Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA19008 McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II BuNo.153777, 20th Anniversary Phantom First In Phantoms VF-74, Oceana NAS, 1981

The final variant of the McDonnell Douglas Phantom II was the F-4J; an improved version of the F-4B and was produced for the USMC and USN. There were approximately 520 airframe built with the first operational flight taking place in 1966. The F-4J was provided with stronger landing gear and modifications to the inner wings and tail. The F-4J also received the new J79-GE-10 engines providing 17,900 lbs of thrust.

VF-74 “Bedevilers” were the first USN squadron to be deployed with the F-4 Phantom II. In July 1961 VF-74 traded their Douglas Skyrays for the F4H-1/F-4B thereby becoming the “First In Phantom”. During the next twenty years VF-74 would fly three variants of the Phantoms 13 times on Mediterranean cruises and twice to SEA. In those twenty years 15777 spent time with other squadrons but by 1981 returned to VF-74 and given the special scheme “20 years 1961 – 1981 First In Phantoms”. In 1984 15777 was sent to the bone yard.

Specifications for the McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II
Length – 58 ft 3 in
Wingspan – 38 ft 5 in
Height – 16 ft 3 in
Empty – 32,000 lbs
Maximum Takeoff – 56,000 lbs
Maximum Level Speed – Mach 2+
Combat Radius
Intercept – 781 miles
Attack – 868 miles