McDonnell Douglas RF-4C Phantom II – 14th TRS, Udorn, Thailand, Vietnam 1972Add to compare
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Hobby Master 1/72 scale HA1990B: McDonnell Douglas RF-4C Phantom II serial AF 80-573 of 14th TRS, based at Udorn, Thailand during the Vietnam war in Jan 1972. Production limited to 500 pieces.
Length 9.75 inches. Wingspan 6.25 inches
On January 20, 1972 RF-4C 80-573 WAS on a SAM locating mission when it flew by a convoy of trucks hauling SAM launchers. The RF-4C was manned by Pilot Bob Mock and WSO John Stiles who, despite 37 mm cannon fire immediately made a photo pass at 4,000 feet and turned to make a second. At this moment the aircraft shook violently and began to spin to earth but just seconds before crashing the crew managed to eject and as luck would have it they were rescued by a CIA helicopter that was in the area. The official record showed 80-573 was lost to 37 mm cannon fire. However 37 years later in 2009 Dan Cherry, another F-4 pilot (replicated in HA1938) met the MiG-21 pilot that he had shot down in April 1972, Lt. Nguyen Hong My (replicated in HA0181). After some talking it was discovered that Lt. Nguyen Hong My had an RF-4 victory on January 20, 1972 so with some investigating, the conclusion was that Lt. Nguyen Hong My’s victory actually was RF-4C 80-573 flown by Mock and Stiles. When Dan Cherry told John Stiles the facts, he was amazed to finally know the real story and in May 2014 John Stiles returned to Vietnam for the first time since 1972 and met with Nguyen Hong My.
The first production RF- 4C flew in May 1964. The RF- 4C was an unarmed recon variant designed for information gathering. This variant is quite easy to recognize from other F-4 variants because of the distinctive nose. The larger nose was designed to accommodate radar, sensors and flat windows for cameras. During its years of service the RF-4C used two nose variations. The original design was the angular version with a later design that had a smoother rounded camera bulge. There were 503 RF- 4cs built with 499 being officially accepted by the USAF.