USMC Phantoms in Combat (Vietnam Studies Group 6353)
By Lou Drendel
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications 1990 64 Pages
PDF 33 MB
Marines have been involved with the F-4 Phantom from its initial testing until its final phase-out from the active Naval Air Forces during the late 1980s, a period covering more than 30 years.
When it first entered service during the early 1960s, the Phantom was the hottest fighter in service and it broke every speed and time to climb record then in existence. The Marines did their share of record-breaking with the Phantom. LTCOL Thomas H. Miller set a 500 kilometer closed course speed record of 1,216.78 mph on 5 September 1960. The world absolute speed record was set on 22 November 1961 by LTCOL Robert B. Robinson in an F-4A(BuNo 142260). The speed runs were made at 45,000 feet, at an average speed of 1,606.3 mph, which equates to nearly Mach 2.6. Robinson's feat was a testament to both man and machine, since he was required to maintain altitude to within 100 feet during the twenty mile speed runs (two runs through the timing gates, in opposite directions, are required for an FAI certified speed record). LT William C. McGraw, Jr. set the 9,000 and 12,000 meter time to climb records on 1 March 1962 (61.62 seconds and 77.15 seconds, respectively.). These Project High Jump missions were flown at NAS Brunswick, Maine. The rate of climb achieved in these two missions exceeded 30,000 feet per minute!