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Phantom

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Manufacturer : McDonnell Douglas
Number Built : 5195
Production Began : 1960
Retired : 1992
Type :

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber produced for the U.S. Navy by Mcdonnell Douglas. It became a major part of the United States Navy, Marine Corps and American Air Force. The Phantom F-4 saw service with all American forces during the Vietnam war serving as a fighter and ground attack aircraft. The Phantom first saw service in 1960 but continued in service until the 1980’s (being replaced by the F-15 and F-16 ) The last Phantoms saw service during the Gulf war in 1991 being used for reconnaissance. Other nations also used the Phantom to great success. The Israeli Air Force used them during various Arab-Israeli wars and the Phantom also saw service in the Iranian Air Force during the Iran Iraq War. Phantom production ran from 1958 to 1981, with a total of 5,195 built. The Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy flew versions based on the F-4. The British Phantoms were powered by Rolls Royce Spey engines and also received British avionics, under the names pf Phantom FG.1 and Phantom FGR.2. The last British Phantoms served with 74 Squadron until they were dispanded in 1992.

Phantom


Latest Phantom Artwork Releases !
 Reformed in 1969, 43 Sqn <i>Fighting Cocks</i> returned to RAF Leuchars equipped with the mighty McDonnell F-4 Phantom, operating in the maritime air defence role, frequently intercepting and 'escorting' Soviet interlopers such as the Tupolev TU-95 <i>Bear</i> away from British airspace, as represented here by a pair of 43 Sqn FGR.2s.

Shadowing the Bear - Tribute to No.43 Squadron by Ivan Berryman.
 The F.4c Phantom II of Colonel Robin Olds of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing tucks the landing gear up as he blasts out of a forward airfield in January 1967.

Gear Up - Go! by Ivan Berryman.
 F-4C Phantom II of Colonel Robin Olds of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, January 1967.

Colonel Robin Olds by Ivan Berryman. (P)
 The biggest, fastest, most powerful fighter of its day, the McDonnell Phantom was an awesome war machine that came to dominate aerial combat for over two decades.  It may have been the size of many World War II bombers but it could outperform anything that crossed its path; it was quicker, could turn faster, was better equipped with electronics, carried more ordnance than anything comparable, and it had an unbelievable rate of climb.  The F-4 Phantom was the benchmark against which every fighter in the world came to be judged; it was simply the best.  And when it saw combat for the first time, in Vietnam in 1961, it was the lucky Navy and Marine Corps pilots who were the first to fly it.  Whether it was carrier-based attack with the Navy, land-based bombing missions with the Marines, air combat sorties, or Forward Air Control missions, it was unbeatable.  So impressed were the Air Force that they bought it too, and three years later, in 1964, the USAF received their Phantoms.  The Air Force pilots just could not wait to get their hands on it.  And one of those just itching to take it into combat was a young, then Captain, Steve Ritchie.  Flying with the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron, the illustrious Triple Nickel, Ritchie would, in the space of a few weeks during Operation Linebacker in the summer of 1972 become a legend - the only USAF fighter pilot Ace of the Vietnam War.  The painting shows Steve Ritchie, first into action, flying his lead F-4D Phantom through a hail of deadly enemy flak as he exits the target area after a typical FAST FAC mission on enemy installations in North Vietnam, 1972.  Behind him a vast trail of devastation mark the progress of the mission, as his fellow Phantom crews continue to wreak havoc with their heavy ordnance, the target area exploding in a series of mighty detonations.

Phantom Fury by Robert Taylor.

Phantom Artwork Collection


Phantoms F-4 by R E Pierce. (P)


Colonel Robin Olds by Ivan Berryman.


Gear Up - Go! by Ivan Berryman.


Shadowing the Bear - Tribute to No.43 Squadron by Ivan Berryman.

Phantom FGR 2 of III Squadron by Geoff Lea.


Phantom II by David Pentland.

Reunion Over Hanoi by Philip West.


Yankie Station by Randall Wilson.


USS Coral Sea by Ivan Berryman.


Phantom Fury by Robert Taylor.


Launch at Sundown by Philip West.

Screaming Eagle by Philip West.


Showtime 100 by Philip West.

Phantom Patrol by Philip West.


Phantom Thunder by Philip West.

Ark Royal by Philip West.


Phantom Raiders by Simon Atack.


Flying the Jolly Roger by Robert Watts.


Phantom Showtime by Robert Taylor

Tigers Roar by Robert Tomlin.


Phantom Country by Simon Atack.

Silver Kite 211 by Philip West.


High Flying Aardvarks by Keith Aspinall.


Mutual Support by Michael Rondot.


Phantom Thunder by Michael Rondot.

Phantom Farewell by Michael Rondot.

Israeli F-4 Phantom II Aces.

Phantom Strike by Robert Taylor.

Phantom Launch by Robert Taylor.

Flight of the Phantom by Stan Stokes.


Vietnam War Veteran by Stan Stokes.

Top Aces for : Phantom
A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.
NameVictoriesInfo
Marion Eugene Carl18.50The signature of Marion Eugene Carl features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Robin Olds13.00The signature of Robin Olds features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Randall H Cunningham5.00The signature of Randall H Cunningham features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Willie Driscoll5.00The signature of Willie Driscoll features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Richard 'Steve' Ritchie5.00The signature of Richard 'Steve' Ritchie features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Squadrons for : Phantom
A list of all squadrons from known to have used this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.
SquadronInfo

432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing

Country : US
Served in Vietnam

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing
432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing

Full profile not yet available.

434th Fighter Squadron

Country : US

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434th Fighter Squadron

Conducted air defense prior to flying duties overseas. Between 26th May 1944 and 25th Apr 1945 flew combat missons over the European Theater of Operations. Received Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for performance in aerial conflicts against the enemy on 18th August, 5th and 26th September 1944. Trained as fighter-day, and later, tactical fighter squadron, 1952-1962. In 1966, was reinstated as a squadron and began training F-4 crews for assignment in Southeast Asia. In Aug 1972, deployed to Thailand, where it served under operational control of 49 Tactical Fighter Wing. Engaged in combat over North and South Vietnam in October 1972. Redeployed back the USA. By 1975, provided combat aircrew training for US and Allied pilots. From 1977-1991, trained pilots. The squadron flew P-38 Lightning 1943 - 1944, P-51 Mustang from 1944 to 1945, P-47 Thunderbolt in 1945, F-51 Mustang from 1952 - 1953, F-86 Sabre from 1953 - 1955, F-100 Super Sabre from 1954 - 1959, F-104 Starfighter from 1959 - 1962, F-4 Phantom from 1966 - 1976 and T-38 Talon from 1977 - 1991.

555th Tactical Fighter Squadron

Country : US
Served in Vietnam

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555th Tactical Fighter Squadron

Full profile not yet available.

8th Tactical Fighter Wing

Country : US
Served in Vietnam

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8th Tactical Fighter Wing

Full profile not yet available.

No.111 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st August 1917

Adstantes - Standing by

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No.111 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.17 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st February 1915

Excellere contende - Strive to excel

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No.17 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.19 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st September 1915

Possunt quia posse videntur - They can because they think they can

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No.19 Sqn RAF

Flew Mustangs from March 1944.

No.23 Sqn RAAF

Country : Australia

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No.23 Sqn RAAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.23 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st September 1915

Semper aggessus - Always having attacked

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No.23 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.29 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 7th November 1915

Impiger et acer - Energetic and keen

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No.29 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.3 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 13th May 1912

Tertius primus erit - The Third shall be first

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No.3 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.43 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 15th April 1916

Gloria finis - Glory is the end

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No.43 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.54 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 15th May 1916

Audax omnia perpeti - Boldness to endure anything

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No.54 Sqn RAF

No. 54 Squadron was formed on the 5th of May 1916 at Castle Bromwich. The squadron was equipped with BE2C's and Avro 504's and was part of the home defence force. Shortly after 54 squadron changed to day fighter duties and moved to France then equipped with Sopwith Pups. Their role was to escort bombers and attack observation balloons. Near the end of the great war 54 squadron was re -quipped with Sopwith Camels and tasked with ground attack as well as fighter sorties. In February 1919, the squadron returned to RAF Yatesbury and on 2nd October 1919 54 squadron was disbanded. On the 15th of January 1930, 54 squadron was reformed at RAF Hornchurch as a fighter squadron equipped initially with Siskin aircraft. The Siskins were subsequently replaced with Bulldog fighters and in September 1936 54 squadron was re-equipped with Gloster Gauntlets and in April 1937, they recieved Gloster Gladiators. In March 1939 the squadron recieved the new Supermarine Spitfire. After the outbreak of world war two, 54 Squadron was given the duties of patrolling the Kent coast, until having to support and give air cover to the evacuation of Dunkirk in May and June 1940. The squadron was heavily involved during the Battle of Britain until November 1940 and after the Battle of Britain had ceased the squadron moved in November 1940 to RAF Castletown where its duties were coastal patrols. In June 1942 the squadron moved to RAF Wellingore to prepare for the squadron moving to Australia. In January 1943 54 squadron joined No.1 Wing of the Royal Australian Air Force. The Spitfires of the squadron were given the role of air defence duties against Japanese air attacks in the Darwin area. After the war had ended 54 squadron was disbanded in Melbourne on the 31st of October 1945, although the squadron name continued when on the 15th of November 1945 No.183 Squadron was renumbered 54 Squadron and flew initially Hawker Tempests. Taking up jet aircraft, the squadron subsequently used Vampires, Meteors, Hunters, Phantom and Jaguars before disbanding on 11th March 2005. 54 Squadron reformed on 5th September 2005 as an ISTAR (Intelligence Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance ) unit equipped with Sentry, Nimrod and Sentinel aircraft.

No.892 Sqn FAA

Country : UK
Fleet Air Arm. First Squadron to fly the Sea Vixen aircraft.

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No.892 Sqn FAA

Full profile not yet available.

No.92 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st September 1917
Fate : Disbanded 1st October 1994
East India

Aut pugna aut morere - Either fight or die

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No.92 Sqn RAF

92 Squadron was formed in the First World War, as a squadron of the Royal Flying Corps, on 1st September 1917. It flew Pups, Spads and SE5s during the war, becoming an RAF squadron on the formation of the RAF on 1st April 1918, before being disbanded on 7th August 1919. On the outbreak of hostilities of World War Two, 92 Sqn reformed on 10th October 1939, flying Blenheims before converting to Spitfires. It transferred to North Africa, and for some time flew as part of 244 Wing RAF. After the war, the squadron was disbanded on 30th December 1946. On 31st January 1947, the former 91 Squadron was redesignated 92 Squadron, flying the Meteor before re-equipping with the Sabre and then the Hunter. While flying the Hunter in 1960, the squadron was designated as the RAF's aerobatic squadron, with the name Blue Diamonds, a name the squadron carried on after tranferring to the Lightning. The squadron then re-equipped with Phantoms, before being disbanded on 1st July 1991. It was reformed from a rserve squadron on 23rd September 1992, and became No.92 (Reserve) Squadron, flying the Hawk aircraft before being disbanded once more on 1st October 1994.

VF-96

Country : US

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VF-96

Full profile not yet available.
Signatures for : Phantom
A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking their name.
NameInfo


Air Chief Marshal Sir John Allison
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Air Chief Marshal Sir John Allison

Joined the Royal Air Force in 1961 and trained as a pilot. His first two tours were on Lightnings, but in 1970 he was posted to fly Phantoms as an Exchange Officer with the United States Air Force. Thus began his relationship with the main aircraft of his career, a relationship that only finished when the Phantom was retired from Royal Air Force service in 1992. Indeed, he made the last Phantom flight in the RAF when he delivered XV497 to RAF Coningsby. That aircraft is now preserved at RAF Waddington. Also in 1992, he led the Queens Birthday Flypast; the chosen formation was a close diamond of sixteen Phantoms, to mark the type's imminent retirement. The aircraft he flew on that occasion, XV474, can be seen at the Imperial War Museum's airfield at Duxford. Sir John ended his career as the Commaner-in-Chief of Strike Command, retiring in 1999.




Major General Frederick Blesse
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Major General Frederick Blesse

Major General Frederick C. Boots Blesse, born in 1921 in Colón, Panama Canal Zone, graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1945. His first combat missions in Korea were flown in the P-51 where he completed 67 missions in the Mustang. This was followed by 35 missions flying the F-80 and 121 missions in the F-86. In all he flew 233 combat missions in the Korean conflict achieving 10 aerial victories making him the current leading Ace from that war. He later flew 157 missions in the F-4 in Vietnam. He retired from the USAF in 1975, with more than 6,500 flying hours in fighter-type aircraft and more than 650 hours combat time to his credit.




Major General Marion Carl
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28 / 6 / 1998Died : 28 / 6 / 1998
28 / 6 / 1998Ace : 18.50 Victories
Major General Marion Carl

Born in Hubbard, Oregon on the 1st ofNovember 1915, Carl learned to fly when he was at college and went solo after only 2 and half hours of instrruction. Marion Carl went to Oregon State College to study engineering and graduated in 1938 as a Lieutenenat in the Army Reserve, but resigned his commission to become a naval aviation cadet and in December 1939 he received his wings of gold and a Marine Corp commission. Marion Carl was posted to (VMF- 1) Marine Fighting Squadron One in Virginia at Quantico. In 1940 he became a instructor to train new pilots for Marine Fighting Squadron 221 (VMF-221 ) at NAS North Island in San Diego, California. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on the 7th December 1941, Carl's squadron VMF-221 were preparing to embark aboard the USS Saratoga (CV-3) bound for Oahu, Hawaii. Carl along with the rest of the squadron were rushed to Hawaii and became part of the Wake Island Relief Task Force. He was still onboard the carrier Saratoga when the relief force was cancelled, and VMF-221 went to Midway Atoll on Christmas Day. Carl's first combat occured on June 4th 1942 during the Battle of Midway, when 15 of the 25 aircraft of VMF-221 were shot down but, Carl was credited with destroying one enemy aircraft, a Mitsubishi Zero. Carl was reassigned to VMF-223 Marine Fighting Squadron 223 which was commanded by a former squadron mate from VMF-221, Capt. John Smith. On August 20th, VMF-223 was deployed to Guadalcanal and was the first fighter sqaudron ashore with the Cactus Air Force. Between the end of August and the end of October Marion Carl became the Marines' first ace, when Carl had reached 16.5 victories though he was shot down once and was forced to bail out. It is believed Marion Carl was the pilot who shot down the famous Japanese Navy Tainan Kokutai ace Junicho Sasai over Henderson Field. By the end of the war Carl would increase his air victories to 18.5 victories. In 1947 he broke the speed record and in 1953 held the world altitude record. During a second test pilot tour, Carl set an unofficial altitude record of 83,000 feet in the Douglas D-558/II. He was the first pilot to be launched from a carrier by catapult. He had 490 hours in the Phantom I, flying combat recon flights over Red China. Commanding air wings in Vietnam in 1965, he took the First Marine Brigade to Danang, South Vietnam. Despite his seniority, he repeatedly flew combat missions in Helicopter gunships and jet fighters. General Carl received his second star as a Major General in 1967. In 1968 he commanded the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at Herry Point until 1970. Subsequently he served as Inpector General of the Marine Corps until retiring in 1973. At that time he had logged some 13,000 flying hours, more than twice as much as most. He flew the F-4 regularly - one of the few Generals to do so. In 1998, on June 28th at age 82, Major General Marion Carl was shot to death with a shotgun during a robbery, defending his wife Edna from a home invader. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetary.




USAF Gen John T Chain Jr
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by USAF Gen John T Chain Jr
USAF Gen John T Chain Jr

Gen. Chain served for nearly five years as the next-to-last Commanding Officer of the Strategic Air Command. Gen. Chain is a command pilot with 5,000 flying hours, including 400 combat hours. He has flown more than forty-five different military aircraft. He is also a master parachutist with sixty-six jumps to his credit. The General was born December 11, 1934 in Wilmington, Delaware. He attended the Fork Union Military Academy and earned a bachelor of arts degree in history in 1956. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program, and earned his pilots wings in 1957. General Chain flew F-100s with the 50th Tactical Fighter Wing at Toule-Rosieres Air Base in France, and with the 417th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. He later served as flight examiner with the 524th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Cannon Air Base in New Mexico. In June of 1964 he was assigned to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky where he served as a forward air controller with the 101st Airborne Division. At Ft. Campbell, the General became a master parachutist and flew 0-1s and F84s. In 1966, he flew combat missions out of Tan Son Nhut in Vietnam as an adviser, prior to being assigned to Washington where he served as an exchange officer with the Dept. of State. In 1971 he graduated from the National War College and concurrently earned a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University. General Chain returned to combat flying in 1972 when he flew F-4s out of Thailand. He was appointed Deputy Commander of the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing in California upon his return. Later he was transferred to Langley Air Base in Virginia, with the F-15 equipped 1st Tactical Fighter Wing. He served in various capacities and eventually assumed command of the Wing. In 1978 he was promoted to Brigadier General and was the military assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force. General Chain's numerous awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal with ten oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, the Combat Readiness Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with four stars, the Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with six oak leaf clusters, the Republic ietnam Distinguished Medal, just to name a few.




Air Marshal Sir Christopher Coville
Click the name above to see prints signed by Air Marshal Sir Christopher Coville
Air Marshal Sir Christopher Coville

Joined the RAF in 1964 as a Flight Cadet at RAF College, Cranwell. Initially serving as a Lightning pilot on 5 Sqn, he later undertook a tour on the Lightning OCU. In 1973 he converted to the F4, serving as a QW1 on 43 Sqn. Upon promotion to Sqn Ldr, he took up a post on the Phantom OCU at RAF Coningsby. Staff tours as the fighter specialist at the CTTO, Staff College and NATO followed before he resumed flying F4s as OC Ops Wing at RAF Stanley in the Falkland Islands. In 1983 he assumed command of RAF Coningsby where he oversaw the conversion of the station from an F4 to a Tornado F3 base. During this same period he also flew the Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Formerly Deputy Commander in Chief Allied Forces North Europe, he is currently Commander in Chief RAF Personnel and Training Command and a member of the Air Force Board as Air Member for Personnel.




Commander Randall H Cunningham USN
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Commander Randall H Cunningham USN
28 / 6 / 1998Ace : 5.00 Victories
Commander Randall H Cunningham USN

After joining the US Navy in 1966, Randy 'Duke' Cunningham went to Vietnam with VF96, flying the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom. He became the conflict's first fighter Ace, and was to become one of the most highly decorated Aces of the war. With his RIO, Willie Driscoll, Duke achieved five victories in Vietnam, including 'three-in-a-day' on 10th May 1972. He later assumed command of the elite Navy Adversary Squadron of the Miramar Top Gun program. Retiring from the Navy, Duke was elected to Congress, where he now serves in the House of Representatives.



Commander Willie Driscoll USN
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Commander Willie Driscoll USN
28 / 6 / 1998Ace : 5.00 Victories
Commander Willie Driscoll USN

Willie Driscoll joined the Navy in 1969, and flew with VF96 in Vietnam. Flying his first combat mission in November 1971, Willie went on to become an Ace flying with 'Duke' Cunningham, and completed 170 combat missions in the F4 Phantom. He also completed a total of 652 deck landings at that time. Flying with Cunningham on 10th May 1972, they shot down 3 MiGs, but themselves were shot down by a SAM the same day. Willie Driscoll went on to serve at the Top Gun program.



Flt. Lt. George Fenton
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Flt. Lt. George Fenton

Joined the RAF as a cadet at RAF College Cranwell in March 1966. He served with 29 and 11 Sqn as a Lightning pilot. He then converted to the Converted to F4 Phantom in 1975 and flew with 892 Naval Air squadron aboard HMS Ark Royal before returning to the RAF with 29 Sqn. In 1980 George went to RAF Chivenor as an instructor on the Hawk and remained there as a QWI until retirement from the service in 1985. Spent the next few years instructing in the middle east. First in Qatar then in Saudi Arabia. Returned to the UK in 1999 to join the instructional staff at the BAE operated Hawk simulator at RAF Valley.



Commander T J H Gedge AFC
Click the name above to see prints signed by Commander T J H Gedge AFC
Commander T J H Gedge AFC

Commander T J H Gedge AFC Royal Navy started flying in Glasgow University Air Squadron and joined the Royal Navy in January 1963 as a short career fighter pilot, later transferring to a full career commission. He flew Sea Vixen all weather fighter aircraft from HMS Victorious and F-4 Phantom aircraft from HMS Ark Royal before commanding 800 Naval Air Squadron, the first front-line Sea Harrier squadron in HMS Invincible and later in HMS Hermes. He formed and commanded 809 Squadron Sea Harriers for Operation Corporate for relief of the Falkland Islands in 1982, initially flying from MV Atlantic Conveyor. Qualified as a Flying Instructor (QFI) and later as an air warfare instructor (AWI) he served at Yeovilton, Lossiemouth and Leuchars in second-line flying appointments. He was the last Senior Pilot (SP) of the Royal Naval Air Warfare School 764 Squadron and later SP of the RN Phantom Training Flight at RAF Leuchars followed by SP of the front line Phantoms, 892 Squadron. Other appointments included HMS Jupiter, Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth as Aviation Officer and 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines. Staff trained at Greenwich he also completed the RAF Air Warfare Course at RAF Cranwell and the RN Force Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Course at HMS Dryad. Since the Falklands War, Tim Gedge served in the MOD in the Directorate of Naval Air Warfare and later in the Directorate of Operational Requirements (Sea Systems) on the British Naval Staff in Washington and as Staff Aviation Officer to the Flag Officer Flotilla Three (the seagoing NATO Commander ASW Striking Force). His active service career completed in the MOD Central Staffs and he retired in 1996.




Air Vice-Marshal John Howe CB CBE AFC
Click the name above to see prints signed by Air Vice-Marshal John Howe CB CBE AFC
Air Vice-Marshal John Howe CB CBE AFC

John Howe flew Spitfires, Mustangs and Vampires With the South African Air Force and F-5lD Mustang fighter bombers in the Korean War before joining the RAF 'to fly Hunters'. He commanded the first RAF Lightning squadron when No.74 Sqn converted from Hunters to Lightnings in 1960, and led the famous No.74 Sqn 'Tigers' nine-ship Lightning aerobatic team. He has flown all the legendary USAF 'century series' fighters, and later commanded the F-4 Phantom OCU and RAF Gutersloh.



Major Daniel L Lafferty
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Major Daniel L Lafferty

Dan Lafferty flew in F-4 Phantoms out of Ubon in Thailand during the Vietnam war, and was part of the first bombing mission against a North Vietnamese airfield. Dan Lafferty flew as back-seater to Robin Olds on the low level strike against the steel mill at Thai Nguyen. Finishing his tour in Vietnam in August 1967, with a MiG to his credit he remained in the Air Force and retired in 1985.




Air Vice-Marshal Eric Macey
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Air Vice-Marshal Eric Macey

Eric Macey joined the RAF in 1954 and, after graduating as a pilot, flew Hunter fighters with 263 and 1 Sqns. He next joined the rapidly-expanding V-Force, initially flying Valiants of 214 Sqn on in-flight refuelling trials, and completed the first non-stop flight to Singapore. Then followed a Vulcan captaincy with 101 Sqn on which, over the next several years, he served as Sqn Pilot, Training Officer and Sqn Cdr (and which formed part of his Wing when he was OC Waddington). Between times, he was Chief Instructor of the Vulcan OCU at Scampton and, for a short time, also Stn Cdr there. Posted to Germany in 1979, he flew the Wessex, Puma, Jaguar, Phantom and Harrier and later served as AOC (of the University Air Squadrons) and Commandant of the RAF College Cranwell where he re-qualified on the Jet Provost. His final tour as Director-General Training added another 15 aircraft types bringing his total flying hours to about 3400 (1900 on the Vulcan) and total types flown to 60.




Air Marshal Ian Macfadyen
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Air Marshal Ian Macfadyen

Ian MacFadyen joined the RAF College Cranwell in 1960. His first flying tour was on the Lightning in England and Germany. He returned to Cranwell in 1970 as a flying instructor where he was, for two years, a member of The Poachers formation aerobatic team. He next flew with Treble One squadron as it reformed with the Phantom in 1974, and became the RAF solo aerobatic pilot on the Phantom whilst with 43 Squadron. He later commanded 29 Squadron and became the first pilot to fly a Phantom into the Falkland Islands, where he also commanded 23 Squadron. In the mid 1980s he was the Station Commander at RAF Leuchars where, at its peak, the station had 66 Phantoms. His final years in the RAF were spent largely in Saudi Arabia, before becoming the Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man. He still flies Air Cadets with no 3 AEF at Colerne, and is the National President of the Royal British Legion.




Captain John Madden
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Captain John Madden

Flying his first combat mission on 5th October 1965, leading fighter pilot John Madden flew three combat tours in Vietnam, notching up an impressive record of 3 kills and 1 damaged, flying F-4 Phantoms. On 28th August 1972 he was part of the same mission when Steve Ritchie made Ace status. That same year Madden led over 50 combat flights and he never lost a wingman. Flights under his leadership accounted for 5 enemy aircraft downed, and 1 damaged. He left Vietnam in 1975, and retired from the USAF in 1984.




Air Marshal Sir John Nicholls KCB CBE DFC AFC
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17 / 5 / 2007Died : 17 / 5 / 2007
Air Marshal Sir John Nicholls KCB CBE DFC AFC

A Korean war veteran with 2 MiG kills in F-86 Sabres, in April 1952 Nicholls was sent to the US to convert to the F-86 Sabre before joining a USAF squadron in Korea. He was assigned to the 335th Fighter Interceptor Squadron operating from Kimpo airfield near Seoul and over the next six months he completed 100 operations On June 28th 1952 John Nicholls flew his first sortie, he flew every day and soon built up his experience. Two months later he was credited with damaging two MiGs on one sortie. He set one on fire before it disappeared into cloud and the other was seen damaged and with a lot of smoke as it made its escape across the Yalu River, an area Allied pilots were forbidden to fly over. On his 99th and penultimate operation, John Nicholls was a wingman to the Wing leader when they intercepted four MiGs just south of the Yalu. Nicholls chased one of the MiGs for some time and fired his cannons, scoring hits on the enemy fighter, which broke up and crashed. It was the first MiG to be shot down by an RAF pilot. On December 9th John Nicholls flew his last sortie in Korea and shortly afterwards was awarded a DFC to add to an American DFC and Air Medal. John Nicholls has flown every great fighter from the Spitfire to the Phantom, including the USAF century series. On his return to the RAF, Nicholls continued his career as a fighter pilot flying Meteors and Hunters before becoming a tactics instructor at the prestigious Day Fighter Leader's School. In 1959 he was attached to English Electric as RAF project test pilot on Lightnings. He commanded AFDS at RAF Binbrook where in 1963 Lightning vs Spitfire combat trials were flown and later, he commanded RAF Leuchars. He retired as Vice Chief of the Air Staff to become Director in charge, BAe Lightnings in Saudi Arabia. John Nicholls was appointed CBE (1967) and KCB (1978). Sadly, he died 17th May 2007, aged 80.




Brigadier General Robin Olds
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14 / 6 / 2007Died : 14 / 6 / 2007
14 / 6 / 2007Ace : 13.00 Victories
Brigadier General Robin Olds

After leaving West Point in June 1943, Robin Olds was posted to the 479th Fighter Group in England, joining 434 Squadron. Based at Wattisham in East Anglia, and flying P-38s, he was involved in heavy bomber escort duties and fighter sweeps until the Normandy invasion, soon after which his Squadron converted to P51 Mustangs. by early 1945 Robin Olds was in command of 434 Squadron taking part in the Battle of the Bulge, flying escort missions, and providing air support to the airborne attack across the Rhine. At the end of World War II Robin Olds had 24.5 victories, of which 13 were in the air. Later in Vietnam Robin Olds gained four more victories, flying F4 Phantoms and flew with the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing. Sadly, Robin Olds passed away on 14th June 2007.



Sqn Ldr John Pemberton
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Sqn Ldr John Pemberton

Also known as Zbysek Necas, Czechoslovakian 'Nicky' joined 68 Squadron as a Navigator and flew Mosquitos as night time defence over the British mainland, accounting for 3 German aircraft. Post War he flew Lightnings and Phantoms in the Cold War against the Russians.




Colonel Manfred Rietsch
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Colonel Manfred Rietsch

Manfred Rietsch joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1966, later joining VMFA-513 in Vietnam. Flying the F-4 Phantom he had his first combat in 1968, and by the end of his tour had flown 653 combat missions - more than any other F-4 pilot in Vietnam. He became the first Marine instructor at Top Gun in 1973, and more recently flew 66 combat missions in the F/A-18 during Desert Storm. In all he has 7000 hours in tactical jets.




Brigadier General Richard Steve Ritchie
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14 / 6 / 2007Ace : 5.00 Victories
Brigadier General Richard Steve Ritchie

Born in June 1942 during World War Two, Steve Ritchie graduated and was commissioned from the USAF Academy in June 1964. He flew his first combat tour in Vietnam in 1968 on Fast FAC operations, before transferring to the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing for his second tour. It was with the 555th TFS - the famed 'Triple Nickel' Squadron, that he achieved Ace status. His first kill came on 10th May 1972 when he downed a MiG-21 forty miles south west of Hanoi, with his second a few weeks later just thirty miles south of the Chinese border. At the beginning of July he downed two MiG-21s west of Hanoi. It must have been his lucky area for on 28th August he scored his fifth and final victory in the same spot, thus becoming the only pilot Ace of the Vietnam War in the USAF, and the last US pilot to achieve Ace status.



Lieutenant Colonel Don Ross
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Lieutenant Colonel Don Ross

Don Ross flew Spitfire Vbs with the second American Eagle Squadron, 121 Squadron. By the time the squadron transferred to the 357th Fighter Group in September 1942 he had already completed 72 combat sorties. Shot down in February 1944 he became a POW until May 1945. He flew combat in Korea, and then F-4 Phantoms in Vietnam.



Brigadier General Iftach Spector
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Brigadier General Iftach Spector

a Double Ace with a minimum of 12 victories, at least 8 in the Mirage and 4 in the Phantom.



Squadron Leader Grant T Taylor
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Squadron Leader Grant T Taylor

Joined the Air Force in 1960 as an Apprentice at RAF Locking and then as a Cadet at RAF College Cranwell. Initially served as a QFI at RAF Syerston before converting to Hunters as a Fighter Reconnaissance pilot on 8 Sqn in Bahrain. In 1971 he converted to Lightning’s serving as a QFI/IRE on 23 Sqn at RAF Leuchars. In 1975 he converted to the Phantom and served a tour on 29 Sqn RAF Coningsby as QFI/IRE before taking up post on the Phantom OCU until 1986. During this period he also flew the Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight for four years. In 1986 he flew BAC 167 aircraft at the King Feisal Air Academy in Saudi Arabia returning to UK in 1988 to train flying instructors on Jet Provost and Tucano aircraft at the Central Flying School at RAF Scampton. In 1990 he was posted to the Central Flying School Exam Wing as a Basic and Advanced Command Examiner and Command IRE on Hawks, Jet Provost and Tucano aircraft. He served his last tour on 55 Sqn at RAF Cranwell flying the Dominie (HS125). In 1997 he retired from the RAF to become an Aviation Officer and continued to fly the Dominie until 2003. He then joined the instructional staff at the Hawk Synthetic Training Facility at RAF Valley. He has a total of 9500 hours.



Chuck Townsend
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Chuck Townsend

Chuck Townsend was born on July 10, 1942 in San Diego, California. Chuck's Dad was a naval officer, and he got to see the likes of Ft Collins, Colorado, Lincoln, Nebraska, before graduating from High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. Chuck attended Colorado State University and participated in the Air Force ROTC program. In 1962 Chuck earned a private pilot's license, and following graduation he attended Air Force Flight School at Williams AFB. He earned his wings at Williams (Class 6613) and was sent to MacDill AF13 for advanced fighter training school. As an F-4 Phantom II pilot Chuck spent 8 months in Vietnam - flying a total of 135 combat missions. He served with the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing under the command of Robin Olds, and was based in Ubon, Thailand. Chuck was awarded 13 Air Medals and two Distinguished Flying Crosses while in Vietnam. In late 1967 he returned to the States where he learned to fly the F-106. He was assigned to the Air Defense Command, and was stationed at Selfridge Field, Michigan as part of the 94th Squadron, which traces its roots back to Eddie Rickenbacker. Following the Pueblo incident, Chuck's unit was moved to Korea for six months. Later he would return to Michigan at Wordsmith AFB. Tiring of the harsh winters in northern Michigan, Chuck moved south to Tyndall AFB where he became an instructor in the F-106 for a period of three years. From 1973-1988 he served with the Air National Guard at Otis AFB, Massachusetts. As a Flight Commander, Chuck was involved in scheduling, training, instructing, and pilot evaluation. Known as Mr. 106, Chuck flew the F-106 for twenty years, accumulating the amazing total of 4410.6 hours in the aircraft. After retiring from the Air Force he joined Midway Airlines, and later United. At the latter airline Chuck has commanded 727s, 737-300s, and currently 767s and 757s. Chuck resides on Cape Cod with his wife of 18 years, the former Kathleen Falk. Chuck has two children from a prior marriage.




Flt Lt Pete Underwood
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Flt Lt Pete Underwood

Pete Underwood joined the RAF Officer Training College Cranwell in 1980. His first operational tour was from 1984 to 1986 on the Phantom FGR2, 19 Squadron, RAF Wildenrath in Germany. He was detached to No.23 Sqn for a 6-month duty in the Falkland Islands during this tour. His second operational tour was from 1986 to 1989 on the Phantom FG1, 111 Sqn, RAF Leuchars. After this tour he was posted to RAF Brawdy as a Tactics and Weapons Instructor on the Hawk TMk1. When RAF Brawdy closed he moved on to RAF Chivenor as OC Weapons Instruction Flight on the Hawk TMk1. He now flies as Captain on the Airbus A320/321 with Monarch Airlines Ltd.



Capt E Royce Williams USN
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Capt E Royce Williams USN

Royce Williams was born in Wilmot, South Dakota in 1925. In 1936 his family moved to Clinton, Minnesota where a familyowned grocery business was established. Royee worked in the business, but preferred outside work including activities at his Uncle's farm and lakeside resort. He was active in the 411 club and the Boy Scouts, and became the first young man from Clinton to attain Eagle Scout status. In high school Royce played three sports, including quarterback on his school's football team. He graduated first in his class. Royce had boyhood dreams of becoming a military pilot. His older brother had Joined the Navy in 1942, becoming a Marine Corps aviator. In March of 1943 Royce Joined up, and he became a naval aviator. Royce became carrier qualified in the F6F Hellcat on the old USS Ranger (CV-4.) He flew the F6F, and later the F4U Corsair and the F8F Bearcat. Royce attended the University of Minnesota where he earned his Bachelors Degree. He later would attend the Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey. Royee eventually transitioned to jets, where his first operational deployment was on board the USSOriskany, flyingthe17917-5 Panther. While deployed in Korea with the VF-781 (later redesignated V17-121) Pacemakers, Royee engaged seven Soviet-piloted Mig-15s on November 18, 1952. The Oriskany was only 100 miles from V1adivostok. Shortly after take-off Williain's flight of four Panthers encountered the seven Migs. Royce was instructed to reverse course and hold a barrier between the Migs and the Task Force, but the Migs attacked. It is believed that Royce downed three of the bogies, although official reports credited him with only one. With his Panther badly shot-up R oyce limped back to the Oriskany and got his aircraft home with the help of the LSO and ship's Captain. The engagement was politically sensitive as the US Government feared escalating Soviet involvement in the War in Korea. Mig kills were rare for the Navy in Korea (only 55 aerial victories), and the Panther was generally outclassed by the Mig-15 in most dogfights. Royce remained in the Navy until his retirement in 1980. He served as an exchange pilot with the USAF flying the F-86 and F-100. He also served as CO, XO and of VF-33 on board the USS Enterprise flying the F8-E Crusader, and later on board the USS America flying the F-4 Phantom 11. He also served as an Air Wing Commander during the Vietnam War. He also served as CO of the USS Eldorado, with CINCPAC Staff as COS ConiFAITWestPac, and as ACOS OPS ComTracPac. Royee's decorations include the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit with Combat V, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Bronze Star Medal. He married his hometown sweetheart, Cam, in 1947. They have three sons. Royce currently resides in Southern California.



Air Marshal Sir William Wratten KBE, CB, AFC, FRAeS
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Air Marshal Sir William Wratten KBE, CB, AFC, FRAeS

Air Marshal Wratten joined the RAF as a Cranwell Cadet, graduating in December 1960. He completed the CFS course the following year and went on to instruct as a first-tour QFI on Vampire T11s at Oakington and Swinderby. The Air Marshal converted onto Lightning at Middleton-St-George in 1963 before serving on 19 Squadron from 1964 to 1968, first at Leconfield and later Gutersloh. In 1968 Air Marshal Wratten converted to Phantoms at Davis-Monthan AFB, USA, and then instructed on 288 (Phantom) OCU from 1968 to 1970. He was posted in 1971 as Flight Commander on 17 Squadron at RAF Bruggen, operating the Phantom in the Strike / Attack role. Returning to the UK in 1973, he joined the staff on HQ 38 Group before attending the RAF Staff College in 1974. He then joined the OR staff at the Minstry of Defence for a brief spell before being promoted to Wing Commander and, in 1975 taking command of 23 Squadron with the Phantom in AD role. On completing his tour as Officer Commanding 23 Squadron, Air Marshal Wratten was posted to the Air Secretarys staff at Barnwood before being promoted to Group Captain in 1980 and taking command of RAF Coningsby. In June 1982 he moved to the Falkland Islands to form and command RAF Stanley. After attending RCDS in 1983, the Air Marshal became one of the two Directors OR (Air) being concerned with future RAF aircraft (except Nimrod AEW) and offensive weapons systems. In September 1986 he was appointed SASO HQ 1 Group, a post he held until becoming AOC 11 Group on 17th March 1989. Between 14th November 1990 and 22nd March 1991, Air Marshal Wratten was detached to HQ British Forces Middle East in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he held the appointments of Air Commander and Deputy British Forces Commander Middle East during the Gulf conflict. In recognition of this service he received a Knighthood in the Operation GRANBY Honours List. On 19th September 1991, Sir William was promoted to Air Marshal prior to taking up his appointment as Director General Saudi Armed Forces Project.


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