The Luftwaffe’s JG-71 “Richtofen” is one of the most storied fighter squadrons in history.
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.
From 2010 to 2013 JG-71 flew both the Phantom and the Eurofighter Typhoon. This month they’ve said auf wiedersehen to the Phantom.
It’s been a fun ride.
[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.