Click to send email

QF-4G, 69-7248 operated by Det.1, 82nd Aerial Targets Sqn (ATRS) which reports to the 475th Weapons Evaluation Group launches for a morning mission. Detachment 1 of the 82nd ATRS provides aerial target support to the White Sands Missile Range.
© Peter Greengrass
E0S-1 300mm K64 400/f5.6
Go to Top

The F-4 Phantom II Society held their annual PhanCon (Phantom Convention) at Holloman AFB, NM. The four day event (Two full days spent on base) started on the evening of the 1st October with members arriving at the Holiday Inn Alamogordo, this being the events headquarters. The F-4 Phantom II Society is an international organization open to all persons or groups interested in the study and preservation of the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. The society is a truly international organization with members all over the globe, people came as far a field as New Zealand, Japan and Europe for the event.

Next day saw us on the main F-4 ramp. From here we were able to view and photograph several F-4F’s as they were preflighted and taxied out, included in these were F-4E’s 68-0531 and 68-0337 manned by B.Gen. Steve Ritchie and Col. Chuck DeBellevue. These are the two SEA schemed F-4’s painted to commemorate Steve Ritchie and Chuck DeBellevue’s Vietnam MiG Kills. The afternoon was spent on the F-4 ramp and taxiway (F-117’s, Visiting USMC AV-8B’s and lot’s of T-38’s). If you didn’t fancy spending the rest of the afternoon on an active ramp, there was an optional tour of the F-4 Flight Simulator with everyone having a turn to fly Double Ugly! The day’s events finished with a mass Bar-B-Que hosted by the 20 FS and 82 ATRS.

Visiting Holloman for lunch is USMC AV-8B 164149/WL-06 from VMA-311 'Tomcats'
EOS-1N 28-80mm K64 250/f8
YF-4J 151473, a converted F-4B is used for ejection-seat trials and is operated by the Naval Weapons Center at NAS Point Mugu.
EOS-1N 28-80mm K25 200/f5.6
The 7th FS are the only fighter unit using T-38’s in the companion training role. They are used to support F-117 pilot training. Seen here is T-38A, 68-8139
EOS-1N 70-200mm K64 320/f5.6
GAF F-4F 72-1167 returning from a morning mission
EOS-1N 70-200mm K64 400/f5.6
F-4E 68-0337 one of two (The other being 68-0531) Phantoms painted to commemorate B.Gen Steve Ritchie’s MiG Kills as well as the 50th anniversary of the USAF. This being the 25th anniversary of Ritchie shooting down his fifth and final MiG-21 on the 28th August 1972.
EOS-1N 28-80mm K64 200/f8
AT-38B Talon, 62-3660 operated by the 586th TS, 46th TG. This unit comprises another T-38A (63-8215) and YF-15A (71-0289). All the aircraft are coded HT “Holloman Test.
EOS-1N 28-80mm K64 250/f8
Tornado IDS 45-65 from the GAF Tactical Training Center (GAFTTC) Of note is the New Mexico shield on the tail.
EOS-1N 28-80mm K64 250/f8
69-7073, One of six T-38A's that arrived and then flew missions all afternoon from Holloman
EOS-1N 28-80mm K64 250/f8
QF-4E, 68-0303 an ex 3rd TFW aircraft. This is one of sixteen QF-4’s operated out of Holloman AFB by the 82 ATRS  ( 8xQF-4E and 8xQF-4G )
EOS-1N 28-80mm K64 250/f8
F-117A Nighthawk 85-0799/HO operated by the 49th FW
EOS-1N 28-80mm K64 200/f8
Since these shots were taken most of the 20th Fighter Squadron's have been re-sparayed in the Egypt One scheme. F-4F 72-1133/HO in GAF Air Defence scheme.
EOS-1N 70-200mm K64 250/f8
F-4F 72-1221 still in standard USAF scheme, the majority of 20th FS Phantom's are in GAF schemes
EOS-1N 28-80mm K64 250/f8
In the evening’s there was plenty going on, guest speakers Steve Ritchie, Chuck DeBellevue and various F-4 aircrew, Slide shows, Slide trading and a vendor area. If you’re interested in becoming a member of the society, they can be contacted at their website. Membership costs $25-00 and for this you get an excellent quarterly magazine plus the chance to attend the annual PHANtom CONvention.
After lunch (provided by the 82 ATRS) we were able to watch the launch of two QF-4G drones under remote control which then proceeded to perform missed approaches, we were able to photograph this from a small grandstand on the approach. The rest of the day was spent on the QF-4 Flight line.
B.Gen. Steve Ritchie and Col. Chuck DeBellevue pose for photographers after completing a mission at PhanCon 97
USAF buses arrived early the next day to transport us to Holloman AFB. Once at the base we were given a safety briefing and introduced to key personnel from the host units (49 FW, 20 FS, 82 ATRS and GAFTTC).
Go to Top
Go to Top
First event was a photo call Comprising various Phantoms including a YF-4J from Point Mugu, GAF Tornado IDS from the Tactical Training Center (GAFTTC), F-117A and plenty of Phantom’s. This lasted for three hours during which you could also shoot 49 FW  T-38A’s and F-4’s taxiing out.
Report:Peter Greengrass
Photos:Peter Greengrass