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The Phantom is dead. Long live the Phantom.


danalog02
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This makes me sad. Some of the last of the active F-4 Phantoms in the world are being retired. It was inevitable, but 60 years since being designed and some airframes that are 50+ years old still flying? Not bad. I'd say only the B-52 and descendants of the UH-1 (Huey) have it beat in longevity. The Phantom is a special plane for me, being both an aircraft that my father maintained in the Navy and my grandfather flew in the Air Force. It has always reminded me of a muscle car, like a flying 1969 Camaro SS. The Phantom is dead. Long live the Phantom.
 
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Agree on the F-4 being the SS Camaro of aircraft. Though I'd have to go with '68. Never liked the straight line at the top of the wheel wells on the '69. Give me a 67 or 68 any day.

 

I was in a training school in the Navy and the better you did in the class the more likely you were to get your choice of duty station. I was 3rd in my class and said I wanted any F-14 squadron on the east coast....thinking the less specific the more likely it was to happen. I was assigned to VF-102 out of NAS Ocenana in Va. Beach, VA. Much to my disappointment it was deemed an F-4 Squadron, in all the literature at the Navy Intel School at Lowery Airforce Base in Colorado. Much to my delight when I arrived at VF-102 in Va Beach it was all Tomcats, baby!

 

Typical Navy very slow to update things. Still the F-4 was a workhorse and quite the cool looking jet.

 

Diamondback F-4

665eef4bbb8b493b8ae0907546b15b0a.jpg

 

 

Diamondback f-14

image057.jpg

 

 

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5 minutes ago, rplace said:

Agree on the F-4 being the SS Camaro of aircraft. Though I'd have to go with '68. Never liked the straight line at the top of the wheel wells on the '69. Give me a 67 or 68 any day.

 

I was in a training school in the Navy and the better you did in the class the more likely you were to get your choice of duty station. I was 3rd in my class and said I wanted any F-14 squadron on the east coast....thinking the less specific the more likely it was to happen. I was assigned to VF-102 out of NAS Ocenana in Va. Beach, VA. Much to my disappointment it was deemed an F-4 Squadron, in all the literature at the Navy Intel School at Lowery Airforce Base in Colorado. Much to my delight when I arrived at VF-102 in Va Beach it was all Tomcats, baby!

 

Typical Navy very slow to update things. Still the F-4 was a workhorse and quite the cool looking jet.

 

Diamondback F-4

665eef4bbb8b493b8ae0907546b15b0a.jpg

 

 

Diamondback f-14

image057.jpg

 

 

Nice! My dad was an ASM and I know he was at Oceania for awhile. He used to tell me a story about how a radar tech would jam a screwdriver in the landing gear safety switch so they could activate the radar in the nose of the Phantom to work on it. One day there was an E-nothing sent to get a bunch of fluorescent light bulbs and he's walking back with a huge armload. The tech told my dad "Watch." and he pointed the radar at the E-nothing and turned it on. All the light bulbs lit up in the guy's arms and he chucked them all in the air. They all imploded all over the floor. The next thing you know, you see this E-nothing attempting to explain to a non-believing, pissed-off chief that "I swear to God they all lit up in my arms!"

 

Dad was also a mechanic and door gunner for the HAL-3 Seawolves during Vietnam.

 

Thank you for your service. Long live the Tomcat!

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I was in VAW-115 and flew as a member of the AEW crew in the E-2B. The F4’s flying MIGCAP were a great security blanket for us when we were on AEW/Strike Control missions.

 

The last MIG shot down during the Vietnam War was downed on January 12, 1973 by an F4 from VF-161 attached to the USS Midway (CVA-41). Here is a picture I took of Phantom 102, the same F4 that shot down the last MIG, during recovery from a mission earlier during our 1972-73 cruise.

 

IMG_0012.thumb.jpg.d0ee250ca17ed2274e43ea798d41ba4f.jpg

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1 hour ago, danalog02 said:

Dad was also a mechanic and door gunner for the HAL-3 Seawolves during Vietnam

 

Saw a fantastic tv show about those guys, amazing! Fearless.

 

Funny story about the florescent lights:D. Thanks for sharing.

 

f68b20c88fb213b60c28bff88665ff33.jpg

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Just now, rplace said:

 

Saw a fantastic tv show about those guys, amazing! Fearless.

 

Funny story about the florescent lights:D. Thanks for sharing.

 

f68b20c88fb213b60c28bff88665ff33.jpg

Yeah, they just released a documentary called "Scramble the Seawolves" awhile back. I know they've shown it on PBS in most places. Cool fact - that's Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame as the narrator. That was awesome.

 

Maybe you can confirm this, but dad said that the hydraulic actuator used to raise and lower the Navy Phantoms' wing tips (to get them up and down the elevator) was not marked as to which side was which when installed...and you wouldn't know until you installed it and activated it as to whether it was on the up or down movement. This often resulted in having either the port or starboard side wingtip in the raised position, and the opposing side in the lowered position, looking like a person holding one arm straight up and the other straight out to the side. When you threw the switch, they'd reverse. It was funny to watch, as long as you weren't the mechanic who had to go back and fix it.

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Once lived in close proximity to the Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro and watched them fly the phantoms. They’d practice ‘touch-n-goes’ and jeesh those things were so loud and so low. We’d wave at the pilots...... none waved back, guessing they were busy.

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I was out at Tracor Mojave (now BAE I think) back in about 1998 working on a project.

 

There were maybe 20 Phantoms there, some in various stages of disassembly / reassembly, some sitting on the flightline, and a few in Tracor blue & white paint scheme.

 

Turns out they were doing QF-4 conversion on them. I was pretty sad when I figured that out.

 

Almost snagged a ride in “The Blue Barron”, named after a Tracor pilot that was killed during a flight. Couldn’t work out the insurance in time.

 

I’ll have to dig up and post some of my photos from that era.

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