F-4B of VMFA-531 with Tail in Royal Navy Colors
This one off paint job came from the fact that during joint flight operations between the USS Forrestall and the HMS Ark Royal, this F-4B had landed and suffered a major maintenance discrepancy which prevented it from being flown back off. Unfortunatly for this Marine Phantom crew the Forrestall didn't have the parts needed right away and had to be guests onboard the Ark Royal for an extra week. At which time the Ark Royal was going to make a port call to Malta. At the time Malta wasn't on friendly terms with the US and since the RN battle group commander didn't want to mess up his port visit. He had the tail repainted and stuck in the middle of similar looking FG.1 Phantoms. All was good and just a few days after the port visit a USN helicopter came onboard to deliever a maintenance crew and the parts needed to get the airplane airborne and back "home" to the Forrestall.