A Time-Honored Naval Avaitor’s Tradition

A few days ago I got my new Smithsonian Air & Space magazine and found a rather funny article. It was written by a Navy Reservist, about the time he and his crew of a rather well-used PC3 Orion were invited to the Ft Worth Air show.

I got the feeling in this article that if the Air Force and their entries were the “establishment” with their nice new C17s and AWACs, this oil-stained Orion and her crew were the pirates.

The author introduced me to a practice, apparently steeped in naval tradition, known as “zapping”.

Zapping is the act of placing one’s squadron sticker in the most unlikely of places.

In the case of this air show, stickers were placed on the landing gear of a B1B (apparently by moving with stealth behind the armed sentry) and  the underside of the crew bunk on a C17.

When I brought this up on the F/B page, other Lexicans knew of stickers being placed on Lenin’s tomb, the back of a Soviet officer in Palermo, Italy, and even the SecNav’s Gulfstream jet.

Any other interesting locations?

5 Comments

Filed under Humor, Naval Aviation

5 responses to “A Time-Honored Naval Avaitor’s Tradition

  1. ejesegundo

    Big, BIG, Smile!

  2. Well, it’s not exactly zapping as described in the article but there was a time when you couldn’t go ANYWHERE on this earth without seeing a small (about .5″ high by 1.25″ wide) “Installed by GEEIA” sticker on something, anything. (image here)

    USAF Engineering & Installations team chiefs were given sheets of these stickers to place on comms gear after an install or a depot level repair. Just about every bar in Southeast Asia had three or four of ’em in various places and there were brothels who supposedly had them all over the place, as well. That last bit bein’ only hearsay, of course. I did my part, of course.

  3. CT II Raven

    Towards the end of WW Grenada the congresscritters flew down on a C-137 so as to have a look see. The normal cordon and guard were in place around the A/C sitting on the ramp at Grantly Adams airport, Barbados (they were flown over to Grenada on a C-130, so as to better experience the noise and “random” clear air turbulence that they provide).

    Sometime during the night a Spectre patch mysteriously appeared just to the right of the entry door. No one had any idea how it got there, what with the guard and all. Two things I do know: 1) guards like moving 105 mm guns on a C-130 and 2) that the stuck up 89th types had a good and proper fit when it was discovered the next morning …

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