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McDonnell Douglas F-4EZ Phantom - No.2 Squadron, South African Air Force, 1981

During the mid-1970's the South African Government made tentative enquiries regarding purchasing the McDonnell Douglas Phantom for the South African Air Force (SAAF) with no success but in February 1977 the incoming Democrat President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, and the South African State President Nicolaas Diederichs agreed to the purchase of 30 F-4EZ's for delivery in 1979 and these were among the very last St. Louis-built Phantoms produced.

Entering service with No.2 Squadron 'The Flying Cheetahs' of the SAAF the F-4EZ's initially operated from Hoedspruit AFB before moving to Louis Trichardt AFB in early 1993. With SAAF Impalas, Buccaneers and Mirage F.1CZ's operating in the ground-attack role the Phantoms saw limited action in the Border War but at least four Angolan MiG-21's and two Mi-17 helicopters were shot down by No.2 Squadron. The surviving F-4EZ's were finally retired in 2012 when they replaced by Eurofighter Typhoons.

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Skin Credit: Stratos

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