This page is for the operational history of ZE360
F-4J-34-MC Phantom II/Bu. 155574
First Flight – 6th April 1968
Accepted into Navy inventory by NASC Representative at St. Louis – 29th April 1968
McAir Fly Away date – 22nd May 1968
VF-31 as AC-101 – May 1968 to January 1969
` Tomcatters `
VF-101 – January 1969 to November 1969
` Grim Reapers `
` 155574 ` MISHAP REPORT
From VF-101 Det. Oceana 1969 Command History:
“AAR 2-69A, F-4J’s BUNO’s 155574 and 153826. This accident occurred on 6 March 1969 and resulted in DELTA damage to both aircraft. Following a launch from NAS Oceana on a four plane conventional ordnance flight, the aircraft collided during a lead change after formation rendezvous off-target. Both aircraft landed without further incident.”
Pilot of 155574 was LTJG William Joseph Rieke with LT Stephen Bruce Husak flying 153826. DELTA damage translates as minor damage.
The following is the same mishap and comes from the Navy Safety Center’s Approach Magazine. My info in square brackets.
“During a hung ordnance check Phantom No. 1 [155574 Rieke] dropped back to check Phantom No. 2 [153826 Husak], while both aircraft were in port turn. Following the check, No. 1 advised No. 2 that he was moving up on the starboard side to resume the lead. F-4 No. 2 failed to hear the word “starboard” and continued to look to his left. He did not acknowledge No. 1’s call because he did not have him in sight.
No.1 Phantom rolled wings level as he passed No. 2 on the right side. Simultaneously, No. 2, unable to find No. 1 on the port side, rolled wings level. The two aircraft collided with No. 1’s port stabilator contacting No. 2 just aft of the ram air intake. Jet exhaust from No. 1 induced an immediate flame out of No. 2’s starboard engine. A relight was obtained, however, and both aircraft were subsequently landed with only minor damage.”
……. and finally from a McDonnell authored Mishap listing:
“After completion of a practice bombing mission and during a hung ordnance check aircraft 153826’s right refrigeration intake duct came into contact with the left stabilator of aircraft 155574.”
After a small period of awaiting repair, they were started 18 March 69 and 155574 returned to operational status 9 April 69 (153826 repairs were completed between 18 March – 2 April 69).
(with many thanks to Peter Greengrass for supplying these details)
VF-41 – November 1969 to September 1972
` Black Aces `
VF-33 – December 1972 to September 1974
` Tarsiers `
VF-101 – September 1974 to September 1975
` Grim Reapers `
VF-103 – September 1975 to November 1980
` Sluggers `
VF-33 – May 1981
` Tarsiers `
VMFAT-101 – August 1981
` Sharp Shooters `
NARF North Island, California – 1981 to 1982
Struck off charge and placed into storage at NARF, North Island, California – April 1983
Click the link below for the data cards of 155574`s time with the US Navy.
Transferred to the Royal Air Force and upgraded to F-4J(uk) – December 1984
Serving with 74(F) ` Tiger `Squadron as ZE360/O – December 1984 to January 1991
` Tigers `
Withdrawn from use and delivered to RAF Manston for use as a fire training aid – 22nd February 1991
May 2019 Purchased for Restoration by 74 Squadron Association and British Phantom Aviation Group.