McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II
VF-96 "Fighting Falcons", CVW-9, USS Constellation (CVA 64), 1972
Digital Painting Mark Waki 2003

History's most famous F-4 is "Showtime 100". Aircraft is shown as it appeared prior to engagements on the afternoon of 10 May 1972 loaded for flak suppression with a 600 gallon centerline tank, 2 AIM-7E Sparrows, 4 AIM-9G Sidewinders and 6 Mk20 Rockeye CBUs on TERS.

Artist's Note: Many interviews with Duke Cunningham for the oil painting Advantage Cunningham in the spring of 1982 brought to light several facts about this aircraft's appearance on the mission of 10 May 1972. Of particular note is the MiG-21 silhouette on the vertical stabilizer of VF-96 F-4s. Signifying Cunningham and Driscoll's kill of 19 January 1972, the silhouette was painted out between 9 and 10 May, right after their second kill of 8 May. Replacing the MiG-21 were two flags on the intake inlet ramp. A well published photograph taken on 9 May of VF-96 Phantoms on the deck of USS Constellation still showing the MiG-21 sihouette has caused many inaccurate depictions of "Showtime 100" during the famous Toon engagement. The aircraft was marked as shown for less than one day as "Showtime 100" was subsequently lost.

Artist's Note: Many thanks to Mike Snowden for sharing his photographs of
VF-96 F-4s flying from U.S.S. Constellation on Yankee Station, April 1972.


1200 x 451 image

This painting is available as a 13" x 19" limited-edition Giclée print. Click here for print ordering information. The artist retains all reproduction rights to this painting. Any unauthorized use of this image is strictly forbidden.