The F-4E variant was an improved version of the C/D with an elongated nose and compact radar. These two things made it possible to install a 20mm M61A1 6 barrel 640 round Vulcan gun pod in the nose. The F-4E was the most produced variant with 1387 aircraft being made over its 12 year production period. The “E” also equipped more air forces than any other variant of the Phantom II.
McDonnell Douglas F-4E 73-1172 was produced as c/n 4698 and assigned to the 4TFW / 335 TFS and spent time as 4th TFW Wing Commander’s aircraft at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina. The 4th TFW began as the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing in January 1950 and the 4th TFW in 1958. The 4th TFW flew the F-4 Phantom II from 1967 until 1990 when it was phased out by the F-15. F-4E 73-1172 was sent to AMARC on January 10, 1991 wearing the Hill Grey camouflage and converted to a QF-4E numbered AF282.