|F-4D Phantom, tail number 7463 at the U.S. Air Force Academy (Source)|
I have waited far too long to introduce these men to you.
As Juvat noted, there is a code to what's up there. I actually thought about that, had some ideas which were rejected, the goal was to apply the KISS principle.
Keep. It. Simple. Stupid.
Though I have not a drop of German blood in me (to my knowledge) I tend to "over engineer" things at times. Much like those of the Teutonic persuasion.
Okay, yeah all three of the "unpimp ze auto" VW ads. No diesel testing in any of them. Number three still makes me chuckle, lo these many years later.
The three aircraft depicted in the header are all associated with the writers of this here blog, that is, moi (The Sarge), Juvat, and Tuna. Actually Juvat is associated with both the F-4D and the F-15C. He flew both. (He also flew the F-4E, which had an internal gun but as he already has two birds up there, he doesn't get a third. Yet.)
The Mighty S-3 War Hoover (aka Viking) was Tuna's old ride. As he used to ride the boat out of Japan, I assumed he was a member of VS-21 (the S-3 depicted above). If I am wrong he will, no doubt, correct me.
For those of you who missed his post yesterday, we may be sans Tuna for a while. As he has discovered, blogging can be hard, time consuming, and mentally taxing. Even if you do it once a week. Tuna does put a lot of work into his posts (no, really) and the effort is appreciated. He won't be around for a couple of weeks, maybe even months. It's cool, when he gets back we'll all gather around and throw stuff at him.
|7463 as she appeared at Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan (Note the ZZ tail code - Source)|
|7463 as she appeared at Kunsan AB, Korea (Note the WP tail code - Source)|
Now 7463 sits at the Air Force Academy out in Colorado Springs (which is actually in Colorado). That's her in the leading photo with her Triple Nickel tail code "OY" (555 TFSq, 432 TRWg at Udorn RTAFB in Thailand, a place I almost went, I think I've told that story). That's also her in the lower right corner in this overhead view -
The Collings Foundation actually has an F-4D painted up to look like 7463, down to the "OY" tail code when she was with the Triple Nickel. But it's not the actual original air frame, nope that's her up top.
|Yup, that's the Collings Foundation's D-Model as seen in an earlier version of The Chant's header (March 2013) Yes, click to embiggen...|
So why would the Collings Foundation take a perfectly nice F-4D Phantom and paint her up with a different tail number? Before I answer that, here's the Collings Foundation's "7463" in action.
So why did they paint her with the wrong tail number?
Well, do you see those two fellows in the header named Ritchie and DeBellevue? They were crewing 7463 together for five of those six red stars on her vari-ramp.
From Joe Baugher's excellent site -
7463 (MSN 1967) had 6 confirmed MiG-21 kills in Southeast Asia (Mar 1, 1972, Apr 16, 1972, May 8, 1972, May 10, 1972, Aug 28, 1972, Oct 15, 1972). Now on display at USAF Academy, Colorado. (Source)Somewhere I have the actual tail number of the Collings Foundation's F-4D but my Google-Fu is weak right now and my computer is misbehaving at the moment. (Actually it's my Interwebz connection, it's up and down at times, hey, but it's cheap and normally reliable. It might also be the iPad of The Missus Herself. A machine which vexes me. It's too simple, anyone can use it. It takes all the wizardry and magic out of being a computer guy. And it sucks up bandwidth like a fat guy hitting the won ton at an all you can eat Chinese buffet! And yes, I do miss MS-DOS, why do you ask?)
I kind of consider 7463 to be "my" F-4. I spent a number of hours in both cockpits. Not flying, maintaining, still a lot of hours. On two separate bases. How many can say that?
Anyhoo. Comments, criticism, whines, and rants are invited as to the new header. I am all atwitter to hear your thoughts. (No, really.)
*Okay, technically two, the real 7463 and her Collings look-alike.