I thought you [bumped the stick] with your knee.’” The aircraft were also aging rapidly; ground aborts became common and Thompson’s unit departed Bergstrom with 20 airplanes to ensure 12 of them stayed airborne long enough to reach Aviano Air Base in Italy. “They wanted to get a MiG, so we were like trolling for them,” he said. Dan made a great tape recording of a mission north of Hanoi during which he and Gary Retterbush had a spoofed SAM launched at them while they were attacked by two MiG-21s from low and behind that each fired two Atoll heat seeking missiles at them. No fewer than 11 US Marine Corps (USMC) squadrons flew versions of the F-4 Phantom II in Southeast Asia from May 1965 through to early 1973. 2nd row standing:  Bill Mikkelson, Jack Caputo, 2nd row sitting:  Don Vogt, Mike Nelson, Jim Pinckley, Jim Sumner, Back row from the left:  Sol Ratner, Gary Retterbush, Charlie Cox, Jeff Pritchard, Dan Silvas, Biff Strom, Ray “Howie” Howington, Jeff Musfeldt, Phil Lehman, Dave Lowder, Phil Winkler, Carl Scheidegg, Jack Storck, Cliff Young. F-4 Phantom (USAF) Gallery On November 3, 1972, the 307th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing returned home to Homestead Air Force Base, Florida. Add to Cart ... Amazon Photos Unlimited Photo Storage Free With Prime: Prime Video Direct Video Distribution Made Easy : Bob Jasperson (2nd), Lt. Ed Askins (3rd), Lt. Phil Lehman (4th), Lt. Jim Sumner (5th), Capt. “The RF-4 was perfect for its time,” Peksens said. This Phantom is operated by the 82d Aerial Targets Squadron (82 ATRS). The missile had a warhead that weighed 195 kg (130 kg of which is high explosive) and could detonate via proximity (when it got as close as it was going to get), contact and command fusing. Most trail missions were at night, when many aircrew admitted they often didn’t live up to the “unafraid” part of their motto. Lance Peter Sijan was a United States Air Force officer and F-4 fighter pilot. One day in 1972 Kenny’s brother talked to my class about his experience as a slow forward air controller flying the O-2 Skymaster in southeast Asia. We both survived the incident for which I am grateful.”. I finally called out “Mr. $4.94. The backseater who ejected from this F-4 is a pilot named Kenny Boone. For units not operating near an airfield or helicopter landing zone, parachute-equipped canisters containing photos or duplicate negatives were dropped via a tube attached to the side of a “Blue Canoe” U-3 (militarized Cessna 310). Wolfe spent a lot of time researching “The Right Stuff” by hanging out with fighter pilots on Air Force and Navy bases. A few minutes later the fire light went out. The frontseater recovered the airplane and landed it after Kenny departed. Nearing the actual target, they descended to 3,500 feet, staying above .50-caliber machine gun range. Read Gary Retterbush’s article on his MiG kills called “Gary Retterbush 2 – North Vietnamese Air Force 0.”. All F-4 variants experienced frequent hydraulic system failures. I grabbed a volume of bound magazines off the shelf and thumbed through it. Kenny is the only instructor pilot I remember from my F-4 RTU. Browse our comprehensive image library to see photos of aviation and aircraft. It was a hangar queen for one and a half years.”. Bill Tuttle (6th), Capt. On April 5, 1972, 35th TFS crews began flying combat missions from Ubon Air Base, Thailand. I have 150 aircraft carrier landings and thought I could easily make and arrested landing on the runway. Roger Locher got their first of three MiG kills. He had recently finished his FAC tour and returned to the U.S. However, crews often couldn’t take full advantage of that speediness during missions over North Vietnam—flying above 480 knots made navigation harder, increased fuel consumption and the increased turn radius made threat evasion maneuvers less effective. Al Crane, who ran a PPIF at Tan Son Nhut, recalled that ground units sometimes wanted to do their own interpretation, so film was flown to U.S. Army and allied Republic of Korea and Aus­tralian units. The following table lists the members of the 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron who were credited with MiG kills during the time we were TDY to Korat Air Base, Thailand, in the summer and fall of 1972. Tom said that his research showed that most fighter pilots were white Anglo Saxon protestants who were first born sons. To subscribe,Click here! That tail number sounded familiar, and on checking my logbook I discovered I flew several hours in 64-1004 after it wound up at Edwards. I searched for the story on the net tonight, but only found references to it. When they made their kills, all of the aircrews were flying the F-4E with the internal 20MM six-barrel gatling gun. On May 11, 1972, General Vogt, Commander of the 7th Air Force, cancelled all strike missions into North Vietnam and dedicated over 150 aircraft and USAF resources to rescuing one American. Alan Chase, who flew the photo Phantom at Udorn in 1968-’69, remembered an engine failure over northern Laos, but said the return to base “was a non-event….If I’d been up there in a single-engine airplane I’d still be up there.”, Even when it couldn’t outrun everything, the RF-4C’s overall ruggedness saved lives. Retired U.S. Air Force officer Eileen Bjorkman is a freelance writer and author of The Propeller Under the Bed: A Personal History of Homebuilt Aircraft. “We usually never even saw them because they were up high trying to save fuel in case they got to jump a MiG.”, For the most dangerous RF-4C mission, dubbed “Barrel,” crews flew through a section of North Vietnam called Route Pack 6A on their way to targets in Hanoi. The SA-2 SAM was a 32 foot long flying supersonic telephone pole. After that, he said, “Flying along the DMZ, the threat scope all lit up to the north.”. A last-minute change in target put him 45 minutes behind schedule, enough time for North Vietnamese radars to cool down and restart from an earlier strike. Vietnam War U.S. Navy F4 Phantom On Attack Near Saigon 1969 Glossy 8x10 Photo. While American F-4 Phantom IIs were much more technologically advanced, they were still less maneuverable within the parameters of a close-in dogfight than a MiG-21 or the older MiG-19, also flown by the VPAF. Select from premium F4 Phantom Photos of the highest quality. “The greatest relief I ever felt in my life was when that tail hook grabbed the wire.” Both pilot and airplane lived to fly another day. WSO Randy Sprouse said he took off from Aviano for an exercise with the U.S. Navy, and an F-14 Tomcat began trailing the RF-4C as they refueled. It first entered service in 1961 with the Navy. (Courtesy Brig. It caught on fire and I jumped out safely. The aircrew then arrived to help photo interpreters align film images with error-laden maps. Her second book, Unforgotten in the Gulf of Tonkin, will be published in 2020. In Vietnam, the primary mission of these Pave Phantom F-4Ds was the seeding of the Ho Chi Minh trail with sensors, which required the precise nighttime navigational capability provided by LORAN. VMFA-333 was the last regular Marine squadron to operate the F-4 Phantom but finally transferred to the F/A-18 Hornet in October 1987. John Grieve, who flew the Phantom in the 1970s, described the worst nightmare: a circuit breaker box underneath the rear ejection seat. A McDonnell RF-4C embarks on a photoreconnaissance mission over Southeast Asia in August 1971. “He ran the INS [inertial navigation system] and let you keep your head out of the cockpit more.”. U.S. Marine Corps F-4 Phantom II Units of the Vietnam War. After Vietnam, the Air Force transferred many RF-4Cs to the Air National Guard and some units picked up new missions, including drug interdiction and disaster relief. Designers expected the new airframe to have more drag than earlier models, but it turned out the RF-4C was fastest. Aug 16, 2020 - Explore James Lee's board "F-4 Phantom", followed by 150 people on Pinterest. We called back to Zweibrücken and pulled a detachment [of RF-4Cs] en route to the boneyard to help us with the first and last part of the OODA loop.”. “We thought maybe we had had a midair.” It wasn’t a midair: The trailing F-14 pilot had inadvertently launched an AIM-9 Side­winder air-to-air missile. 58 McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II HD Wallpapers and Background Images. During an August 1965 inspection, a general told Ransom’s squadron “how bad we were.” On October 27, 16th TRS pilots ferried nine airplanes to South­east Asia. I then said “I am a white Anglo Saxon protestant first born son who flew F-4s in Vietnam.” That got his attention. 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