kelly, e-mail, 12.04.2009 18:39
I have to say, im british and you'd think my fav plane would be the spitfire or concorde or something. But no, its the F4E. It seems such a shame that the us are using them as target drones. At the very least, they should keep a couple flying as a tribute to vietnam. Does the USAF have anything like the battle of britian memorial flight or do they leave that to the CAF? Like the german tiger tank, it really looks the part - big bad and ugly, like a tank/warplane should.
leo rudnicki, e-mail, 07.04.2009 18:56
When Dean Martin's son died in this machine, there was mention of a handling quirk indigenous to the design which was never specified.Is there someone," a Deep Throat" out there who can reveal or hint at the truth?
Harry DoBell, CDR USNR, e-mail, 28.10.2008 21:18
As a RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) in squadron VF-151 Embarked aboard the Coral Sea CVA -43 I completed 101 combat missions starting in mid February, 1965 until Late October the same year. We received very little classroom air to air training, mostly arranged between pilots off the shore of San Diego, with experienced pilots training new pilots. Our first strike missions in North Vietnam we used the same race track pattern that we used in training at bombing ranges. That didn't last long. The migs didn't come up to chalenge us until we bombed the Kep Railroad bridge north of Kep. Our squadron, LCDR Dan Macintire got one mig and a probable. The F4 couldn't turn but had power and speed. We had only missiles which did not have a good reliable performance. We were extended for 6 monyhs and completed the longest carrier cruise of 332 days. During ourcruise we lost many aircraft to combat and operational accidents. We had a small deck and over the 8-9 mos of combat operations we propably lost approximately 40% of our aircraft. We only had six killed and two captured. We were very lucky and had been in training for two years before going to Vietnam. VF-151 was a great squadron and Airgroup 15 was a great Airgroup. We wee somebody!
Luis, 06.09.2008 23:26
I don not really like this aircraft, and this site has a mistake: It says a crew of 1 not 2
Mark Cook, e-mail, 17.08.2008 04:55
I spent two years with the IIAF (Imperial Iranian Air Force) flying the slatted wing F-4E out of Mehrabad AB, Tehran, Iran. I was Chief of Operations for the MAAG. We rode out to the airplanes in a Russian made truck; it loved to overheat in the desert climate. The Iranian pilots were afraid to enter the clouds when they flew. So we got to fly on the bad days and it scared the devilout of them. A close friend, another US Air Force Colonel, was assasinated in the streets of Tehran while I was there...the year 1975. I guess that was about the start of our war with the Muslims. I have some very unpleasant memories of that tour of duty, so I'll say no more.
steven jump, e-mail, 08.07.2008 13:43
as part of the 31st TAC Fighter Wing, Homestead AFB,Fl if memory serves me correctly we had about 70 or 80 D models stationed there. maybe three or four E models. but i sure did love refueling these planes. fuel specialist in POL. STILL my favorite fighter aircraft.
stephen russell, e-mail, 15.06.2008 04:28
Sat in mock F4 cockpit on the USS Midway-midway.org. It was some Insturment procedures Training Sim Cockpit. See USS Midway in San Diego CA.
Steve Sixsmith, e-mail, 30.05.2008 18:04
I did Weapons Control (32251P)on Cs, Ds, and Es at George AFB (1967-70). To Jim Brennan's comment regarding drop tanks being converted to carry luggage, etc., I recall opening many a radome and pinning the antenna so the crew had a place to carry their golf clubs when they were off to a weekend extra section of flying for "training." Love the Phantom !
Dan Lucero, e-mail, 27.05.2008 19:44
I was a "weapons troop" in the Air Force for 22 years. I worked on the F-4C and F-4D at Spangahlem AB, Germany. I worked on the F-4E (my favorite) at Seymour Johnson AFB, NC. Although my career included the F-111D, OV-10, F-5, A-10, and B-1B, the F-4 was, and always will be, my favorite. Even though replacing an aft Aero-7/A missile launcher could try your patience, and replacing the Armament Control Relay Panel was the worst job in the world, I wouldn't trade the "Bent Winged Beauty" for anything, no matter how high tech. My only regret is that I didn't get to see the F-4 perform as the Thunderbirds. I bet that was magnificent!
Jorge Machado, e-mail, 16.05.2008 09:34
The "thing" the Phantom needed most, in the Vietnam war, were better trained pilots. The performance of US pilots left a lot to be desired, in that regard. See, iranian pilots shot down at least 81 iraqi fighters, including 2 Mig 25's, if I remember it correctly. Yeah, it just doesn't maneuver like a Mig 19, and it might have it´s problems, but it's just a hell of a fighter. Long live to the "Smoker"!!!
Ken Langford, e-mail, 15.05.2008 02:56
I flew the F-4B, F-4N, F-4J and F-4S for over 2500 flight hours and still marvel at the F-4S. Surely the Phantom will go down in annals of airplane history as one of the greatest engine to aiframe mates of all time.
Jim Brennan, e-mail, 11.05.2008 19:16
External wing tank capacity was 370 gallons. When modified by talented sheet-metal fabrication specialists they served as roomy "travel pods" -- held lots of luggage and shopping spree treasures. Fond memories!
Butch Owens, 09.05.2008 06:50
Worked several different models of the F-4 at Homestead AFB, FL and Udorn RTAFB, Thailand 1971 - 1973. What a nightmare to maintain but what a nightmare for MIGS when in the hands of pilots like Duke Cunningham and Steve Richey. Probably the most feared aircraft by enemy forces in history.
Jeff Weber, e-mail, 28.04.2008 20:46
I worked on C&D models' Weapons Control Systems (radar, gunsight, bombing systems, AIM-7 guidance) while in Korea, Thailand and various US bases.
The two wing tanks shown in most pictures were 270 USgal each and both would emptied during normal takeoffs. With battle loading they would take off with almost dry tanks so they could get enough bomb weight into the air and hit a tanker ASAP.
They were built like tanks to take the pounding of carrier landings. You'll never see wrinkles in an F4.
Because of the mods required to convert them to a 'jack of all trades' they were a bitch to work on. There was always something in the way.
There are many critical comments about how poorly it flew. It was never built or designed to be fighter. It was a fleet interceptor, just like the F14 was. Thus, handling wasn't a priority, speed in a straight line was, along with weapons. It's strongest asset was its big engines. To say 'it seemed' to need a gun is a wild understatement and a very dumb omission by the McNamara boys. But don't get me started about those guys...
Matt Feiertag, e-mail, 26.04.2008 00:07
All versions of the F/RF-4 had a crew of 2, not 1.
Marv Garrison, e-mail, 02.04.2008 19:44
This is a wonderful aircraft. I flew the F4B, F4J,F4D, F4E, and RF4B with the Marine Corps/Air Force. I have the same number of take-offs as landings.
SCOTT DAMMANN, e-mail, 03.11.2007 00:42
I THINK THE F4 WAS ONE OF THE GREAT FIGHTER BOMBERS FROM VIETNAM TO IRAQ THE LATE ROBERT OLDS ONE OF THE GREAT ACES OF THE VIETNAM WAR BUT WHY IS THE US MILITARY IS USE THE F4 AS PIOLTS TARGET DRONE ON WHERE THE PHANTOM BELONGS IN MUSEUMS IN SEND OF GONE DOWN IN FLAMES OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO I WENT TO AND NUMBER OF AIR SHOWS AT MC GUIER AFB IN NEW JERSY BACK IN 1982 WHEN I SAW A FOUR SHIP OF F4D FROM THE 141FIS AND ON THE INTREPID IN NEW YORK CITY THEN IN 1989 MY LAST FEW AIR SHOWS BUT INTILL 1992 WHEN THE 141ST WENT FROM THE F4D TO THE F4E ONE OF THE BEST VERSON OF MC DONNELL DOUGLAS F4 PHANTOM II BUT STILL THE ONE AMERICAN ICONS OF THE COLD WAR WILL ALAWYS BE THE LEGEND F4
sumbal, e-mail, 30.11.2006 10:09
theres a question , what is the length between the center of gravity of main wing and the center of gravity of the tail wing (horizontal stablizer)? plz reply
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