Designation: F-4N

McDonnell Douglas F-4N

McDonnell Douglas F-4N Phantom II

A picture of the McDonnell Douglas F-4N Phantom II

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II was designed as a missile-armed fleet defense fighter for the United States Navy.  The F-4B became the primary Navy and Marine fighter in the first half of the 1960s.  By 1970, the Navy was concerned with the aging condition of its large fleet of F-4Bs.  With the Grumman F-14 still several years from deployment the Navy decided on a program to upgrade the F-4B and extend its service life.  Over 200 F-4Bs were virtually rebuilt from the ground up as the F-4N model.  Upgrades to the airframe, engines, and electronics brought them up to the standard of the F-4J.  The F-4N remained in Navy service until 1983.

Service History

Built by McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis, Missouri as a F-4B and delivered to the U.S. Navy on June 20, 1966.

June 1966                    To Fighter Squadron 101 (VF-101), Naval Air Station Key West, Florida.

January 1967               To Fighter Squadron 11 (VF-11), aboard USS Forrestal.

June 1967                    To Fighter Squadron 101 (VF-101), Naval Air Station Key West, Florida.  Deployed to Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia.

September 1967          To Naval Air Testing Center, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

Wingspan 38 ft 5 in.


Length 58 ft 3 in.


Height 16 ft 3 in.


Weight 43,907 lb (loaded)


Max. Speed 1,485 MPH

Maximum Speed

Service Ceiling 62,000 ft

Service Ceiling

Range 2,925 miles


Engines Two General Electric J79-GE-18 turbojets with 17,900 pounds of thrust each


Crew 2


McDonnell Douglas

Fighter Squadron 21 (VF-21), USS Ranger, 1983


Serial Number

November 1967          To Fighter Squadron 101 (VF-101), Naval Air Station Key West, Florida.

February 1968             To Fighter Squadron 74 (VF-74), Naval Air Station Oceana Naval Air Station, Virginia.  Repeated deployments on USS Forrestal.

May 1972                    To Fighter Squadron 32 (VF-32), Naval Air Station Miramar, California.  Deployed to USS Coral Sea.

December 1973           To Fighter Squadron 84 (VF-84), Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia.

July 1974                     To Fighter Squadron 301 (VF-301), Naval Air Station Miramar, California.

April 1975                   To Naval Air Station North Island, California for conversion to F-4N.

January 1976               To Marine Fighter Bomber Squadron 323 (VMFA-323), Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California.  Deployed aboard USS Coral Sea and participated in the aborted attempt to rescue the Americans held in Iran in 1980.

July 1982                     To Fighter Squadron 21 (VF-21), Naval Air Station Miramar, California.  Deployed aboard USS Ranger.

1983                            Loaned to San Diego Aerospace Museum by the National Museum of Naval Aviation.

November 1988          Loan transferred to the American Fighter Aces Association.  Displayed at Champlin Fighter Museum, Mesa, Arizona.

April 2001                   Loan transferred to Pima Air & Space Museum by the National Museum of Naval Aviation.  Aircraft is displayed by the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force in Mesa, Arizona.

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