Hobby Master HA19024 F-4J Phantom II 153887, VMFA-235 "Death Angels", 1972 (with 6 extra Mk.82s in center pylon) 1/72
Hobby Master HA19024 1/72nd F-4J Phantom II 153887, VMFA-235 "Death Angels", 1972 (with 6 extra Mk.82s in center pylon)
Starting in 1973 the Japan Air Self-Defense Force received 154 F-4EJ Phantoms that were based on the USAF F-4E. 138 of these aircraft were manufactured under license by Mitsubishi who produced the last F-4 Phantom II. Several changes were made to the F-4E to make it an F-4EJ. Basically it had any offensive weapons removed but eventually these restrictions were lifted and the aircraft were updated with missiles and the latest electronic equipment.
VMF(AW)-235 first deployed to Vietnam in 1966 flying the F-8E Crusader and during a 10 month deployment flew over 6,000 combat sorties. In 1967 they returned to Vietnam until May 1968 when they left for MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii and were re-designated VMFA-235 “Death Angels”. They re-equipped with the F-4J Phantom II which they flew until 1989 when they transitioned to the F/A-18 Hornet. F-4J 153887 c/n 2503 left VMFA-235 in 1977 and was later upgraded to an F-4S. In 1991 the aircraft was converted to a drone and shot down in 2001.