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The F-4 Phantom II first entered US Military service in 1960. It was designed as a fleet defense fighter for the US Navy but by 1963 it was adopted as the US Air Force primary fighter-bomber.
Despite the size and weight of this Cold War icon the F-4 broke 15 world records and continued to hold five of them until 1975. Produced from 1960 to 1981 there were 5,195 Phantom IIs manufactured. Eleven countries other than the USA had the Phantom II in their inventory.
The F-4J Phantom "Showtime 100" is probably the most famous F-4 during the Vietnam War. Flied by Lt. R. Cunningham and LTJG W.P. Driscoll from the USS Constellation on 10.May.1972, they shot down three MIG-17s. This brought their total victories to 5 kills and made them the first US Navy's aces of the Vietnam War.