RF-4C 68-0573

RF-4C 68-0573 is seen at Udorn in 1969, wearing her ‘OZ’ tail code, indicating assignment to the 432nd TRW / 14th TRS. The recce-Phantom made its first flight on May 28, 1969, and was formally accepted into US Air Force inventory on July 3 the same year. Officially assigned to the 432nd TRW on July 11, it was then ferried to Thailand, arriving at Udorn a week later where the Phantom joined the 14th TRS. A long tour in combat with the squadron followed, with just one break in the action for a December 1970 to February 1971 deployment to the AIR ASIA depot at Tainan, Taiwan, for overhaul. The aircraft’s service sadly ended on January 20, 1972,

when it succumbed to 37mm AA fire on a mission over Northern Laos. The crew of ‘BULLWHIP 26’, Maj. Robert K. Mock and 1Lt. John L. Stiles, ejected safely and were recovered by a pair of AIR AMERICA helicopters, which happened to operate nearby. (Richard Davies Collection)