Unlike in the United States, where there are very few Phantoms still operational, the Phantom is still very much alive in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The McDonnell Douglas RF-4 Phantom II is still flying and taking pictures in Greece, Turkey, Spain, Japan, Korea and Israel. The exceptions are Germany, which ceased operating the RF-4E model (But they still fly the 'Rhino' in the guise of F-4F) in August 1994, and possibly Iran (Information about the state of their Phantom force is pretty sparse).

The RF-4E was/is the main export version being operated by these nations, apart from Spain and South Korea who operate ex USAF RF-4C's.

The RF-4C is designated CR.12 in Spanish AF service. Sitting here in the sunshine is RF-4C CR.12-45, USAF serial 64-1069 an ex Kentucky ANG 'Rhino' delivered in 1989.
© unknown - Peter Greengrass Collection
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Aufklärungsgeschwader 51 (Akg51)
Reconnaissance Wing 51
Bremgarten, Germany
Not Used          
Type/Remarks RF-4E Akg-51 'Immelmann' was assigned to 1 Luftwaffendivision and operated Phantoms from January 1971 April 1993 when it converted to Tornado's and moved to Schleswig/Jagel. It had previously operated RF-84F's and RF-104G's.
Aufklärungsgeschwader 52 (Akg52) Reconnaissance Wing 52
Leck, Germany
Not Used          
Type/Remarks RF-4E The last Luftwaffe unit to operate the RF variant, Akg-52 ceased operations August 1994. Phantoms started to arrive at Leck from 17 September 1971. The unit received a influx of 'Rhinos' from Akg-51 when they converted to Tornado's. The majority of the Lufwaffe's RF-4's have been supplied to Turkey and Greece.
Akg51 Specially marked RF-4E 35-34, this was to to commemorate the units retirement of the Phantom. The Luftwaffes premier Reconnaissance Wing now fly's the Reconnaissance-Configured model of the Tornado IDS.
© Unknown/Peter Greengrass Collection
Akg52 This vintage shot, August 1972, shows RF-4E 35-52 in the original Luftwaffe green/grey splinter scheme. This gave way to the two-tone green and black scheme which was applied retrospectively in the 1990's. Akg52 reported to 3 Luftwaffedivision and disbanded in in 1994.
© APN//Peter Greengrass Collection
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German Air Force
Ejercito del Aire
Spanish Air Force
Ala 12
12th Wing
Madrid/Torrejon AB, Spain

123 Escuadron
123rd Squadron
Type/Remarks RF-4C (CR.12) Ala 12 received it's first RF-4C's in 1978 in the form of 4 ex USAF (363rd TRW) Phantoms. These were operated by a Flight, until a second batch of 8 'Rhinos' arrived courtesy of the 123rd TRW, Kentucky ANG in 1989, When the conveniently named 123 Escuadron formed. 6 more RF-4C's have since been received.
Ala 12 RF-4C CR.12-55, 12-54 arriving at RAF Fairford for IAT96. Ala 12 operate their Phantoms in either standard USAF 'Egypt One' as worn by 12-54 or the pale grey Hornet scheme, an example of which can be seen in our heading photo.
© Peter Greengrass
Elliniki Aeroporia
Hellenic Air Force
110 Pterix 348 Mira RF-4E 7529 (69-7529, ex GAF 35+82) arriving at RAF Fairford July 1998 on a normal summers day in England! The 110th Ptx have a total of 27 Recon Phantoms, 5 of which are the original new builds received in 1978.
© Peter Greengrass
Turk Hava Kuvvetleri
Turkish Air Force
1ci Ana Jet Us
1st Jet Air Base
Eskisehir, Turkey

113 Filo
113th Squadron
173 Filo
173rd Squadron
Type/Remarks RF-4E 113 Filo received it's first RF-4E's under 'Peace Diamond III' in 1977, these were 8 new build FY1977 a/c. Turkey also took delivery of 46 (13 of which were broke down for spares) from the German AF in 1994/95. The Phantoms replaced the RF-5A's then in service.
1 Aju RF-4E 69-7459 (ex GAF 35+12). Turkish AF Phantoms carry the last four digits of the serial prefixed by the Jet Air Base (commonly described as a Wing) number. The original new build RF-4's wear the SEA scheme of two-tone green, brown and grey undersides whilst the ex-Luftwaffe Phantoms wear the late European One type scheme.
©Unknown/Peter Greengrass Collection
Hankook Kong Goon  
Republic of Korea Air Force
10th Tactical Fighter Wing
39th Tactical Reconnaissance Group
Suwon AB, Republic of Korea

131st TRS                
Type/Remarks RF-4C The Republic of Korea Air Force(RoKAF) received their first RF-4C's from the USAF in 1990 (12 are believed to have come from the 460 TRG when they inactivated at Taugu AB) It is believed they have received more since then.
At this time we are unable to provide a scan of this unit/Type. If you are able to help, either by providing a scan or maybe a slide (to be returned of course) Please get in touch.
Nihon Koku Jietai  
Japan Air Self-Defense Force
With no replacement in sight for many of these Country's, the 'Recon Rhino' will hopefully still be flying for many years to come...
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Teisatsu Kokutai
Reconnaissance Wing
Hyakuri, Japan

501st Hikotai
501st Squadron
Type/Remarks RF-4EJ 14 RF-4E's were delivered between November 1974 and June 1975. Since then Japan has known to have converted 10 F-4EJ to RF-4's. The 501st were based at Matsushima until October 1975
Teisatsu Kokutai RF-4EJ 47-6903 was one of the original new builds delivered. The Japanese serial system is made up of a 4-digit serial(6903) prefixed by 2-digits, the first of which is the Western year of delivery (4, for 1974) and an aircraft designator (7 for the F-4). Originally delivered in a grey/white scheme, they now wear a tactical two-tone green and brown scheme and grey undersides, very similar to the old USAF SEA scheme but with brighter colours.
© Unknown/Peter Greengrass Collection
La Tsvah Haganah le Israel/Heyl Ha'Avir
Israel Defense Force/Air Force
Not Known Tel Nov, Israel

115 Squadron*
Type/Remarks RF-4E The first Recon versions operated were 2 RF-4C's on loan from the USAF during 1970/71. Operation 'Peace Echo IV' brought the IDF/AF it's first 6 RF-4E's in 1972/73, followed by a second delivery of 12 between 1974 and 1976 under 'Peace Echo V'
* It is possible that this squadron does not exist and there has been rumours that the Recon RF-4's are spread between the other Fighter units.
115 Sqn IDF/AF RF-4E no.485 at Hatzerim. During May 2000. Serial and unit data is extremely hard to come by concerning the IDF/AF.
© Simon Watson
Imperial Iranian Air Force  
Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
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Not Known Not Known, Iran

Not Known
Type/Remarks RF-4E The Imperial Iranian Air Force started to receive it's RF-4E's in February 1971, with 16 being delivered. Another 16 were ordered but these were cancelled due to the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Some of the original 16 are still believed to be operational.
At this time we are unable to provide a scan of this unit/Type. If you are able to help, either by providing a scan or maybe a slide (to be returned of course) Please get in touch.
110 Pterix Mahis
110th Combat Wing
Larissa, Greece

348 Mira Taktikis Anagnoriseos
348th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron
Type/Remarks RF-4E The first delivery's of RF-4E's to 348 Mira began in June 1978. These were 8 new build FY77 Phantom's. Three of which have since crashed. In 1994/95 the remaining 6 were joined by 29 RF-4E's (7 of which were for spares) from the German Air Force. The 110th Ptx also operate F-4E's in the Air Defense role.
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