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US Navy Phantoms

US Navy Phantoms Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2010 Title US Navy Phantoms
Author Patrick Martin, Andreas Klein Publisher AirDOC
Published 2010 ISBN 978-3-935687-83-6
Format 160 pages, hardbound MSRP (Euro) €39.95 less 7% VAT for non-EU customers


AirDOC just released a new title from their 'Double Ugly! Books' series providing a nice cross-section of US Navy Phantoms. The title opens up with a quick summary of the variants of the Phantom operated by the US Navy starting with the F4H-1 prototypes to the final F-4S. This title doesn't address the recce Phantom nor USMC operators.

From the opening summary, this title dives straight into the squadrons and special activities that flew the F-4. Each squadron/activity summary provides a quick sketch of the unit's history with the type along with beautiful color shots of the aircraft spanning the high-visibility as well as low-visibility color schemes used (where applicable). The squadrons/activities that are covered here include:

  • VF-11 Red Rippers
  • VF-14 Top Hatters
  • VF-21 Freelancers
  • VF-22L1 Naval Reserve
  • VF-31 Tomcatters
  • VF-32 Swordsmen
  • VF-33 Tarsiers
  • VF-41 Black Aces
  • VF-51 Screaming Eagles
  • VF-74 Be-devilers
  • VF-84 Jolly Rogers
  • VF-92 Silver Kings
  • VF-96 Fighting Falcons
  • VF-101 Grim Reapers
  • VF-102 Diamondbacks
  • VF-103 Sluggers
  • VF-111 Sundowners
  • VF-114 Aardvarks
  • VF-121 Pacemakers
  • VF-142 Ghostriders
  • VF-143 Pukin' Dogs
  • VF-151 Fighting Vigilantes
  • VF-154 Black Knights
  • VF-161 Chargers
  • VF-171 Aces
  • VF-191 Satan's Kittens
  • VF-194 Red Lightnings
  • VF-201 Hunters
  • VF-202 Superheats
  • VF-213 Black Lions
  • VF-301 Devil's Disciples
  • VF-302 Stallions
  • Blue Angels
  • VAQ-33 Firebirds
  • VC-7 Fleet Composite Squadron
  • VX-4 Evaluators
  • VX-5 Vampires
  • NMC Naval Missile Center
  • PMTC Pacific Missile Test Center
  • NWTS-PM Naval Weapons Test Squadron
  • VX-30 Bloodhounds
  • NPTC National Parachute Test Center
  • NWEF Naval Weapons Evaluation Facility
  • NATC Naval Air Test Center
  • NADC Naval Air Development Center
  • NATF Naval Air Test Facility

The title boasts over 350 previously unpublished photos plus 28 color profiles to provide the Phantom Phan with a nice cross-section of the F-4 Phantom II in US Navy service. Whether you're a Phantom Phreak, a modern aircraft modeler, or a military aviation historian, this title is a must-have for your library. Check out the previous two Phantom volumes covering the F-4 in Israeli service also reviewed here.

This title is available directly from AirDOC's website

My sincere thanks to AirDOC for this review sample!