|Phantom Phacts Culture
The Phantom gathered a number of nicknames during its career. It was the "Rhino" because of the long nose and tough titanium construction, the "Double Ugly" and "DUFF" (Double-Ugly Flying Fucker) in reference to its dihedral wings and anhedral tail as well as a joke on its two crew members, the "World’s Leading Distributor of MiG Parts" in tribute to its claimed record of downing 277 Soviet-built MiGs in US service and additional 116 with Israel, the "Flying Anvil," the "Rhino," the "Big Iron Sled" and the "Louisville Slugger." As a reflection of excellent performance in spite of bulk, it was dubbed "the triumph of thrust over aerodynamics." German Luftwaffe crews called their F-4s the Eisenschwein ("Iron Hog"), Fliegender Ziegelstein ("Flying Brick") and Luftverteidigungsdiesel ("Air Defense Diesel"). Imitating the spelling of the aircraft’s name, McDonnell issued a series of patches. Pilots became "Phantom Phlyers", backseaters became "Phantom pherrets", fans of the F-4 "Phantom Phanatics", and call it the "Phabulous Phantom". Ground crewmen who worked on the aircraft are known as "Phantom Phixers".
As famous as the aircraft itself is its emblem, a whimsical cartoon ghost called The Spook. It was created by McDonnell Douglas technical artist, Anthony "Tony" Wong, for shoulder patches. The name "Spook" was coined by the crews of either the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing or the 4453rd Combat Crew Training Wing at MacDill AFB. The figure is ubiquitous, appearing on every imaginable item associated with the F-4. The Spook has followed the Phantom around the world adopting local fashions, for example, the British Spook