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.
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.
Fighter Squadron 21 (VF-21), USS Ranger, 1983
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.
Pima Air & Space Museum