F-4 Goes on Display at NORAD Site

A restored F-4 Phantom II fighter fitted with de-militarized AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles now sits on permanent display atop a pedestal outside NORAD’s Eastern Air Defense Sector headquarters in Rome, N.Y. “The elevated pedestal is a fitting place of honor for an aircraft that served its country for more than four decades,” said Col. John Bartholf, sector commander. He added, “The display adds to our facility’s visual appeal, while reminding the public and our staff of the Air Force’s proud history.” The Air Force Research Lab provided this F-4 airframe, which entered service with the Navy in July 1963. It served on two aircraft carriers through 1970. It arrived in March 1972 at then-Griffiss Air Force Base after which Air Force researchers used it in Newport, N.Y., for antennae and electronic countermeasures research. Fifty-five students at the Mohawk Valley Community College’s Aviation Training Center began restoring the aircraft in October 2009. Workers placed it on the pedestal on Dec. 10. (Rome report by Tom Jones)