Auf Wiedersehen, Phantom.

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JG-71 patch

The Luftwaffe’s JG-71 “Richtofen” is one of the most storied fighter squadrons in history.

The most obvious reason being JG-71’s namesake, The Red Baron. Even their former commanding officer was the highest scoring fighter pilot of all time.

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JG-71 patch

JG-71 formed in 1959 and equipped initially with the Canadair Sabre, the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and (up until very recently) the McDonnell Douglas F-4F Phantom. They are now flying the Eurofighter Typhoon and have recently been solely equipped with the type.

One of the few squadrons tasked strictly with the air-defense mission, JG-71’s Phantom days go back to 1974 and were one of the Luftwaffe fighter squadrons to fulfill NATO QRA duties over the Baltic and Iceland. On 8 May 2013 those Phantom days came to an end.

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JG-71 Phantom Patch

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JG-71s F-4F in the commemorative paint scheme to celebrate transition to the Typhoon

From 2010 to 2013 JG-71 flew both the Phantom and the Eurofighter Typhoon. This month they’ve said auf wiedersehen to the Phantom.

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In the foreground, JG-71s Typhoon being escorted by a pair of their F-4F Phantoms

It’s been a fun ride.

My other ride is your mom

JG-71 F-4F Phantom patch…with attitude.

[Updates]: Photorecon has some photos and a short JG-71 Phantom history.

Also, the “official” site for the Phantom retirement is here (in German). Lot’s of cool geedunk there if you’re so inclined.

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7 Comments

Filed under Airplanes, Flying, Plane Pr0n

7 responses to “Auf Wiedersehen, Phantom.

  1. xbradtc

    Hahahahahhahaha. Love the last patch.

  2. Bill Brandt

    It’s a testimony to the airframe that they flew for 50 years. How many fighters can say that?

    Got a patch from the “Silver Lobos” on my garage for years – with the outline of a Phantom. Buty a quick Google told me that is the 20th Fighter Sqn

  3. Bill Brandt

    This statement in Wikipedia – on JG-71 – struck my funny bone:
    JG 71 is part of NATO’s Immediate Reaction Force, meaning that it must be ready to deploy 12 aircraft on five days notice. However, the likelihood of having to deploy at such short notice is almost nil, so the fulfilling Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) interceptions for Northern Germany

    I hope they meant minutes.

  4. Very cool video.

    I was a bit surprised to see such smoky engines though. I though the Luftwaffe Phantoms had been refitted with smokeless engines back in the 1980s sometime.

  5. I think Turkey is still flying Phantoms. I’m mildly surprised the Germans were still flying them, however.

  6. Pingback: Index – The Rest of Neptunus Lex | The Lexicans

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