USAFE F-4 Phantoms Part 1 – Mud Movers and Air Defence

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II equipped many United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) squadrons during 29 years of the Cold War.  Doug Gordon tells their story

The first Phantom II variant for the USAF was the McDonnell Douglas F-110A, subsequently redesignated the F-4C.  It was derived from the US Navy's F-4B, but with specific modifications, defined in November 1961 in Standard Operating Requirements (SOR) 200.  The document outlined the entire USAF tactical mission: close air support, interdiction and counter air.  The F-4C had to be capable of air-to-air refuelling and was equipped with a boom receptacle.  It also needed to carry the AIM-7D and E Sparrow, AIM-9B and D Sidewinders and AIM-4D Falcon air-to-air missiles as well as the AGM-12 Bullpup air-to-ground missile, napalm plus conventional and nuclear bombs (the B43 and B57).  A 20mm M61A1 Vulcan six barrel rotating cannon could be carried in the SUU-16 pod on a centreline weapon station.

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