Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA19006 McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II BuNo.155510, VF-102 Diamondbacks, USS Independence (CV-64) ,1976. Buy now 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.
In 1972 McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II BuNo 155510 was delivered to VF-102 “Diamondbacks” where it was the CAG’s aircraft and assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Independence. Late in 1976 1555510 was assigned to VF-103 “Jolly Rogers” until it was struck off charge and sent to the bone yard in 1983. In 1984 the aircraft was transferred to the RAF as F-4J(UK) ZE358 of the 74 Squadron. In August 1986 the aircraft was lost when it crashed into a hillside during low-level training. Unfortunately the crew did not survive.