FEBRUARY 2010 -In a exclusive and rarely seen event outside the RAAF, i have managed to have John Bushell – shown below in the previous F4 ejection seat article – to share with me his RAAF logbook pages when he flew in the mighty F-4E Phantoms back in 1971.
John flew around 250 sorties in his RAAF F-4 service and this covers about 30 pages in his log book.
In the page shared with me, the log entries are very interesting, showing multiple sorties on some days and on some days – 2 different aircraft were flown in. Various targets areas, mission profiles and locations were visited.
Click the photo for a better view of the log book records.
John has further told me he flew in 23 of the 24 Phantoms in his duty as a navigator.
The only F-4E Phantom that he didnt fly in was 69-7218, otherwise he flew in the following aircraft at various times – 69-0304 – 69-0307, 69-7201 -69-7217, 69-7219-69-7220 and 69-7234
Shown below are official RAAF photos where John has identifed himself –
After ending RAAF service in 1972 and 1973, all the F-4E Phantoms were flown to back to the USA. They were kept at Hill AFB for repairs and then reissued onto other USAF TFW units such as the 347th TFW at Moody.
Majority of these airframes were later converted in the 1980s to F-4G Wild Weasel SAM Supression platforms. These same airframes mostly survived to serve in a war – the 1991 Gulf War.
After the war, some of the airframes were then transferred to Idaho ANG, which flew them up until 1995. After official USAF service ended these F-4G were then converted to drones for target practise by Tracor/BAE at Mojave airport. Except for 4 of the drones, it seems the rest have either shot down or scrapped over the years.
Maybe one day before too long in the next few years ideally, one of these remaining QF-4G Phantoms could be returned to Australia as a potential warbird if enough vocal lobbying is started, to try and save one of the last remaining links to the RAAF use of the F-4E Phantoms.
Further suggested reading –
A major insight to the RAAF F-4 is found at these webpages – http://www.angelfire.com/extreme/raafphantoms/RAAFF4E.htm and http://www.angelfire.com/extreme/raafphantoms/RAAFPHLYERS1.htm with many details, rare photos and listing of crews.