That time a US Navy helicopter released three greased pigs on USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier flight deck

That time a US Navy helicopter released three greased pigs on USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier flight deck

By Dario Leone
May 23 2021
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‘The fighter jet jocks got with us and came up with this slant, on an age-old tradition, of releasing a greased pig, onto the deck of the relieving ship. Three pigs painted with Red, White and Blue food coloring and lathered in grease,’ Brian Michaels, former Aircrewman/SAR Swimmer with HS-11 helo squadron.

Dating back to early 60s, a prank played by US Navy carriers in the Mediterranean was to surprise their relieving carrier by releasing greased pigs on the flight deck.

This 1986 video is of a helicopter from USS America dropping off pigs on USS John F. Kennedy, as Brian Michaels, who filmed the video, explains in the clip description:

‘This was filmed in 1986 while I was stationed aboard the USS America CV-66. I was an Aircrewman/SAR Swimmer with HS-11 helo squadron. We were at the end of a 6-month deployment to the Indian Ocean/Mediterranean Sea. We were being relieved by the USS Kennedy. The fighter jet jocks got with us and came up with this slant, on an age-old tradition, of releasing a greased pig, onto the deck of the relieving ship. Three pigs painted with Red, White and Blue food coloring and lathered in grease. The Kennedy never seen it coming! LOL.’


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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