What’s faster than a greased apple down a tailpipe?

A greased pig, apparently.

In 1986, members of a U.S. Navy helicopter crew stationed on USS America sought to bring a moment of levity after a six-month deployment in the Mediterranean.

As the USS John F. Kennedy was set to relieve the Kitty Hawk-class supercarrier, aircrewman Brian Christoff and his fellow aviators hatched a plan.

“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,” Christoff wrote in a since- deleted post on Facebook. “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.”

From lead sling bullets with the tongue-in-cheek inscription of DEXAI or “Catch!” in Greek, all the way to modern day Porta-John art drawn by an ever imaginative lance corporal, military humor has spanned the millennia. This “pig prank” was no exception.

Three pigs can be seen being released from the helo onto the flight deck of the USS John F. Kennedy, as bewildered sailors below begin to run after the trio making their bid for freedom.

As the helicopter quickly departs after dropping its "artiodactyl payload," the John F. Kennedy can be heard radioing, “Appreciate it. We can return the favor when we see you next.”

It is unclear if the favor was ever returned, however.

*No animals were harmed in the making of this film.

historynet magazines

Our 9 best-selling history titles feature in-depth storytelling and iconic imagery to engage and inform on the people, the wars, and the events that shaped America and the world.

subscribe today