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.
On September 11, 1972 4 F-4J Phantoms of VMFA-333 (Shamrocks) from USS America (CVA-
66) came across a Mig-21U with a Soviet pilot and a Vietnamese student. Because of his
experience the Soviet pilot was able to out maneuver 3 of the 4 Phantoms but he wasn’t so
fortunate with the 4th. The 4th F-4J 155526 was crewed by pilot Major Lee T. Lasseter and RIO
Captain John D. Cummings. The Mig-21U was flying north trying to lead the Phantom into SAM
territory but the Phantom managed to shoot the MiG-21 down. The Soviet pilot managed to eject
but the student didn’t. This would be the only air-to-air victory of the war by a Corps aircraft.
Moments later south of Haiphong Harbor Lasseter and Cummings were downed by an S-75M
Dvina (SA-2) missile.
Specification for the F- 4J
Engines: 2 X General Electric J79-GE-8B/8C/10 turbojets, 11,870 lb.s.t dry, 17,900 lb.s.t. with
Maximum speed: 1,584 mph at 48,000 ft. (Mach 2.4), 875 mph at sea level (Mach 1.15).
Initial climb rate: 41,250 fpm.
Service ceiling: 70,000 ft.
Combat ceiling: 54,700 ft.
Combat range: 596 miles, maximum range 1,956 miles with maximum external fuel.
30,770 lbs empty.
46,833 lbs gross.
41,399 lbs combat weight,
Wingspan: 38 ft. 5 in.
Wing area: 530 square ft.
Length: 58 ft. 3.75 in.
Height: 16 ft. 3 in.
Maximum internal fuel: in fuselage tanks 1,347 US gal.
Internal wing tanks: 630 gal.
Maximum external fuel: 3,317 US gal.
600 US gal in a centerline tank, 370 US gal in each of two tanks that could be carried
underneath the outer under wing pylons.
4 X AIM-7 Sparrow semi-active radar homing air-to-air missiles in semi-recessed slots
in the fuselage belly.
2 X to 4 AIM-9 Sidewinder infra-red homing air-to-air missiles carried under the wings
on the inboard pylons.
Maximum offensive load of up to 16,000 lbs carried on the centerline and 4 under wing
|Hobby Master 1/72 Air Power Series
McDonnell-Douglas USMC F- 4J Phantom II
VMFA-333, "Shamrocks" #201, USS America (CVA-66)
September 11, 1972
True 1/72 scale
Great attention to detail
All markings are Tampoed (pad applied)
Option to display the model on a stand that is provided
Model can be shown with the landing gear in the down or up positions
Loads of optional armament provided
Canopy can be displayed open or closed
Extremely heavy metal with a minimum of plastic
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