Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA1974 McDonnell Douglas F-4J “Showtime 112” 157267, VF-96, USS Constellation, 1972. Buy online at Flying Tigers.
The F-4J was the last version produced for the USN and USMC. The “J” version was basically an upgraded “B” version with new radar and avionics as well as a better engine that required a longer afterburner nozzle. One of the most noticeable changes to the “J” version is what isn’t there; the infrared seeker under the nose was deleted. Also missing was an internal gun but Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles were used for intercepting. Between 1966 and 1972 there were 522 F-4Js built. The F-4J had the distinction of scoring the only USMC air-to-air combat victory in Vietnam and it also was the last US operational aircraft in South East Asia. In mid 1970 the F-4 Phantom II was being replaced by the new and improved F-14 Tomcat.
VF-96 “Fighting Falcons” on board the USS Constellation deployed to Vietnam from October 1971 until July 1972. While there F-4J 157267 “Showtime 112” crewed by Lt. Randall “Duke” Cunningham and LTJG William “Willie” Driscoll shot down their first two MiG’s. On January 19, 1972 they shot down a MiG-21 over North Vietnam followed by a MiG-17 on May 8, 1972. 157267 was later upgraded to an “S” variant and in 1984 was sent to MASDC but later went on display at the San Diego Air Museum.