A Phantom revisited
Several years ago, I built a 1/48 F-4 Phantom for my good friend Wally, whose dad, Major Tommy Ray Warren, served as a Stormy FAC in Viet Nam. Major Warren lost his life in this aircraft, 66-8820, in January 1970 after being hit by ground fire over Cambodia. The RIO, Lt. Ralph Leblanc, flew the damaged aircraft back to Udorn, Thailand, where he ejected. Major Warren was recovered and was buried with full military honors in San Antonio, in his home state of Texas. His name can be found on the Viet Nam Memorial Wall, Panel 14W, Line 037.
Some time after I presented the model to Wally, he came across a box of family photos, and in it was a ceramic figure of the Phantom Spook that had belonged to his dad. It was natural the model and figure should be displayed with one another, but life, work and a move got in the way. Both ended up in Wally's hangar for several years, until today when I offered to give them a home until he could find space. He agreed, and after some minor repairs and cleanup, Spook and the Phantom are finally together. This was a very emotional build for me then, and just as emotional now.
My original article is here for those who are interested:
Dedicated once again to the memory of Major Tommy Ray Warren, and to all those who gave their all so we could enjoy the freedom found nowhere else in the world.
2 additional images. Click to enlarge.