F4Jphantom.jpg
Artist: Keith Ferris
Medium: Oil on panel
Date: 1980

At 0350 hours, 20 December 1967, Capt. William F. ”Toby” Hughes and 1st Lt. Richard L. ”Rich” Maki, Boxer 02 of the 557th Tactical Fighter Squadron, lay napalm with their F-4C within seventy-five meters of the 4th Battalion, 9th US Infantry, at Bo Tuc, Republic of Vietnam. By the time the ”fast movers”, as the jets were known, had arrived, the ground troops were in physical contact with the 141st NVA Regiment inside the base camp defenses. Boxer Flight of two F-4s ran in through the area of heaviest return fire with pinpoint accuracy. Major Bogue P. Harrison directed the strike in his O-1E, 100 feet over the North Vietnamese and inside the Phantoms, which were turning right, over an exploding ammunition dump. The enemy attack was stopped in what Harrison called ”one of the most fantastic displays of superior airmanship I have ever witnessed.”

McDonnell’s F-4 Phantom II was a mainstay during the war in South East Asia. Designed originally for the US Navy as a fleet defense interceptor, it went on to fill many combat roles, earning its place as one of the greatest fighter aircraft ever built.

On loan from: the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Toby Hughes ‘58