The F-4 was operated by the USAF/USN/USMC at Carswell AFB and NAS Dallas. Fort Worth businessman H. Ross Perot, Jr. flew F-4s at Carswell AFB while serving in the USAF.
First flown in May 1958, the Phantom II originally was developed for U.S. Navy fleet defense and entered service in 1961. The USAF evaluated it (as the F-110A Spectre) for close air support, interdiction and counter-air operations, and in 1962, approved a USAF version. The USAF’s Phantom II, designated F-4C, made its first flight on May 27, 1963. Production deliveries began in November 1963. In its air-to-ground role, the F-4 can carry twice the normal bomb load of a World War II B-17 Flying Fortress. USAF F-4s also flew reconnaissance and “Wild Weasel” anti-aircraft missile suppression missions. Phantom II production ended in 1979 after over 5,000 had been built — more than 2,800 for the USAF, about 1,200 for the Navy and Marine Corps, and the rest for friendly foreign nations.