USAF F-4C/D Phantoms


31st TFW
Homestead AFB, Florida
(ZF and later HS tail codes)

    The 31st  Tactical Fighter Wing came into being as the 31st Fighter Wing in 1947.  The designation was changed to the 31st Fighter Bomber Wing in 1950, the 31st Fighter Escort Wing also in 1950, the 31st Stategic  Fighter Wing in 1953,  back to the 31st FBW in 1957 and then the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing in 1958.  The mission was changed again in 1981 and so was the designation: 31st Tactical Training Wing.  In 1985 it was back to the 31st TFW and in 1991 the 31st Fighter Wing.  Prior to gaining F-4Es in 1970 the unit had flown F-51s, F-84s and F-100s.  In a retrograde motion, the F-4Es were replaced with F-4Ds in 1979/80.  The F-4D gave way to the F-16 in 1987 and the unit reverted to the 31st TFW, becoming simply the 31st Fighter Wing in 1991.  From 1970 until 1994 the 31st was stationed at Homestead AFB, Florida.  In 1994 the unit moved to Aviano AB, Italy.


65-0658 and 65-0719 in storage at AMARC during the early '90s.  65-0746 and 66-7490 on display at an open house at Homestead AFB in November, 1980.

49th TFW
Holloman AFB, New Mexico
(HA, HB, HC, HD and later HO tail codes)

    The 49th Tactical Fighter Wing has a long history, tracing its ancestory back to the 49th Fighter Group of WWII fame.  The 49th FG was decativated following the war.  In 1948 a new unit was activated as the 49th Fighter Bomber Wing and redesignated as the 49th Tacticatl Fighter Wing.  From 1948 until 1966 the 49th had operated F-51s, F-80s, F-84s (the straight wing variety), F-100D/Fs and F-105D/Fs.  In 1966, the 49th transitioned from Thuds to the F-4Ds, which flown until 1978 when F-15A/Bs replaced the Phantom II.  The unit currently flies F-117s and AT-38s out of Holloman AFB, New Mexico.


 F-4D 66-7701 at a Holloman open house in 1978 (CB). 
66-8753 carrying HB tail codes (John Paul Jones).  This denoted the 7th TFS and was prior to the assignment of wing codes.

58th TTW
Luke AFB, Arizona
(LA tail codes)

    The 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing had started life as the 58th Fighter Bomber Wing in 1952 and was station in the Far East.  The unit was inactivated in 1958.  Prior to deactivation the unit had flown F-84s, F-86s.  When reactivated at Luke AFB as the 58th TTW in 1969 as a training unit  for F-100s and A-7Ds.  The Huns and SLUFs remained until 1971 when the F-4C training function was added.  The 58th was also responsible for the West German Air Force F-104 training until 1983 and F-5 training until 1979.  In 1974 F-15s were added, but split ff into the 405th TTW in 1979.  F-15s were again added from 1991 until 1994.  F-16s took the place of the Phantoms in 1982, remaing until 1994.  When the F-16 mission left in 1994 the 58th was redesignated the 58th Special Operations Wing and moved to Kirtland AFB where the unit operates a mixture of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft


The majority of these photos were taken at Luke AFB in September, 1979, with -7665 photographed at Holloman AFB about 1981.  It was around this time when white tailcodes were the rule, but would be changed to black in the coming months.  Airccraft are: 63-7432, 63-7482, 63-7505, 63-7662, 63-7665, 63-7686, 63-7702 and 64-0660.  0660 was a triple MiG killer during the Vietnam War.  All three kills were MiG-17s on May 12, 1966, May 14, 1967 and June 5, 1967.  The first kill was made by the crew of Maj. Wilbur R. Dudley and 1Lt. Imants Kringelis with the 35th TFW on May 12, 1966.  The second was made by Maj Samuel O. Bakke and Cpt. Robert W. Lambert on May 14, 1967.  The final kill was made on June 5, 1967 by Maj. Durwood K. Priester and Capt. John E. Pankhurst.  The last two while with the 366th TFW.  The aircraft is now on display at Niagara Falls, New York.

474th TFW
Nellis AFB, Nevada
(NA tail codes)

    The Nellis AFB based 474th TFW transitioned to the F-4D during 1977 in Operation Ready Switch, when in a three way switch the 474th's F-111As were sent to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, Mountain Home's 366th TFW F-111Es were sent to Lakenheath, where the 48th TFW's F-4Ds were sent to Nellis.  Confused yet?  The F-4s were themselves replaced by F-16A/B "Fighting Falcons" in 1982.  The 474th was disbanded in 1989.


65-0667 transient at Luke AFB in September, 1979.
65-0680 and 66-7760.  I am not sure when or where I photographed these two, but it was probably at Nellis in August, 1980.

3246 Test Wing

Holloman AFB, New Mexico 

65-0698 on display at a Holloman open house in 1981.
66-8699 and 66-8800 both on the 3246th's ramp on the North side of Holloman.

6512th Test Squadron

Edwards AFB, California
(ED tail codes)


63-7409 at AMARC in April 1993.  I have a friend who had some time in this aircraft when he was at TPS.

6514th Test Squadron
Hill AFB, Utah

The first F-4D built, 64-0929 transient at Reese AFB. (Gerald McMasters)

Tracor Flight Systems
Mojave, California


Though these two F-4Ds are not active duty Air Force they did fly in various Air Force test programs.  66-7483 and 66-7505 at ELP in the summer of 1993.  (CB)

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Clifford Bossie

Page created 11-22-02

Modified 12-06-05