McDonnell F-101G Voodoo

Last revised August 12, 2001

Following their removal from active USAF service in England in 1965, twenty-nine ex-USAF F-101As (serial numbers 54-1445, 1449, 1451, 1452, 1453, 1454, 1455, 1457, 1459, 1460, 1461, 1462, 1463, 1464, 1466, 1468, 1469, 1470, 1472, 1473, 1475, 1476, 1477, 1479, 1481, 1482, 1484, and 1485, plus two others whose serials I don't know) were modified by Lockheed Aircraft Service Company of Ontario, California to serve as unarmed reconnaissance aircraft for use by the Air National Guard. The armament and radar were removed and new nose cones housing cameras were installed. The camera fit included a pallet of cameras mounted aft of the front fuselage bulkhead, and a new nose housing a forward-facing camera. The nose cone slid forward on rails to allow technicians to maintain the cameras and load film. Large hinged panels allowed access to the pallet and avionics bay to the rear. These aircraft were redesignated RF-101G. As compared to the RF-101A dedicated photo-reconnaissance version of the F-101A, the RF-101G had a shorter and broader nose.

The first RF-101Gs went to the Kentucky Air National Guard (165th TRS/123rd TRW) in July of 1965, replacing the RB-57B. The 165th TRS was involved in the military buildup surrounding the 1968 *Pueblo* crisis, although it did not actually deploy to Korea. The RF-101G also went to the 154th TRS/189th TFG of the Arkansas ANG. In 1971, there was a rationalization of Air National Guard units, with all the RF-101Gs being sent to the Arkansas ANG. The Kentucky ANG transferred its RF-101Gs to the Arkansas ANG and transitioned to the RF-101H (an equivalent conversion of the F-101C). In 1972, the Arkansas ANG traded in its RF-101Gs for RF-101Cs that had recently been withdrawn from active-duty USAF service.

Serials of F-101G:

54-1444/1452		McDonnell F-101A-25-MC Voodoo
				1445 converted to RF-101G
				1449 converted to RF-101G
				1451,1452 converted to RF-101G
54-1453/1465		McDonnell F-101A-30-MC Voodoo
				1453/1455 converted to RF-101G
				1457 converted to RF-101G
				1459/1464 converted to RF-101G
54-1466/1485		McDonnell F-101A-35-MC Voodoo
				1466 converted to RF-101G
				1468 converted to RF-101G
				1470 converted to RF-101G
				1472,1473 converted to RF-101G 
				1475/1477 converted to RF-101G 
				1479 converted to RF-101G
				1481,1482 converted to RF-101G 
				1484,1485 converted to RF-101G 


  1. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920: Volume II, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

  2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  3. The American Fighter, Enzo Angelucci and Peter Bowers, Orion, 1987.

  4. Fighters of the United States Air Force, Robert F. Dorr and David Donald, Temple Press Aerospace, 1990.

  5. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

  6. Post-World War II Fighters, 1945-1973, Marcelle Size Knaack, Office of Air Force History, 1986.

  7. McDonnell F-88/F-101 Voodoo Variant Briefing, Robert F. Dorr, Wings of Fame, Vol 1, 1996.

  8. E-mail from Al Vermeulen with correction on the number of RF-101Gs. Swanborough and Bowers list 18 serial numbers converted, whereas Dorr and Francillon both list 29.