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F4C Enlisted Camera Operator ?

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F4C Enlisted Camera Operator ?


       First time poster with a Phantom question.  We have an older family friend who is a USAF Vietnam vet who has told many stories about being an enlisted camera operator in the backseat of an F4C phantom (not sure if it would have been the "R" version").  He has described the training, at least one crash/bailout, and how dangerous the role was since they were flying over previously bombed areas to get damage assessment pictures.

       Our families exchange gifts every year, and being a retired guy it's always difficult to find meaningful gifts for him.  I was thinking of honoring his service by making a small shadowbox / frame with a Phantom picture, patch, and maybe a set of enlisted aircrew wings from Ebay to commemorate his service.  However, as I have googled, I cannot seem to find any info on this USAF MOS. There is information on WSO's in the backseat, but nothing about enlisted camera operators.  Was this a very limted role for enlisted folks back in the day?  I have even wondered if we are getting the straight story from him.
     Does anyone here have any insights into this?


Pete (BuckeyeGuy)

vietnam vet
Phantom back seaters

Link to Air Force MOS's.:

All back seaters have to be officers because they have to be qualified to fly the plane in case something happens to the they have many other responsibilities like mission planning etc.

This guy is just blowing smoke....

Enlisted Camera Operators

I was aircraft camera repair and maintenance and do not recall an enlisted cameraman ever.  However I do recall a field that went by the title of "combat camera".  They would do all types of combat documentation photography to include flying missions on varied aircraft. Your family friend may have been in this field  

I have included a link to their organization which may help : 


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