Some aircraft are remembered for the large number produced, others for their length of time in service, and others for their ability to perform their mission. When one aircraft is known to be one of the leaders in all three categories, it stands out among others. The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is such an aircraft.
During the period 1959 to 1969, the F4H and its derivatives established many altitude and speed records. Like the F-4B, the F-4C had no built-in gun but carried Sparrow missiles as its primary attack weapon. The F-4J was the last fighter version to be placed in quantity production for the US Navy and Marine Corps.
In 1968 the Navy chose the F-4J for its "Blue Angels" flight demonstration team and in 1969 the USAF chose the F-4E for its "Thunderbird" team. England, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Australia, Israel, Japan, Greece, Turkey, and West Germany have purchased the F-4. The F-4E was the model preferred by overseas air forces.