The F-4 was designed in 1958 as a company venture by McDonnell Douglas to meet future needs and it turned into the greatest post World War II fighter ever built. Considered by some the fastest, most versatile and effective aircraft ever built. The F-4 was initially designed as an attack bomber without internal weapons. The Phantom carried a greater bomb load than a B-29, yet was an effective fighter shooting down 106 out of 137 Migs destroyed in the Vietnam War. Israel has used F-4’s in all of its major confrontations, at one time shooting down over 70 Syrian aircraft without a Phantom lost. The F-4E was flown by the US Air Force Demonstration team The Thunderbirds from 1969 through the mid 1970’s. F-4E’s were also flown as aircraft known as Wild Weasels and were active in the Persian Gulf War.
RF-4 recon aircraft have a longer nose order to carry optical, infrared and forward looking radar. Over twenty foreign countries have flown the F-4 as standard front line combat aircraft and the Phantom can match the latest designed fighters in almost every performance category.
More than 1,200 F-4’s have been stored at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) at Davis-Monthan AFB near Tucson, Arizona. Most of these stored aircraft will eventually be expended as target drones like the F-86’s, F-100’s, and F-102’s before them.
In 1962, the USAF began equipping the Tactical Air Command with the F-4C, similar to the U.S. Navy F-4B. In 1964, an improved version, the F-4D, was introduced. Large numbers of C and D Phantoms flew in Southeast Asia between 1966 and 1973.
This F-4C aircraft, serial number 63-7693, was manufactured by McDonnell Aircraft, St. Louis, Missouri, and delivered to the USAF on 1 Feb 1965. It has served with 8th TFW, 479th TFW, 431st TFS all at George AFB between 1965-1967; 8th TFW at Ubon, RTAFB, Thailand, in 1967; 366th TFW, Da Nang AB, South Vietnam, 1967; 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing, Luke AFB, AZ, in 1971; 1633rd TASG, Ontario AP, in 1982. This is one of the F-4’s flown by the late Capt Dean Paul Martin, USAF Reserves, who was killed in the crash of an F-4. He was the son of famed entertainer Dean Martin. This aircraft is on loan from the USAF.
According to the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA/RSA), Maxwell AFB, AL, the museum’s F-4C has the following history:
F-4C, s/n 63-7693, was manufactured by McDonnell Aircraft, St Louis, MO and delivered to the USAF on 1 Feb 1965. Its assignments were:
Feb 1965 - To 8th Tactical Fighter Wing (TAC), George AFB CA
Nov 1965 - To 479th Tactical Fighter Wing (TAC), George AFB CA
Apr 1966 - To 431st Tactical Fighter Squadron (TAC), George AFB CA
Feb 1967 - To 4525th Fighter Weapons Wing (TAC), Nellis AFB
12 May 67 - To 479th Tactical Fighter Wing (TAC), George AFB CA
30 May 67 - To 8th Tactical Fighter Wing (PACAF), Ubon RTAFB Thailand
Nov 1967 - To 366th Tactical Fignter Wing (PACAF), Da Nang AB SVN
Feb 1968 - To Ogden Air Materiel Area UT
Mar 1968 - To 4453rd Combat Crew Training Wing (TAC), Davis Monthan AFB AZ
Apr 1971 - To Ogden Air Materiel Area UT
Aug 1971 - To 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing (TAC), Luke AFB AZ
Apr 1977 - Unit becomes 58th Tactical Training Wing
Nov 1982 - To 163rd Tactical Air Support Group (ANG), Ontario AP CA
Mar 1984 - Unit (163rd Tactical Fighter Group) transfers to March AFB CA
May 1987 - Dropped from USAF inventory by transfer to museum or school.with total of 5,123 flight hours
By kjfitz @ 2007-03-11 21:54:32