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About cmayer

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    WWII, Vietnam-era U.S. Jets, Post-Vietnam to Present Day U.S. Jets

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  1. I came back to this thread to report that the McDonnell F-4B/C/D/J drawing says 23 degrees, 15 minutes "negative dihedral," but Derek already found it... I feel like the guy in the original Right Stuff movie running down the long government building corridor to report "It's called Sputnik!!" "We know." ("Sit down!")
  2. cmayer


    After 1970, that may be the case...but in 1967-68, prior to the Air Force standardizing use, display, and implementation of two-letter tail codes, the 366 TFW Gunfighters at Da Nang AB, Vietnam, used a system similar to WWII fighter squadrons, in that they designated squadrons with the first letter, A, B, or C (for the 389 TFS, 390 TFS, and 480 TFS, respectively); and individual aircraft by the second letter (A-Z). So, each individual F-4 in the 366 TFW had a unique tail code identifier for that particular serial number or tail number...in this case, (photo on the OP, above), "AT" was a unique
  3. cmayer


    Ziggy is correct: this series of photos was shot ca. 1967-68 at Cam Ranh Bay by Richard Kamm; but his friend/relative, August Horvath inherited the slide collection and scanned them/posted them on various on-line aviation fora ca. 2006 and later. Lots of awesome views of 12 TFW Cam Ranh Bay (CRB) early F-4Cs, including many "famous" tail numbers formerly of the 8 TFW Wolfpack at Ubon, after those specific jets were transferred from Ubon to CRB. Also some great shots of 366 TFW Gunfighter F-4Cs that had diverted or visited CRB, or maybe were also reassigned to CRB, prior to tail and unit marki
  4. That's a great find, a Da Nang jet with both fore and aft cameras...do you have a source that confirms the tail number? All I can make out is 407xx. I have seen photos of 13 different tail numbers/serial numbers that had the fairing conversion. The only 407-series serial numbers I have photos of with the camera mod are 64-0741 (XT tail code taken at CRB in '68), 64-0754 (XT tail code at CRB '68-'69) and 64-0767 (tail code FY at Ubon in '67). Some Cam Ranh Bay Phantom photos are later in Vietnam service, when the front camera was obviously not in use because the fairing had a full-radius RHAW a
  5. Although that did happen occasionally, looking at this photo, I'm more inclined to believe that it's a simple case of the field-applied camouflage paint peeled off the windscreen frame, leaving the faded, light gull gray original paint, and even some bare aluminum framing as well. When the instruction came down in early 1966 to apply the new SEA camouflage scheme to the F-4Cs operating out of the three bases in Vietnam and Thailand (Da Nang, Cam Ranh Bay, and Ubon RTAB), they did the job as fast as they could. I think most jets rotated through Clark AB, PI to get the new paint; but
  6. Exactly right...every winter practice season, the Thunderbirds borrowed "Lizard" (SEA-Camouflaged) F-4Es from operational units while their show planes went through off-season overhauls and repaints. Some of the lizard F-4Es were pulled from George, and some from Nellis...probably others, as well. Former Thunderbird crew chief Michael Jacobsen has some stunning photos of his time with their F-4Es and first year of T-38s...
  7. Jari - Those are great side-by-side illustrations of the differences between Air Force applied camouflage, and McDonnell factory-applied camouflage. Especially that top photo of the RF-4s, really highlights the differences in paint hue as well as the variations in the pattern itself. The two white-nosed RF-4s were delivered in the Navy scheme of light gull gray over white; so when the Air Force switched over the fleet to SEA camouflage, the Air Force paint barns and depots applied the first camouflage jobs. The black-nosed RF-4 in the middle is in text-book McDonnell applied camouflage: the 30
  8. Hi Ben - I wish I could find that site where I found those 4 TFW B&Ws again. I stumbled on those a few years ago, thought I had made a note of the site, but apparently didn't. But yes, my recollection is it was some type of a 4 TFW yearbook for that Kunsan deployment (couldn't remember if it was '68 or '69, but '69 definitely makes sense). I'm sure it's exactly as you describe, I would bet money that I just fell into the SJ on-line library, because I do recall a description about the deployment to Korea...and I data mined all the photos I could, so I have several more from that series
  9. Ben - Found this while perusing Ron Downey's fantastic Blog site, "Aviation Archives": http://aviationarchives.blogspot.com/. If you haven't looked at it, it's worth your time. He has scanned and uploaded nearly every thing ever printed at McDonnell Douglas about all their various aircraft; and rescued a lot of aircraft engineering drawings and loft-lines (especially for F-4s, but also F-15s, F-101s, F-18s, and Harriers), and also uploaded those scans. Your post made me wonder if McDonnell ever published any drawings of their F-4 SEA scheme; as I know Ron has uploaded special McDonnell en
  10. Jari -That's some 70s gold, right there! Nice find!
  11. Hi Ben - First, I gotta say: I am a total sucker for those late-60s McDonnell factory camouflage jets...the Ds, the Es, and the RFs all weathered quickly to make those airplanes look so tough and so cool. Combine that faded tan and ultra-flat surface texture with early tail codes and shark mouths (on the Es) while flying combat in SEA, and I think they're the coolest jets in history. I don't have an actual "diagram" for the McDonnell pattern; although I would also say that I'm not really convinced it was altogether different than the AF T.O. 1-1-4. More like, it had a couple s
  12. Tony - Agree with your assessment on the respray of 36622 during full depot workups; and I'm sure that started some time in 1967, but I think many of the Ubon/8 TFW and Cam Ranh Bay/12 TFW jets only had local patch-up jobs and kept the white undersides through late '67. As Ubon/8 TFW traded out their F-4Cs for F-4Ds starting summer '67, I think those airframes went to depot and got full re-paints. Many photos of the "famous" former 8 TFW tail numbers reappearing at Cam Ranh Bay with fresh paint, top and bottom, and new XT/XD/XN tail codes, including MiG killers, 64-0699, 0838, and Olds's perso
  13. Following up that data dump earlier, here are some photos I've clipped off the internet over the years, to illustrate my opinions on how these early jets were painted: This photo from the early camouflage days in 1966, prior to tail codes, shows the previous large national insignia showing through the white patch paint sprayed over it. You can also see that the new 15" national insignia was placed over the wing hinge...and upside down...an IPMS judge's dream. Bottom line: you will see a lot of variations with 15" national insignia placement, including many aircraft that just didn't
  14. Jennings, you might be the first illustrator I've seen that has caught onto the light gull gray pie wedge above the engine vent on the metal exhaust areas. Other nuances for modeling and painting these early SEA Camouflage jets: The undersides were kept the original Navy scheme white. The vast majority of the F-4Cs stationed at Ubon, Cam Ranh Bay, and Da Nang from 1965-1968 were repainted in the field with the very first SEA camouflage scheme, but were only painted on the upper surfaces with the tan and two green shades. The undersides were left in the original Navy gloss 17875, "off-white."
  15. Of note, all the back-seaters in USAF F-4s during this period were rated pilots: the front-seater was formally called the "Aircraft Commander" (aka A/C) and the back-seater called a "Pilot." In normal aircrew slang, the back-seat pilots became referred to as the "Guy in Back," or "GIB." "Weapons System Officers" were rated navigators, trained specifically for F-4 weapons systems employment, and were given the formal title "WSO." The first WSOs didn't start getting to the line squadrons until some time in 1968; and I think that changeover happened largely during the Bomb
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