Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA19037 McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II 153833, VMFA-232 "Red Devils"
US Marines, Japan 1977

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 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 late 1967 VMF-232 “Red Devils” completed a tour of Vietnam. At home they received the new F-4 Phantom II and began painting their “Red Devil” insignia on the aircraft. On March 1, 1965 the “Red Devils” became VMF(AW)-232 and were sent to Iwakuni, Japan arriving on September 2, 1966. In 1973 the squadron was the last Marine squadron to leave Vietnam returning to Iwakuni. In late 1977 the “Red Devils” were posted to MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Later F-4J 153833 was upgraded to an F-4S, converted to a drone and shot down in 2004.

Specification for the F- 4J
Performance
Engines: 2 X General Electric J79-GE-8B/8C/10 turbojets, 11,870 lb.s.t dry, 17,900 lb. s.t. with afterburner. (lb.s.t. - Pounds Static Thrust)
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.
Weights 30,770 lbs empty.
46,833 lbs gross.
41,399 lbs combat weight.
Dimensions
Wingspan: 38 ft. 5 in.
Wing area: 530 square ft.
Length: 58 ft. 3.75 in.
Height: 16 ft. 3 in.
Fuel
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.
Armament
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 hard points.