F-4 Phantom II in Action
With a top speed of Mach 2.2 and the ability to carry more than 18,000 pounds of weapons on nine external hardpoints, the tandem-seat McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II was a large fighter-bomber that served as a major component of U.S. military air power from its introduction in 1960 to its retirement from U.S. combat squadrons in 1995. The F-4 saw major action during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s serving as the principal air superiority fighter for both the Navy and Air Force. Later in the conflict it took on important ground attack and aerial reconnaissance tasks as well. The Phantom was still in service during the Gulf War of 1990-1991 where it performed reconnaissance and suppressed enemy air defenses. Produced from 1958 to 1981 the Phantom also served in the armed forces of 11 other countries. This 88-page volume, which is packed with 211 photographs, covers the design and development of the Phantom, beginning in response to the need for a carrier-based Navy interceptor in the mid-1950s, and tracing innovations and changes introduced to the aircraft during its long career. 88 pages.