2 days ago
The McDonnell F-4D Phantom II (s/n 64-0972) on display at Fargo Air National Guard Base in Fargo, ND.
After the F-101B Voodoos left Fargo in 1977, the “Happy Hooligans” were given the legendary F-4 Phantom II. The Phantom had proven itself as a fighter during the war in Southeast Asia several years before, and its arrival in Fargo was greatly welcomed by the 178th. In 1983, the “Happy Hooligans” were sent on their first overseas deployment to Naval Air Station Keflavik. Stationed there were six F-4s and 120 support personnel from the 178th. During this deployment, they intercepted eight Soviet Tupolev Tu-95 “Bear” bombers. Three years later, the 119th became the first Air National Guard unit to assume command of the United States Air Force ZULU alert mission at Ramstein Air Base in West Germany during Operation Creek Klaxon. The 119th, along with several other ADF units, rotated to Ramstein and stood on continuous alert there for a year. This specific aircraft carried out alert duties while the 86th Tactical Fighter Wing (the USAF unit stationed at Ramstein) transitioned from the F-4 to the F-16. The 178th flew the F-4 from 1977 up until 1990, when they transitioned to their final fighter aircraft; the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.
F-4 Phantom II (s/n 64-0972) originally flew with the 36th, 81st, 49th and 35th Tactical Fighter Wing(s) before being assigned to the 178th in 1984. She flew from many different airbases, but ultimately called Fargo home. She was struck from the USAF register on April 21st, 1988, and donated to the @afmuseum in Dayton, Ohio. 64-0972 eventually returned to Fargo, and was mounted on two posts by one of the now closed gates. She is in stunning shape and turns many heads from the adjacent road. Quite interestingly, on July 10, 2008, she was struck by lightning.
There are 2 more F-4 Phantom’s marked to look like “Happy Hooligan” aircraft throughout Fargo. Those aircraft will be covered on a later date.
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