South Korea RoKAF F 4 farewell flight credit RoKAF 640RoKAF about to retire its Phantoms

The Dae Han Min Guk Gong Gun (RoKAF, Republic of Korea Air Force) will retire its last ten operational F-4E Phantoms during a ceremony at Suwon Air Base on 7 June 2024. This will end 55 years of Korean Phantom operations, first F-4Ds handed over in 1969 and last F-4Es retired in 2024.

The RoKAF operated around 220 Phantoms in three different versions, the F-4D, RF-4C and F-4E. Except for two batches of F-4Es delivered new under FMS projects Peace Pheasant I and II, all other Phantoms were former USAF aircraft.

The last unit to operate the Phantom, the 10th Fighter Wing's 153rd Fighter Squadron staged a farewell flight with four aircraft, all adorned with some sort of F-4 legacy marking or paint. One aircraft was painted in a Vietnam war era jungle paint job, one in light-grey and two with special F-4 farewell markings. The four aircraft visited several airbases with an RoKAF F-4 connection and on one of their legs were escorted by two KAI KF-21s.

With South Korea retiring its last Phantoms, only Iran, Greece and Turkey still operate this iconic jet. After 7 June, you can still find over seventy Phantoms throughout South Korea, either preserved or in use as instructional airframe or decoy.

The RoKAF released a seven minute video of the farewell flight at Bemil_TV (@Bemil_TV). A small black and white video of the arrival of the first F-4D fighters can be found in the archive of KTV (@KTV_archive).

Credit photo: RoKAF

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