J-Birds - MDD Phantom F-4J - 74 Sqn
McDonnell-Douglas Phantom F-4J (UK) 74 Squadron RAF Wattisham Aviation Art Print Painting by Artist Chris French FGAvA
With the deployment of 23 Squadron to the Falklands Islands after the 1982 conflict, a gap was left in the Air Defence of Great Britian. To fill the gap a small batch of McDonnell Douglas F-4J were purchased to fill the gap and with some minor modifications entered service with 74 Sqn as the F-4J(UK), sometimes referred to as the Phantom F.3.
As tradition would have it, the aircraft were quickly marked with the squadron's distinctive black and yellow stripes, while the black fin with squadron badge were adorned with letters outlined in yellow.
Formed at Wattisham in 1984, the F-4J was to be used until 1991, when the FGR.2 became available. The aircraft in the picture is ZE350 'T', the Squadron OC's aircraft. The painting is dated to around 1990, when Wg Cdr Graham Clarke was OC, the navigator being Flt Lt Dixon.