Image: F-4Js VMFA-232 IFR
Description: McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II fighters of U.S. Marine Corps fighter-bomber squadron VMFA-232 Red Devils being refueled on a trans-Pacific flight over Johnston Island by Marine Lockheed KC-130F Hercules tankers, ca. 1972. Nearest to the camera is F-4J BuNo 155811. This aircraft was shot down by a North Vietnamese MiG-21 with an "Atoll"-missile on 26 August 1972. The F-4J was downed on the border of Laos and Vietnam in Houa Phan Province near the city of Sop Hoa, the only Marine jet ever to be lost to enemy aircraft during the Vietnam War. The crew ejected, the pilot 1st Lt Sam Gary Cordova was captured and died in captivity, the RIO 1st Lt Darrell L. Borders was rescued. The NVAF pilot who shot the plane down was Nguyen Duc Soat of the 3rd Company, 927th Fighter Regiment, and it was his fifth of six aerial kills.
Usage Terms: Public domain