f4 phantom photos vietnam
It was getting dark and the search and rescue guys told Kenny they could not rescue him until the morning. Image not available. Sir Francis Bacon, English philosopher, statesman, essayist (The Advancement of Learning). Although familiar with the legendary combat record of the F-4C, D and E, I knew little about the RF-4C’s mission beyond the tactical reconnaissance community’s mantra of “alone, unarmed and unafraid.”. RF-4C 64-1004 is now on display at the Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards. New airplanes arrived at Shaw almost every day, and Ransom picked up seven jets from the St. Louis factory, even signing for one because his higher-ranking instructor, an Australian exchange pilot, couldn’t. They got their third MiG on May 10, 1972, but were immediately shot down by an unseen MiG. In the hierarchy of flying, the jet fighter is the pinnacle, but aerial combat is the fighter pilot’s ultimate experience. F-4 Phantom II TD-622. The barely conscious pilot lowered the gear and flaps, but Dobberfuhl couldn’t tell if the tail hook was down. These are Richard Keyt’s pictures taken while he was a member of the 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron while TYD from Kunsan Air Base, Korea, to Korat Air Base, Thailand in 1972. Tom turned around and we had a lively discussion for an extended period of time about flying fighters. See Joe Lee Burn’s bigger version of the below picture with arrows going from the names to the people in the picture plus a list of guys in the squadron the day the picture was taken who missed the photo op. To get the best pictures, crews usually flew daytime missions over the North between 11,000 and 14,000 feet altitude, making the aircraft vulnerable to surface-to-air missiles: From SAM launch to possible impact was about 10 seconds. The picture includes the following 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron guys: Joe Lee Burns, Joe Moran and Charlie Cox. The frontseater recovered the airplane and landed it after Kenny departed. Kenny stayed atop the trees in his parachute harness all night. For more about Locher’s incredible story in his own words and Brig. Roger Locher got their first of three MiG kills. General Vogt spared no resource to save Roger Locher, but President Obama chose to ignore Ambassador Steven’s pleas because the President had to go to Las Vegas. [During the Polish Solidarity crisis in 1980-’81] we sent RF-4s from Zweibrücken [Air Base, in Germany] up into the Baltic Sea so any nation watching could see that the U.S. Air Force was there and interested…using soft power, showing a presence, where a fighter or bomber might have been too strong a signal.”, An RF-4C of the 14th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron spools up its engines at Udorn Air Base in Thailand in October 1972. Rudi Peksens said the aircraft “was useful not only for collecting intelligence but also for signaling to people who were watching. Major Lodge had told people that he would never become a prisoner of war. 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. But, I digress. Hill. Ransom still marvels, “A second lieutenant signed for a $3.5 million airplane!”, After training, Ransom moved to the 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (TRS) at Shaw, the first operational RF-4C squadron. For SAM defense, dispensers on the rear of the RF-4C ejected chaff to fool radar-guided missiles, and a radar-warning receiver flashed threats on cockpit displays, along with chirping in headsets. $4.94. U.S. Marine Corps F-4 Phantom II Units of the Vietnam War. $6.99. Nearing the actual target, they descended to 3,500 feet, staying above .50-caliber machine gun range. Charles “Hap” Arnold said his Guard unit in Ontario, Calif., helped with $15-20 million each year in drug seizures, often by using infrared cameras and flying at 500 feet above the ground at daybreak to look for marijuana in the high desert of Antelope Valley. A McDonnell RF-4C embarks on a photoreconnaissance mission over Southeast Asia in August 1971. “As soon as I turned in down the railroad [target], the sky lit up,” Ross recalled. When a strike escort carried only three Sparrows, it was because a single AIM-7 missile was replaced by an ALQ-119 jamming pod that jammed enemy SA-2 Guideline surface to air missile (“SAM”) radars. I then said “I am a white Anglo Saxon protestant first born son who flew F-4s in Vietnam.” That got his attention. Thus began the April Fool’s day deployment of the 35th TFS to Vietnam and Thailand to participate in the “Southeast Asia War Games” and Operation Linebacker I. I called for help for Kenny and headed back for Thailand where we were stationed. “They wanted to get a MiG, so we were like trolling for them,” he said. Lord George Byron, English romantic poet ("Lara," "Don Juan."). Copyright 2009 - 2017 Richard Keyt | All Rights Reserved, Articles by 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron Guys, Robin Olds, the Fighter Pilot’s Fighter Pilot, Roger Locher Kills a Mig, is Shot Down & Evades for 23 Days, Joe Lee Burns Shot Down over North Vietnam, Thank You Martin Baker – the F-4s Ejection Seat, General MacArthur’s Duty, Honor, Country Speech, President Lincoln’s Letter to Lydia Bixby, Major Sullivan Ballou’s Last Letter to His Wife, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas on Freedom, F-4 Hit by Flak Lands without Its Backseater, Sgt. “I have no idea why,” said Ross, “if the fire went out, or the wires burned through, or the bulb burned out,” but he managed to restart the engines and fly far enough over the water to spot an aircraft carrier, USS Intrepid. It was a hangar queen for one and a half years.”. On April 5, 1972, 35th TFS crews began flying combat missions from Ubon Air Base, Thailand. Tom also wrote a short story called “Jousting with Sam and Charlie, the Truest Sport.” It is about a Navy F-4 crew that took off from a US aircraft carrier and got shot down by a surface to air missile (a “SAM”). Both Ross and his backseater ejected and were picked up. | U.S. Air Force photo Ray Ross’ aircraft was hit by a SAM on November 17, 1965, during a mission he said was “suicide” to start with. Even without formal pilot training, several WSOs managed to land RF-4Cs after their pilots were injured. “It was before we had enough unmanned systems,” Peksens explained. On November 18, 1968, just six days after the first Wolf mission was flown out of the 8th TFW, Ubon RTAFB, Major Benjamin Ray Battle (433rd TFS) and 1st. A great clip showing the US Marine Corps F-4 Phantom in the Vietnam War. After communicating with 5th Air Force headquarters in Japan via the secure “walk-talk” teletype system, Colonel Goodman instituted the squadron’s silent recall procedure, which was designed to reduce the chances that nonessential personnel would know of the recall. Gen. Steve Richie’s story of the rescue read “Roger Locher Describes Shooting Down a MiG, Getting Shot Down by a MiG-19, Ejecting & Evading Capture on the Ground in North Vietnam for 23 Days.”. I distinctly remember 8 mm movies Kenny’s brother showed us taken during some of his FAC missions. These pictures were taken by members of the 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron while TYD from Kunsan Air Base, Korea, to DaNang Air Base, South Vietnam, and Korat Air Base, Thailand in 1972. 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.”. But the Phantom’s record in air-to-air combat over Vietnam — especially when compared to its successor, the F-15 Eagle, which has never been shot down … “He ran the INS [inertial navigation system] and let you keep your head out of the cockpit more.”. This is about the men of the 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron who achieved the ultimate fighter pilot dream, to engage and destroy an enemy MiG in aerial combat. It's December 1966, and a U.S. pilot is leading a squadron of six F-4 Phantoms on a dangerous bombing mission over North Vietnam. Tom Wolfe said that fighter pilots “have the right stuff” in his best selling book of the same name. The picture below is B flight of the 311 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron at Luke AFB 1972. 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. It was an orientation ride for Kenny as he was newly assigned to my unit. He was 200+ feet above the ground. Ask Joe Lee Burns or Gary Rettebush Why 8 Air to Air MiG Kills are Listed Lt. Robert Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Boone (497th TFS) while flying a 433rd TFS aircraft were hit in Southern Steel Tiger. Joey Hill was the crew chief of the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron‘s F-4D tail number 650784 on February 21, 1972, when Major Robert Lodge & Capt. The first production RF-4C flew in May 1964, as the Vietnam War was beginning to ramp up. While the aircrew debriefed operations and maintenance personnel, photo lab technicians developed the film in a darkroom. John Grieve, who flew the Phantom in the 1970s, described the worst nightmare: a circuit breaker box underneath the rear ejection seat. 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron in front of squadron building Kunsan Air Base, Korea, 1 Apr 72, 1st row: Mickey Wilbur, Charlie Sullivan, Ray Seymour, Ed Askins. Tom Wolfe gave a talk to the students about his book “The Right Stuff.” I attended and found it very interesting. If the MiGs got too close to the F-4 bombers, the bombers would be forced to jettison their bombs and take evasive action to avoid being shot down. Kenny’s airplane was hit by AAA while bombing the trail. D.W. [David Wark] Griffith, influential U.S. film director (The Birth of A Nation, Intolerance). After Tom finished the speech he came into the audience and talked to people and signed autographs. (U.S. Air Force). “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. Another post-Vietnam RF-4C upgrade was the Tactical Electronic Reconnaissance (TEREC) system, a pod loaded with radar detection equipment for locating SAM sites. I have 150 aircraft carrier landings and thought I could easily make and arrested landing on the runway. After that, he said, “Flying along the DMZ, the threat scope all lit up to the north.”. In 1987 an RF-4C had the dubious distinction of being one of a handful of U.S. aircraft shot down by friendly airplanes during peacetime. 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. Her second book, Unforgotten in the Gulf of Tonkin, will be published in 2020. Through the 1970s, the US Navy began replacing the F-4 with the new F-14 Tomcat. It caught on fire and I jumped out safely. A 37mm impacted the radome and entire radome was blown off. CREATIVE. 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. Lt. Lance Peter Sijan was a United States Air Force officer and F-4 fighter pilot. My squadron had a lot of members of the aerial combat fraternity because it was tasked with the strike escort mission in Route Pack VI. The radar guided missile could fly Mach 3.5 (three and one half times the speed of sound) and had a range of 25 miles and a maximum altitude of 60,000 feet. Tom spoke about a chapter he wrote for the book, but his editor didn’t let him put in the final version because it didn’t have anything to do with the rest of the book. Opens image gallery. Kenny landed in high trees in Laos. See Joe Lee Burn’s bigger version of the Da Nang AB picture of the 35th TFS guys with arrows going from the names to the people in the picture plus a list of guys in the squadron the day the picture was taken who missed the photo op. “The last 300 feet was pure luck,” he said. This feature originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Aviation History. by SEBASTIEN ROBLIN The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a legendary aircraft — an icon of the Vietnam War and the archetype of the third-generation jet fighter designs that entered service in the 1960s. “We got spurious inputs; the pilot wouldn’t command anything and there would be a little bit of a roll, and I’d say, ‘Hey, what are you doing up there?’ The pilot would say, ‘Nothing. The strike escort F-4s were the second line of defense if enemy MiGs got past the MiG CAP (combat air patrol) F-4s. F-4 Phantom 100 Missions Vietnam Patch Full Color. (Courtesy Brig. Click on the first photo to enlarge it. Most trail missions were at night, when many aircrew admitted they often didn’t live up to the “unafraid” part of their motto. Fred Vinson, Thirteenth Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The long-nose variant also became the basis for the later F-4E model. To subscribe,Click here! The U.S. Air Force initially funneled inexperienced pilots like Ransom into the rear cockpit as pilot systems operators, abbreviated PSO and pronounced “pay-so.” Training was not optimal: Poor rear-seat visibility disoriented many PSOs and made them airsick, and radar training took place on an ancient Boeing B-47 system, since early aircraft were delivered without full equipment. The photoreconnaissance version of the F-4 was critical to air power thinker John Boyd’s “OODA loop” for combat planning: observe, orient, decide, act and repeat. Gen. Rudi Peksens). 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. Pair of Vietnam-era F-4 Phantom jets perform the fly-by before the AAA Texas 500 on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. I felt at the time I was saving his life and I intended to eject after he did. Following Vietnam, the F-4 remained the principal aircraft for both the US Navy and USAF. Recommended to you based on your activity and what's popular • Feedback Photos taken by Richard Kruse, at Oshkosh in 2010. Designed to overcome the RF-101’s shortcomings, the RF-4C was a major overhaul from earlier F-4 models. On April 1, 1972, while members of the 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Kunsan Air Base, Korea, slept, an early morning phone call summoned USAF Colonel Tyler G. Goodman to the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing command post. Although pilots initially manned the rear cockpit, it didn’t take long for the Air Force to realize that weapon system officer (WSO) training cost about one-third that of pilots, and WSOs supplanted PSOs. “Two guys flew combat missions that day,” said Ransom. Here is the text of Lance’s Medal of Honor citation: “While on a flight over North Vietnam, Capt. “You can’t even get started on the OODA loop if you can’t observe,” said retired RF-4C pilot Brig. George Lippemeier (80th TFS) is mentioned on the page, but not named in the photo. Kenny heard the bad guys shooting and and acted as a tree-borne forward air controller. I searched for the story on the net tonight, but only found references to it. On September 16, 1969, during a mission over Laos, Gerry Dobberfuhl recounted: “Our cockpit exploded and I heard screaming from the front. A few weeks later, I was wasting time in the library. Official USAF Records Credit the 35 TFS with 6 MiG Kills. This Phantom is operated by the 82d Aerial Targets Squadron (82 ATRS). Wolfe,” but he did not turn around. Crew chief John Muhlig remembered a 1965 landing by aircraft serial no. The RF-4C photo Phantom collected valuable intelligence over Vietnam’s battlefields and beyond, flying “alone, unarmed and unafraid”, For me, the McDonnell RF-4C was just one model of aging Phantoms I flew as a backseat flight test engineer during the 1980s at Edwards Air Force Base. 58 McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II HD Wallpapers and Background Images. After attending Undergraduate Pilot Training at Reese Air Force Base, Lubbock, Texas, F-4 Replacement Training, Air Force Survival Training and Jungle Survival Training, he was assigned to the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron ‘Night Owls’, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing ‘Wolfpack’, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand in 1968 as a Weapons System Operator (WSO) aka Guy In Back (GIB) flying the F-4D, Phantom II. (U.S. Air Force), Kirk Ransom, fresh from pilot training, arrived at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina in September 1964 to train with the first cadre of RF-4C pilots. In the South, crews could use up to seven photoflashes, but Bruce Edwards said over the North they were limited to three, “because on the fourth flash, you were probably going to be occupying the same space as a bunch of AAA.” As a result, most night flights used less-detectable infrared cameras or side-looking radar to capture images. For prototypes, engineers lengthened the nose on two F-4Bs to accommodate advanced radar and camera systems: film, infrared and side-looking radar. He had recently finished his FAC tour and returned to the U.S. ), customize everything, and find and follow what you love. The aircraft slid down the runway and veered off to the right before fish-hooking to the right and stopping. I pulled the power off just as I touched down and the aircraft settled onto the wire cutting it. The F-4 Phantom II is perhaps the most famous post-war fighter. More than 5,000 of these heavy supersonic fighters were built, and hundreds continue to serve and even see combat in several air forces today. 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. by Peter E. Davies, Osprey Publishing, 2012. Most of the fighter pilots who flew into North Vietnam never engaged a MiG. TheWorldAirForce: Photo Post anything (from anywhere! About three miles from the target, the front seat pilot yanked into a 75-degree bank turn and then rolled out, held it for 15 seconds, then did another rapid turn and roll out, and then turned on the radar for one second to make the North Vietnamese think the aircraft was headed someplace else. When they made their kills, all of the aircrews were flying the F-4E with the internal 20MM six-barrel gatling gun. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines. The RF-4C photo Phantom collected valuable intelligence over Vietnam’s battlefields and beyond, flying “alone, unarmed and unafraid” For me, the McDonnell RF-4C was just one model of aging Phantoms I flew as a backseat flight test engineer during the 1980s at Edwards Air Force Base. We were at 4,000 feet and Kenny was flying the airplane when I heard an explosion, the aircraft shuddered and the front windscreen was covered in what turned out to be hydraulic fluid. Gave me a big overpressure, kind of pushed the airplane, a sudden jolt.” The overpressure apparently caused his right engine to stick in afterburner, but he shut it down and restarted it for a less eventful trip back to Thailand. My sensation was that the aircraft as out of control and I ordered Kenny to eject which he did. “The RF-4 was perfect for its time,” Peksens said. *Major Lucas was a 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron pilot. Ross shut down his engines and glided eastward toward the Gulf of Tonkin, planning to bail out at 5,000 feet, probably over enemy territory. Image ID: 372428 RF-4E Phantom II. 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. Wolfe spent a lot of time researching “The Right Stuff” by hanging out with fighter pilots on Air Force and Navy bases. The job of the strike escorts was to engage and destroy MiGs that threatened the strike force. Select from premium Navy F 4 Phantom of the highest quality. Some of the 35th TFS Guys Pose for a Group Photo in front of the Squadron Building Just Prior to Departing Kunsan AB, Korea, for Southeast Asia. Major Lodge elected not to eject because on that day Intel briefed the aircrews that their mission would take them deep into North Vietnam into an area where helicopter rescue was not possible. Richard Pirrello, a mechanic at Udorn, said RF-4Cs shot one million feet of film each month in 1969 for PPIF processing. Instinctively, I took the stick and throttles in hand and to my amazement, the aircraft as flyable. The aircraft remained in service with the USMC until 1992 when the last airframe was replaced by the F/A-18 Hornet. I elected to land gear up and catch the runway wire with my tail hook. 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. If you flew the F-4 in the Vietnam War in any branch of the service please become an author on this site and tell your stories. Find the perfect F4 Phantom Photos stock photos and editorial news pictures from Getty Images. For Barrel missions, the photo Phantoms carried three external fuel tanks: one 360-gallon tank on the centerline and a 270-gallon tank under each wing. They had been deployed to Vietnam, operating out of Udorn, Thailand. The following video contains the audio of the February 21, 1972, MiG kill mission. I finally called out “Mr. 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. Contrast the importance the U.S. gave to saving American lives in 1972 to the dishonorable mindset and abandonment of the four Americans who died in the Benghazi, Libya, consulate on September 11, 2012, when President Obama refused the doomed American’s cries for help. 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). The warnings unnerved some pilots, including Edwards: “Your headset was just full of chirps, so many threats that you just turned it off and occasionally glanced at it to see if there were any strong strobes.” On one mission, he recalled, “I got a launch light [strobe]. Watch these two videos Joey made with his pictures and the two mission audio tapes given to him by Roger Locher and Bob Lodge. VF-74 was the first operational U.S. Navy Phantom squadron in 1961. Each strike escort mission consisted of four 35th TFS F-4s flying in “fluid four” formation on the perimeter of the strike force (the F-4s carrying bombs) as the strike force ingressed and egressed the target in Route Pack VI. In the 1970s, F-4Es began to be modified to the F-4G standard in order to make them suitable for the Air Force’s Wild Weasel mission. A few Guard units tried to eliminate the RF-4C’s “unarmed” description by adding Sidewinders. Most fighter pilots who flew in the Vietnam war never flew into North Vietnam where the MiGs were. To see the runway, he kicked the rudder back and forth during final approach. The vast majority of military pilots who flew in the Vietnam war were not fighter pilots so they never had a chance to engage a MiG. Dan and Gary Retterbush were awarded the Silver Star for their kill. Colonel Ferguson’s F-4D that he flew back to Kunsan AB, Korea, in October 1972 when the 35 TFS RTBd. Some people thought if you put missiles on the RF-4, the pilots would just want to chase MiGs.” Some aircraft were modified with launch rails and a unit from Reno deployed with Sidewinders during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, but after aircrew from Bergstrom arrived who had not trained with the missiles, the weapons were removed. Nov 26, 1968 - A US Navy’s F-4 Phantom II from VF-142 (Fighter Squadron 142) on the deck of American aircraft carrier 'Constellation' (CVA-64) in the Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam. In addition to speed and dual engines, the guy in back, or GIB, provided yet another defense. London, UK Close-up of cockpit of F-4 Phantom, american jet of the Vietnam war f4 phantom cockpit stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images F-4 Cockpit Izmir, Turkey - June 5, 2011 : Photo of the F-4E Phantom (Double Ugly) cockpit and crew at air show in 2nd Main Jet Base-Cigli. We started diving and I managed to pull back on the stick and we just missed the ground and the mountain in front of us.” Since he had heard the Laotian communists—the Pathet Lao—were taking no prisoners, Dobberfuhl initially headed for North Vietnam, but realizing the aircraft was still flyable, turned back west toward Thailand. This aircraft is owned by the Collings Foundation and features a Vietnam war era paint scheme. During the summer and fall of 1972 as part of Operation Linebacker I, the 35th TFS conducted strike escort missions into Route Pack VI, the most heavily defended area in the history of aerial warfare. Fighter Squadron VF-142 Ghost Rders Patch Full Color. 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. Introduced in 1960, the F-4 Phantom became a Vietnam workhorse, served the US Air Force, Navy & Marines over the past half-century. Said the aircraft as out of the airplane was hit twice by anti-aircraft fire, and find and follow you... The RF-4C came in handy at times during a Cold War crisis given! Load while carrying electronic countermeasures gear for 22 days before getting on his MiG kills ), everything... Landing on the page, but Dobberfuhl couldn ’ t tell if the tail hook Jousting with and! Departed Kunsan Air Base for Clark Air Base Near Saigon 1969 Glossy 8x10 photo 4 Phantom the... 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