Phantom Jet Coming Home to Meridian

June 15, 2022

Jun. 13—After more than 30 years in Arizona, a former RF-4C Phantom II from Key Field will be returned to its home in Meridian and installed at the East Mississippi Veterans Memorial Park.

East Mississippi Veterans Foundation President Jeffrey Summerlin said the jet is in the process of being disassembled for transport and will soon begin the journey from Tucson, Arizona to Meridian.

"The Phantom Jet was picked up by Worldwide Aircraft Recovery on June 6 and taken to Pima Air and Space Museum where it will be disassembled and prep for road haul to Meridian," Summerlin said in a news release.

The former aircraft had been stationed at Key Field, where it was used as an unarmed photographic reconnaissance version of the Air Force's F-4C Phantom by the 186th Air National Guard, Summerlin said.

The Phantom was delivered to Meridian on Sept. 21, 1979 and retired to The Boneyard at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group on Sept. 9, 1991.

"Once on our project site, it will be reassembled and placed on a pedestal for display," Summerlin said.

Returning the Phantom to Meridian has been a goal of the East Mississippi Veterans Foundation since plans for a veterans memorial park were conceived in 2018. Once installed on its pedestal and restored, the jet will serve both as a display within the park and a tribute to military service members throughout East Mississippi.

" Meridian's Jet will be displayed honoring the past and present men and women who have served with Meridian's Air Guard unit since it was officially established on Sept. 27, 1939," Summerlin said. "The jet will also stand in honor of all service members from all branches of service who served in the U. S. Armed Forces."

The exact date the jet will arrive in Meridian is unknown as workers prep the aircraft for transport, Summerlin said. An estimated arrival day, he said, is June 18-19.

For more information about the East Mississippi Veterans Foundation, the veterans memorial park and how to get involved, visit


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