The U.S. Marine Corps has retired the vaunted F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet after 40 years of service.
When the “Death Rattlers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 recently returned from a 10-month deployment aboard the USS Nimitz, it marked the last ride of the Hornet for the Corps.
The service is now transitioning to the F-35 Lightning II.
The F/A-18 replaced the venerable Vietnam War-era F-4 Phantom, which was retired in 1982. The Hornet was used extensively during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and saw heavy combat service during the Iraq War.
In recent years, the Marine Corps struggled to keep their aging fleet of F/A-18 Hornets in the air and pushed for expedited fielding of its replacement, the F-35 Lightning II.