The F-4 Phantom has made its way back home

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 6:28 PM CDT
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It was an emotional day for many military members here in Meridian as an F-4 Phantom was brought back home after spending many decades in Arizona.

“It’s an emotional feeling for me to see it come back. I came over here when the last one left-back in about 91, I think it was, and to see one come back now even though it’s on a trailer, once they get it back together and back on that pedestal, it’ll look like it’s flying again,” said Former Chief of Maintenance Maxey Phillips.

Veterans have gathered not only to watch the aircraft return home but to also reminisce on the memories they have with the aircraft.

“I flew this airplane in the 89 on a maintenance test flight I was chief of maintenance at that time and flew most of the maintenance test flights,” said Former Chief of Maintenance Maxey Phillips.

The East Mississippi Veterans Foundation really wanted a way to show their respect for the veterans in this area. They thought bringing back an aircraft that affected so many lives would be a perfect fit. Honoring all of those who fought, the aircraft will be on display in front of the G.V. Sonny Montgomery National Guard Complex.

“It’s also going to be on display, and in the honor of all veterans and service members here in Meridian and the east Mississippi area no matter what branch of service you served in this airplane is going to be in honor of them,” said President of the East Mississippi Veterans Foundation.

This plane is just the beginning of the new Veterans Memorial Park at Key Field. The Phantom jet will be surrounded by many other memorials to honor the people who have fought for this country.

“We’re also going to put up a memorial wall where people can purchase the reflective images where they can put their loved one’s picture on it and when they served in the military on the wall,” said Richard Lancaster.

Serving as a memorial, the F-4 Phantom will be back in the air by late September.

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