Lagniappe is gone now, but his memory lives on.
Cycle of life I guess. Sad but true.
Best line in the whole article: "It takes four Raptors to kill a Phantom"
I saw a show on military channel or discovery that Germany still was flying Phantoms but were scrapping them as soon as they hit the 5000 hour mark. It showed the entire process from engine removal to cutting up the 2mm gun to engine testing and removal. They were talking that the untis were slowly getting in the eurofighter to replace the Phantom as the squadrons make deployments to the balkens. Kinda sad to watch.
Lots of friends in that piece! Ralph Wetterhahn was a squadron pilot when Robin built the 8th Wg. Bob Kay was with me at Torrejon for about three years then worked with me at Northrop on the YF-23 program. "Big Dee" Simmonds of double-MiG pod gun kill fame comes every year to our River Rat reunion and Dan Cherry shows up regularly. Small world, ain't it.
Interestingly, there are at least 8 countries where the Phantom is STILL an active fighter... Including Israel and Japan...
I suppose there is some sense in giving the old warriors a warriors death... I guess the Phantom II's will reside in Valhalla instead of fading into obscurity as their descendants most likely will (I don't think they will be using stealth aircraft as target drones in 40 years... but they might, if the aircraft last that long).Its certainly a testament to the craftsmanship and care which those that built and maintained the Phantoms had!