F-4E 67-0295 was one of the first E-model Phantoms to see combat in South East Asia, deploying from Eglin AFB with the 40th TFS between November 13 and 17,1968 as part of transpac FORTY-SEVEN BUCK NINE. On arrival at Korat AB, Thailand the aircraft was officially assigned to the custody of the 388th TFW / 469th TFS to complete their transition from the long serving F-105 Thunderchief.
A few months later, the state of the Korat runway dictated a closure for repairs and the 469th TFS deployed to Ubon AB, from January 30 to March 3, 1969, for temporary duty with the 8th TFW. This was the only trip of Phantom 67-0295 away from Korat AB, however with no let-up in combat missions. The aircraft spent the next year and a bit racking up hundreds of combat missions (flying some 262 hours during April to June 1969 alone) but the perils of combat finally claimed her. On June 9, 1970, flying as ‘SEAFOX 02’ on a night AC119 STINGER escort mission over Southern Laos, the Phantom was hit by 37mm anti-aircraft fire. Luckily, both crew-members (Capt. Ronald L. Klingman & Capt. Carey W. Ripple) ejected safely and were recovered by search and rescue forces the next morning.
Seen at Korat AB, Thailand, in May 1969, loaded and ready to go north with a full load of 500lbs slick bombs on the MERs and TERs. The aircraft is wearing her JV tail code (officially a Distinctive Unit Identifier) and features the 388th TFW sharksmouth along with an as delivered black radome and short cannon muzzle. Interesting to see how small the gap is between the concrete and the bottom of the 500lbs bombs on left inboard TER. (Richard Eikel via Richard Davies Collection)
Photographed in its revetment at Korat AB in October 1969, now fitted with a partially coated or ‘tan’ replacement radome and with what looks like Presidential Unit Citation and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon insignia on the forward fuselage. (Unknown photographer via Richard Davies Collection)