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F-4C 64-0736 made a trip to Clark AB on 1 January. F-4C 63-7623 transferred from Clark AB to Cam Ranh Bay AB on 27 January, possibly a temporary transfer to the 12 TFW; 64-0732, deployed at Clark AB, was temporarily transferred to the 12 TFW on 27 January. F-4C 63-7680, 63-7710, and 64-0731 were deployed at Clark AB 25 January; 63-7686 returned from Clark AB on 28 January; 63-7656 returned from Clark AB on 30 January. F-4C 63-7687 was still at Clark AB as of 31 January.

F-4C 63-7530 was transferred on 31 January to the 4453 CCTW, Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona.


At some point during the month F-4C 63-7686 was temporarily transferred to the 12 TFW.

F-4C 63-7486 (> 433 TFS) was acquired on 1 February from the 35 TFW. F-4C 63-7586 was acquired on 2 February from the 366 TFW element at Holloman AFB, New Mexico. F-4C 64-0695 and 64-0708, formerly of the 12 TFW deployed to the 6200 MW, were acquired by the 497 TFS on 3 February.

F-4C 63-7677, 68 TFS to 497 TFS on 3 February.

On 21 February the 8 FMS/8 TFW lost F-4C 64-0728 (392 hours), call sign Cobra, during an 1800-hours dusk Armed Reconnaissance mission over BARREL ROLL C section in Laos. Making a run on trucks at 19 -29’N/103�-20’E, the aircraft was hit by unknown gunfire that resulted in a fire. CAPT. J.L. Moore, Jr., pilot/1LT M.J. Peters, PSO, ejected at 19�-30’N/103�-21’E and were picked up by USAF helicopter. Both suffered minor injuries.

F-4C 63-7659 & 63-7683. 68 TFS, Ubon, deployed to Clark AB on 22 February; 64-0731 Clark AB to Ubon on 23 February.

The Triple Nickel Squadron, 555 TFS, formerly of the 12 TFW, completed their air defense rotation at Naha AB, Okinawa, and forward deployed on 24 February to Udorn RTAFB and assignment to the 2 AD.

555 TFS, Udron 26/2: 63-7518, 64-0675, 64-0694, 64-0725 (ex 12 TFW TDY to 51 FIW Naha)

On the night of 27 February the 433 TFA/8 TFW lost F-4C 64-0742, call sign Sheep, during a CAS mission (SL480) targeting a vehicle at 16�-29’N/106�-21’E, Section F, TIGER HOUND, Laos. Hit in the left wing by automatic weapon fire while over the target. The aircrews, CAPT. J.C. Kahl, pilot/1LT G.H. Hall, PSO, headed for safety over Thailand. They made it to within 10 ml/16-km of Ubon RTAFB before the fire/battle damage forced them to eject at 15�-25’N/104�-50’E and ride to the base aboard an unidentified helicopter.

28/2: 64-0702, ex 12 TFW TDY to 51 FIW Naha, to Udorn.

F-4C 63-7580 was transferred on 3 March to the 12 TFW.

On 11 March F-4C 63-7629 was transferred from the 8 TFW contingent at George AFB, Ca. To the 12 TFW. This aircraft was subsequently transferred back to the 8 TFW sometime between 11 March and early June. At Clark AB the 8 TFW added: F-4C 63-7645 on 11 March; 63-7647 on 14 March.

6/3: 64-0739. 68 TFS Ubon to 8 TFW Clark

9/3: 12 TFW, TDY Naha > 2 AD Udorn

12/3: 63-7686, 12 TFW > 8 TFW, 6200 MW – 23/3

15/3: cc – 15/3; 8 TFW, 433 TFS 18/3-

16/3: 64-0717, 68 TFS, Ubon to 8 TFW, 497 TFS

20/3: 63-7640 WM > 8 TFW Clark; 63-7650 68 TFS Ubon > Clark AB (back to Ubon 23/3)

21/3: 63-7667, 68 TFW Ubon to Clark AB

F-4C 64-0732, last noted with the 12 TFW on 12 January, had been reacquired by the 497 TFS by early March. During a 15 March 1800-hours dusk ROLLING THUNDER 49 Armed Reconnaissance mission along Route 19, RP-V (MIA Country), the 497 TFS/8 TFW lost F-4C 64-0732 (356 hours), call sign Boron, one of a flight of two F-4C over the Lai Chau Province. Approaching the target area the flight lead spotted two trucks, LCOL Peter J. Stewart, pilot/CAPT Martin R. Scott, PSO, commenced a strafing run on the target (21�-22’N/103�-00’E)—fifteen seconds later there was a large orange explosion on the ground. Resulting fire. An aerial search of the area failed to locate any parachutes nor survivors; no beepers were heard. A brief glimmer of hope was raised when a red double star flare was seen approximately two minutes after the crash but the wingman was unable to adequately investigate due to the heavy ground fire. No SAR mission was possible due to the extremely hostile conditions in the crash site area—a valley south of Dien Bien Phu. Both men are listed as MIA. LCOL Stewart and CAPT Scott were declared KIA-BNR based on a presumptive finding of death in January 1980 and January 1979, respectively.

On 22 March F-4C 63-7500 was temporarily transferred to the 2 AD at Da Nang AB (probably the 35 TFW).

Several aircraft were transferred in from the 12 TFW, Cam Ranh Bay, late in the month: F-4C 7540 on 23 March; F-4C 63-7523 & 63-7525, both to the 555 TFS, on 29 March.

On 27 March the 433 TFS lost F-4C 63-7681 (573 hours) during a 0300-hour strike over Laos. During a dive on the target the aircraft is listed as lost to ‘No Defenses (Combat Associated)" with subsequent loss of flight control. CAPT D.G. Rokes and 1Lt J.O. Ozbolt ejected at 17�-01’N/106�-01’E and were safely recovered.

F-4C 63-7648, 433 TFS, was transferred to Da Nang AB (probably 35 TFW) on 1 April. F-4C 63-7688, 68 TFS, Korat RTAFB, was transferred to the Ogden AMA depot on 13 April. F-4C 63-7438 was acquired from the 33 TFW on 14 April. F-4C 64-0708, deployed to the 6200 MW, Clark AB, was transferred to 12 TFW custody on 16 April.

On 16 April the 8 TFW lost F-4C 63-7677 (634 hours), call sign Hedgehog, during an 1800-hours dusk ROLLING THUNDER 50 Armed Reconnaissance mission against weapon sites over RP-I, North Vietnam. During the dive on the target (17�-35’N/106�-17’E) they were hit by moderate automatic weapon fire which resulted in a fire. MAJ Sam R. Johnson and 1LT L.J. Chesley ejected at 17�-37’N/106�-19’E and sat out the rest of the war as POWs. MAJ Johnson was to become one of the infamous ‘Alcatraz 11’, who were singled out for special harsh treatment because of their uncommon resistance. He was among the 135 inmates released from the Hoa Lo prison on 12 February 1973.

F-4C 64-0734 and 64-0760 were acquired on 21 April for the 497 TFS via the 33 TFW.

On 23 April the U.S. air forces encountered NVAF MiGs in strength. The 555 TFS began laying claim to being USAF’s premier dogfighters by downing the first two of 39 MiG kills to be scored over the next 6 � years. CAPT Max F. Cameron, pilot/1LT Robert E. Evans, PSO, in F-4C 64-0689, downed the first MiG-17 via the AIM-98 Sidewinder AAM, for the squadron; the second MiG-17 fell to an AIM-7D Sparrow III AAM fired by CAPT Robert E. Blake, pilot/1LT S.W. George, PSO, in F-4C 64-0699. To be fair to history however, the Triple Nickel squadron also lost at least 8-10 F-4 to NVAF MiGs over the same time period.

On 29 April two 555 TFS F-4C scored a pair of Mig-17 kills. CAPT William B. Dowell, pilot/1LT Halbert E. Gossard, PSO, in F-4C 64-0696, used the AIM-98 to knock down their MiG-17. CAPT Larry R. Keith, pilot/1LT Robert A. Bleakley, PSO, maneuvered another MiG-17 into crashing.

The 555 TFS added a fifth MiG kill on 30 April when CAPT Lawrence H. Golberg, pilot/1LT Gerald D. Hardgrave, PSO, in F-4C (unidentified serial number) used the AIM-98 Sidewinder to down a Mig-17.

F-4C 64-0762 was assigned to the 555 TFS some time in late April/early May, then reassigned to the 497 TFS on 14 May.

On 13 May the 8 TFW lost F-4C 64-0760 (193 hours) during a 0300-hours ROLLING THUNDER 50 Armed Reconnaissance mission over RP-I, North Vietnam. While enroute to the target the aircraft encountered a combat-associated event at 17�-29’N/106�-22’E followed by CAPT Donald L. King and 1LT Frank D. Ralston, III, being listed as MIA at 17�-35’N/106�-27’E. Both men were subsequently redesignated at KIA. Several days later, on 17 May, the 433 TFS lost F-4C 64-0717 (540 hours) followed an Armed Reconnaissance mission. The aircraft overran the runway, causing enough damage to strike the aircraft.

F-4C 63-7564, was acquired from the 366 TFW Holloman AFB contingent on 25 May.

The 555 TFS lost F-4c 63-7664 (472 hours), call sign Neon, during a 0100-hours ROLLING THUNDER 50 Armed Reconnaissance mission on 30 May. During level flight at the target (19�-22’N/105�-47’E) in RP-III, North Vietnam, the aircraft was hit by unknown gunfire (during a rocket pass). MAJ D.W. Ragland and 1LT N.R. Herrold tried to nurse their mortally wounded aircraft out to sea and a safer ejection. They are both listed as KIA at sea (19�-22’N/105�-51’E).

On 1 June the 433 TFS lost F-4C 63-7571, call sign Zebra, during a 2000-hours ROLLING THUNDER 50 Armed Reconnaissance mission targeting a railroad line in RP-VIA, North Vietnam. During the first flare dropping dive at the target (21�-30’N/106�-27’E) the aircraft was hit by heavy 37/55-mm AAA. CAPT Armand J. Myers and 1LT J.R. Borling ejected at 21�-35’N/106�-34’E and sat out the rest of the war as POWs.

F-4C 63-7609 and 63-7614 were acquired (497 TFS) on 5 June from the 15 TFW. F-4C 63-7614s stay was short, being transferred on 14 June to the 35 TFW. F-4C 63-7609 was similarly transferred to the 35 TFW (date uncertain); 64-0734 & 64-0762 (both 497 TFS) transferred to the 35 TFW on 14 June. F-4C 63-7499, 63-7500 (2 AD), 63-7502, 63-7503 were acquired on 14 June from the 35 TFW, all being assigned to the 497 TFS. F-4C 63-7589 is listed as transferred in from the 35 TFW (date uncertain) to the 433 TFS by 14 June.

The 433 TFS acquired two aircraft from the 33 TFW during the month: 64-0838 on 6 June and 64-0819, 26 June; the 497 TFS acquired 64-0795 on 6 June and 64-0779 on 26 June from the 33 TFW. During June the 555 TFS, temporarily based at Udorn RTAFB, made the move to Ubon RTAFB. F-4C 64-0702 joined the squadron from Naha AB on 4 June; 64-0698 joined on 5 June.

63-7525 4/6, > Udorn 15/6 > Ubon 16/6, 497 TFS.

63-7514 555 TFS > 433 TFS on 16 June.

F-4C 63-7560 was acquired from the 366 TFW Holloman AFB contingent on 5 July.

5/7: 64-0819, 433 TFS > 497 TFS

On 20 July the 555 TFS lost F-4C 63-7695 (702 hours), call sign Mallard, following a 2200-hours ROLLING THUNDER 51 Armed Reconnaissance mission over RP-I. Returning from the mission the aircraft was hit by unknown gunfire at 17�-05’N/106�-59’E. During the GCA approach at home base the fire warning light for the right engine came on, precipitating a late ejection (17�-23’N/102�-48’E)—1LT S.W. George, pilot, chose to eject (too late, too low to the ground) and was killed; CAPT R.A. Walmsley, PSO, stayed with the crash-landing aircraft, suffering multiple bone fractures—but survived.

22/7: 555 TFS 63-7470, 63-7473. Both of these aircraft were subsequently transferred to the 35 TFW in August and September. 63-7509, 63-7518, 63-7535, 63-7536, 63-7544, 63-7552, 64-0725, 64-0796.

On 2 August F-4C 64-0698, 555 TFS, was transferred to the 366 TFS, Phan Rang AB; 64-0694, 555 TFS, made the transfer on 3 August. A handful of aircraft were transferred to the 12 TFW during the month: F-4C 63-7499 (497 TFS), 63-7509, 63-7544, 64-0701, 64-0725 (all 555 TFS) on 1 August; 63-7552 (555 TFS) on 8 August. Several aircraft were transferred from the 555 TFS to the 35 TFW on 2 August: F-4C 63-7518, 63-7535, the 497 TFS added 63-7647. F-4C 63-7650, 1/n 8 TFW 32/3, was transferred to the 12 TFW then to the 35 TFW (9-23/8), before being reacquired by the 433 TFW on 23 August.

On 8 August the 555 lost F-4C 63-7560, call sign Ozark, following a 0700-hours ROLLING THUNDER 51 Armed Reconnaissance mission over RP-VIB, North Vietnam. After delivering their ordnance against trucks the aircraft was beginning the run home when hit at 21�-33’N/106�-45’E by heavy 37/57-mm. The aircrew ejected just past feet wet, at 21�-10’N/106�-45’E; 1LT P.E. Wynns was listed as KIA; CAPT Lawrence H. Goldberg was listed as MIA, his remains were repatriated on 30 September 1977.

On 11 August the 497 TFS lost F-4C 63-7502, call sign Hurricane, during a 0300-hours ROLLING THUNDER 51 Armed Reconnaissance mission in RP-VIA, North Vietnam. Climbing at the target, an AAA gun position at 21�-23’N/106�-16’E, the aircraft was hit by a heavy barrage of 85-mm AAA. CAPT R.L. Penn and 1LT B.B. Finzer made it feet wet before ejecting at 19�-38’N/106�-51’E and a wet ride home aboard a USN helicopter. During the last week of August the 497 TFS lost two F-4C. On 27 August

F-4C 63-7525, call sign Nitro, was lost during a 1900-hours ROLLING THUNDER Armed Reconnaissance mission against a AAA Gun position in RP-I. During the pull-up at target (17�-23’N/106�-37’E) the aircraft was hit by 37/57-mm AAA with a resulting fire. MAJ J.E. Barrow and 1LT T.H. Walsh, Jr, made it feet wet before ejecting at 17�-28’N/106�-48’E and recovery by USN helicopter. On 29 August F-4C 63-7503, call sign Anvil, was lost during another ROLLING THUNDER 51 Armed Reconnaissance mission in RP-I, this time targeting a truck. During a napalm delivery run the aircraft was hit by 37/57-mm AAA, crashing at 17�-37’N/106�-19’E. 1LT Sammie D. Hoff and CAPT Kenneth D. Robinson were listed as Crash-MIA with both sets of remains repatriated on 15 December 1988.

F-4C 63-7667, 433 TFS, made the trip to the Air Asia depot on 25 September. 28/8 deliveries to the 497 TFS from the 33 TFW: 64-0821, 64-0826, 64-0827, 64-0832. 64-0833/

497 TFS >433 TFS: 63-7559 (>18/8), 63-7634 (>22-8, back to 497 TFS on 23/8), 63-7644 (>3/8), 63-7643 (>22/8), 63-7626 (22/8), 63-7659 (22/8, prob.), 63-7673 (>22/8), 64-0833 (31/8), 63-7686 (22/8), 64-0675 (8/8), 64-0739 (9/8) 433 TFS > 497 TFS, 22/8: 63-7623, 63-7667, 63-7683 (prob.) 64-0838, 64-0735, 64-0675 (31/8)

On 4 September the 555 TFS lost F-4C 63-7561, call sign Satan, enroute to the target on a scheduled ROLLING THUNDER 51 Strike mission against a POL storage facility in RP-VIA, North Vietnam. Enroute the aircraft was hit by a SA-2 SAM at 21�-36’N/105�-42’E. 1LT J.H. Nasmyth sat out the rest of the war as a POW: 1LT Raymond P. Salzarulo was killed, his remains were repatriated on 13 September 1990.

F-4C 63-7538 did a ten-day tour, 9-19 September, with the 3960 SW at Anderson AFB, Guam, before being assigned to the 498 TFS.

After only five months in-country F-4C 63-7438 was transferred on 12 September to the 35 TFW, Eglin AFB, Florida.

On the night of 10 September the 433 TFS lost F-4C 64-0832 (357 hours), call sign Clipper, on a 2000-hours ROLLING THUNDER 51 Strick mission against the Dap Cau Railroad and Highway Bridge (JCS Target No. 16) in RP-VIB, North Vietnam. In level flight over the target (21�-20’N/106�-30’E) the aircraft was hit by a SA-2 SAM. CAPT D.B. Peterson and 1LT B.L. Talley struggled with their damaged aircraft, finally being forced to eject at 21�-15’N/107�-00’E and being captured for the duration.

The next three USAF F-4C losses were all attributed to operational causes. On 13 September the 497 TFS lost two F-4C: 63-7694 (803 hours) had just become airborne when it went into an excessive steep pitch angle, stalled and crashed into the ground 700-ft/213-m short of the runway overrun. CAPT John E. Stackhouse and 1LT Benjamin B. Finzer were killed. F-4C 63-7640 was in the process of jettisoning external stores from the centerline MER, loaded with four Mk.82 500-lb/227-kg GP bombs when something banged into the bottom of the aircraft, followed by a flash of light and two fire warning lights. Being informed that their aircraft was on fire MAJ P. Patterson and 1LT R. Thomas ejected and were safely recovered.

The second loss, on 16 September, belonged to the 555 TFS; part of a flight of four, F-4C 63-7643, call sign Moonglow, was on a 1500-hours ROLLING THUNDER 51 Armed Reconnaissance mission over the Dap Cau Railroad and Highway Bridge (JGS Target No. 16.) in RP-VIB, North Vietnam, when the flight was jumped by a flight of MiG-17 Frescoes. The F-4C aircrews jettisoned their ordnance and turned to engage the MiGs in airspace filed with AAA and SAM launches. F-4C 63-7643 engaged with and became the first USAF loss to a MiG at 21�-12’N/106�-22’E. The aircrew ejected immediately; 1LT Hubert F. Buchanan was captured and sat out the rest of the war. During his post-war debriefing he described the MiG engagement—the last time he saw MAJ John L. Robertson. Other POWs interviewed reported being questioned about MAJ Robertson by their captors on 17 September—the POWs were told MAJ Robertson was dead. In June 1978 his MIA status was changed to Dead/BNR based on a presumptive finding of death.

In January 1987 a U.S. intelligence service received a report about the wartime crash of an F-4 which seemed to correlate to this loss. One crewman was reportedly captured and one died in the crash. A U.S. field team in Vietnam visited the Hai Hung Province between February-April 1990, interviewing witnesses who described the aerial encounter between a U.S. jet and a MiG. One crewman ejected and was captured. The team visited the crash site and determined that the aircraft wreckage had previously been dug up and removed to a nearby warehouse. The U.S. team was provided with a small packet of remains allegedly from the crash site—however, U.S. forensic tests revealed these remains were non-human. Also during the April period Vietnam repatriated remains it identified as those of MAJ Robertson, these remains were later determined to be the skeletal remains of a large animal (possible a horse or cow) and a piece of non-bone material, possibly a rock. During the November-December 1991 period the crash site was excavated and personal property of an individual, probably American, was recovered and forwarded for analysis. Parts of the aircraft were recovered, including a data plate as well as bone material. The case continues to undergo investigation.

1LT Jerry W. Jameson, pilot/1LT Douglas B. Rose, PSO, in F-4C 63-7650, described the ensuing dogfight in the MCDONNEL Phantom NEWSLETTER , Vol. 1, No. 2, October 1966:

"…described the airborne battle as a ‘merry-go-round of fighters,’ and at one point saw as many as six planes strung out and firing at each other.I saw a MiG at our eleven o’clock position about five miles away. I was in afterburner and, closing, I squeezed off two of our Sidewinder missiles. I then had to break away sharply because I saw another MiG coming in at me from our four o’clock position. When I turned back, I saw a white chute and debris."

Three aircraft were lost on 19 September. The 555 TFS lost F-4c 63-7687 (648 hours), call sign Ringo, following a ROLLING THUNDER 51 Strike on a railroad bridge in RP-VIA. Following the tactical portion of the mission the aircraft was hit by unknown AAA at 21�-33’N/106�-29’E. 1LT Peter C. Bruhn, pilot, described the mission in the Phantom NEWSLETTER , June 1967:

"…On this flight we were going against the North Eastern Railroad, when I saw a SAM (Surface to Air Missile) at our 11 o’clock position. We took evasive action, the SAM missed us, but hit an already damaged F-105 Thunderchief…." (CAPT G.L. Ammon, F-105D 62-4371, 357 TFA/355 TFW, call sign Wildcat, was listed as MIA.)

1LT Bruhn then assumed a RESCAP over the down Thud pilot. Their fuel became critical with no chance of making it to home plate, the crew decided to try for the forward unimproved strip at Dong Ha, in northern Quang Tri Province, I CORPS. They selected to not ditch over water with the thought of trying to salvage some of the aircraft. Upon landing on the rough field (16�-46’N/106�-50’E) they ran off the runway, impacting into a 20-ft/6-m embankment. The aircraft was subsequently listed as an administrative strike, being deemed too uneconomical to repair. Though, as typical of this kind of accident, the aircraft was stripped of all usable parts, including major fuselage assemblies, for placement in the sparse in-country spares inventory.

On 21 September the 433 TFS lost F-4c 63-7642, call sign Spitfire, on a scheduled ROLLING THUNDER 51 Strike mission against a railroad and highway bridge in RP-VIB. Enroute to the target there is a difference of opinion about what happened: a McAir preliminary post-loss report indicated AAA hits knocked out one engine, the other engine caught fire; the CAN report cites the aircraft was hit in the fuselage by MiG gunfire (probably MiG-17) at 21�-09’N/106�-23’E. CAPT R.G. Kellems and 1LT J.W. Thomas made it feet wet before ejecting at 17�-47’N/107�-26’E and a pick-up by USAF helicopter.

The last loss of the month was F-4C 64-0736 (701 hours), call sign Cleveland, from the 497 TFS, lost on a 2100-hours ROLLING THUNDER 51 Armed Reconnaissance mission targeting a ferry in RP-I. Hit by light AAA at the target, (17�-50’N/105�-09’E) MAJ S. Waxman, pilot, is listed as Eject-KIA; 1LT J.E. Glover, PSO ejected at 17�-38’N/106�-03’E and was recovered by USAF helicopter.

4/9 – 63-7623 497 TFS > 433 TFS

13/9 – 64-0842 & 64-0848, 497 TFS from the 33 TFW

18/9 – 63-7586, 497 TFS > 433 TFS; 63-7626 > 35 TFW

20/9 – 63-7544 was reacquired from the 12 TFW, > 497 TFS

21/9 – 64-0838 497 TFS > 433 TFS

23/9 – 63-7540 trf to 35 TFW

25/9: 63-7496, 63-7641 (555 TFS); 63-7518 (> 433 TFS), 63-7647 (> 555 TFS) were reacquired from the 35 TFW; 63-7586, 63-7589, 63-7623, 63-7686, 64-0833 (433 TFS > 555 TFS); 63-7652 & 64-0720, 555 TFS, returned from Clark AB 26/9: 63-7522 and 63-7552 (both > 433 TFS) were acquired from the 12 TFW. 64-0698 (>555 TFS), 64-0702 (>555 TFS) 64-0800 (>433 TFS) was acquired from the 35 TFW.

: 555 TFS: 63-7532, 63-7533

COL Robin Olds arrived at the end of September to assume command of the Wolfpack. D/O COL Daniel C. ‘Chappie’ James. Throughout USAF these two men earned the nickname of ‘Batman and Robin’ (another version, Blackman and Robin). COL James would later earn the distinction of becoming the first black U.S. military officer to pin on four stars (General) when he was named commander of the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD)

F-4C 63-7448 (>433 TFS) and 63-7524 (>555 TFS) were acquired from the 15 TFW on 2 October.

On 2 October the 497 TFS lost F-4C 64-0821 (392 hours), call sign Scotch, on a 2000-hours ROLLING THUNDER 51 Strike against a military complex in RP-I. During a dive on the target (17�-44’N/106�-23’E) two bombs collided upon release, causing fatal damage to the aircraft (CAN document cites 37/57-mm AAA battle damage). CAPT J.W. Lacasse and 1LT A.L. Workman managed their aircraft feet wet before ejecting at 16�-40’N/107�-50’E. CAPT Lacasse was recovered by USAF helicopter while 1LT Workman was picked up the USN ship.

Escort mission (for a Douglas EB-66) against a bridge in RP-V, 21�-32’N/104�-08’E. A MiG alert had been sounded but no visual contact was made. At 30,000-ft/9,144-m altitude the aircraft was hit in the right fuselage by unknown gunfire (possibly MiG) with ensuing observed fire. The loss is recorded at 21�-29’N/104�-23’E. Of the aircrew, 1LT E.W. Carland was recovered (major injuries) by USAF helicopter; CAPT William R. Andrews was listed ad Eject-KIA, with his remains repatriated on 13 September 1990.

The 497 TFS lost F-4C 63-7486, call sign Bobcat, on a midnight hour ROLLING THUNDER 51 Armed Reconnaissance mission against a truck park in RP-I. Pulling up on the first 200-ft/61-m rocket pass on the target (17�-49’N/106�-26’E) the aircraft was presumed hit by unknown gunfire (possibly combat associated). The aircraft crashed in the target area (17�-48’N/106�26’E) with 1LT Robert M. Gilchrist and 1LT Eugene M. Pabst were killed.

The 497 TFS acquired two aircraft on 10 October: 64-0839 was acquired from the (WCPR) depot; 64-0841 from the 15 TFW. The 433 TFS acquired 64-0773 and 64-0843 on 10 October from the 15 TFW.

F-4C 63-7656 > 6200 MW on 16 October. F-4C 64-0770 (acquired from the 15 TFW between February and the fall), 555 TFS > on 16 October.

On 20 October the 433 TFS lost F-4C 63-7518, call sign Avenger, during a 0700-hours STEEL TIGER Armed Reconnaissance mission against a truck park in Section E, Laos. During the second dive on the target (17�-05’N/105�-59’E) the aircraft was hit by automatic weapons fire. MAJ L. Breckenridge and 1LT J.E. Merrick ejected at 16�-58’N/105�-53’E and rode back to base aboard a USAF helicopter.

F-4C 63-7659 was sent to the Air Asia depot on 21 October. Upon completion of the work the aircraft was transferred on 29 November to the 12 TFW.

F-4C 64-0826, 497 TFS, was transferred on 23 October to the 12 TFW. F-4C 64-0691, deployed at Clark AB, was transferred on 27 October to the 12 TFW.

F-4C 64-0849, formerly of the 15 TFW, made a mid-Pacific temporary duty with the 3960 SW, Anderson AFB, Guam, 22-29 October, before being assigned to the 433 TFS on 29 October.

F-4C 63-7499, 433 TFS, made the trip to the Air Asia depot on 1 November.

F-4C 63-7442 was acquired from the 33 TFW on 10 November (assigned to the 497 TFS). F-4C 63-7487, 63-7496, 63-7432, 63-7533, all of the 555 TFS; 63-7544 (497 TFS), were transferred on 10 November to the 366 TFW.

433 TFS > 497 TFS 4/11: 63-7448, 63-7514, 63-7552, 63-7555, 63-7556, 63-7559, 63-7650, 64-0849, 64-0739

497 TFS> 433 TFS 4/11: 64-0827, 64-0841, 64-0842, 64-0848, 64-0770 (to 6200MW)

497 TFS 4/11: 63-7538

555 TFS > 497 TFS 4/11: 63-7586, 63-7641, 63-7652, 63-7686, 64-0698, 64-0699,

555 TFS 4/11: 63-7500, (497 TFS >) 63-7634

433 TFS > 555 TFS 4/11: 63-7644

497 TFS > 555 TFS 4/11: 64-0819, 64-0731, 64-0779

4/11 – 64-0675, 497 TFS trf to NARF NORIS

15/11 – 63-7710, 497 TFS, returned from 6200 MW

19/11 – 63-7650 433 TFS; 12 TFW

29/11 – F-4C 63-7647 555 TFS > 433 TFS

F-4C 63-7683, 497 TFS, returned from a visit to the 6200 MW on 15 November.

The 497 TFS transferred several aircraft to the 12 TFW during the month: F-4C 63-7552 and 64-0739 on 19 November; 63-7667, on 26 November; 63-7586, (63-7659, from the Air Asia depot) were transferred on 29 November.


On 2 December USAF and USN launched coordinated strikes from bases in Thailand, South Vietnam, and the five on-line aircraft carriers, targeting the rich target complex inside the 30-mi/48-km sanctuary around Hanoi. When the dust settled that day would be dubbed ‘Black Friday’ in recognition of the heavy attrition in a single day. Five F-4 from five different squadrons (4 USAF, 1 USN) fall to a variety of causes. Nine of ten aircrewmen were captured and began the long stay as POWs. (One F-105D from the 34 TFS/ 388 TFW also fell this day; CAPT M.L. Moorberg was listed as Crash-KIA.) The 8 TFW was fortunate this day with all aircraft safely returning home.

F-4C 63-7499 returned from the Air Asia depot on 3 December and was assigned to the 497 TFS. F-4C 64-0770, 433 TFW, returned from the 6200 WM on 6 December.

On 20 December the 497 TFS lost F-4C 64-0698 (699 hours) on a Ferry mission from Clark AB, Philippines, destined for Ubon RTAFB. Approximately one hour out of Clark AB the aircraft entered an uncontrollable spin and crashed at sea, being listed as another victim of the control failure problem often plaguing the F-4. 1LT David A. Lum and 1LT P.A. Stipp were safely recovered.

F-4C 64-0773, 433 TFS, made the trip to the 6200 MW on 22 December.

Weather canceled many strikes over North Vietnam in this time period. That, combined with the two-part holiday truce, Christmas Truce, 24-25 December and 31 December through 2 January 1967, missions were suspended over North Vietnam—with the exception of reconnaissance missions. Strike missions over STEEL TIGER were flown as scheduled. In between these truces the 555 TFS/8 TFW lost F-4C 64-0833 (654 hours) on 27 December during a CAP mission. A malfunctioning fuel system in the engine bay resulted in an in-flight fire and loss of the aircraft over Thailand. MAJ R.E. Gust and LT Shepard were recovered.

F-4C 63-7652, l/n 497 TFS, 4/11, was subsequently temporarily transferred to the 366 TFW before being reacquired on 27 December; 64-0818 was acquired from the 366 TFW on 27 December. F-4C 64-0739 was reacquired on 27 December from the 12 TFW.

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