Tag Archives: McDonnell F-4B Phantom II

12 January 1973

McDonnell F-4B-28-MC Phantom II Bu. No. 153068. Note the MiG 19 kill mark painted on the intake splitter vane. (U.S. Navy)
McDonnell F-4B-27-MC Phantom II Bu. No. 153045. Note the MiG 17 kill mark painted on the intake splitter vane. (U.S. Navy)

12 January 1973: Lieutenant Victor T. Kovaleski and Lieutenant James R. Wise, of VF-161 Chargers, flying a McDonnell F-4B-27-MC Phantom II, Bu. No. 153045 from the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CVA-41), shot down a Vietnam Peoples Air Force MiG-17 flown by Senior Lieutenant Luu Kim Ngo, near Hải Phòng, using an AIM-9 Sidewinder heat-seeking air-to-air missile. This was the last air combat victory by a U.S. airplane during the Vietnam War.

© 2023, Bryan R. Swopes

7 July 1965

McDonnell F-4B-23-MC Bu. No. 152276, the 1,000th McDonnell F-4 Phantom II. (McDonnell Aircraft Corporation)

7 July 1965: The McDonnell Aircraft Corporation delivered the 1,000th production F-4 Phantom II, an F-4B, to the United States Navy. Phantom II MSN 1034 was an F-4B-23-MC Phantom II, assigned Bureau of Aeronautics serial number (“Bu. No.”) 152276.

The fighter was assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VFMA-314), the “Black Knights,” at Da Nang Air Base, Republic of South Vietnam. On  the morning of 24 January 1966, Bu. No. 152276 was flown by Captain Doyle Robert Sprick, USMC, with Radar Intercept Officer 2nd Lieutenant Delmar George Booze, USMC, as one of a flight of four F-4s assigned to drop napalm on a target 7 miles (11 kilometers) southwest of Hue-Phu Bai.

At 10:05 a.m., Captain Albert Pitt, USMC, flying F-4B-22-MC Bu. No. 152265, with RIO 2nd Lieutenant Lawrence Neal Helber, USMC, radioed that he, in company with Captain Sprick, was off the target and returning to Da Nang.

Neither airplane arrived. A search was started at 11:00 a.m. The two-day search was unsuccessful. It is presumed that the two Phantoms collided. All four aviators were listed as missing, presumed killed in action.

© 2017, Bryan R. Swopes