It was a dark and stormy night. A group of drunken crew chiefs decided it would great fun to pinch a four foot fiberglass chipmunk off of the mini golf course at Incirlik AB, Turkey. Safely hidden in a wicker basket, Chippie was awaiting his place on a cargo pallet. It was then that the First Sergeant (an evil man, who did not belong to our squadron) found Chippie and returned him to the rightful owners.

A year later, we returned to Incirlik. By then, Chippie had become a squadron legend. An Airman, on his first TDY (forever known as my Assistant Crew Chief) saw Chippie on the mini golf course and said to the groundskeeper, “Is that Chippie?”. The groundskeeper asked, “Are you from Hahn?” In one of his smartest moments, Mike replied, “I’m from Spangdahlem.”

Thus alerted, the groundskeeper took Chippie from the course each night and locked him in the shed with the lawn mowers. The “Chippie Team” appeared to be thwarted.

My small contribution was to mention that a combination lock, identical to the one used on the shed could be purchased at the local base exchange. Team Chippie swung into action. They diked the old lock from the shed and nicked Chippie. As they left, they replaced the lock.

Chippie remained secure in the TAB-V’s for the balance of the TDY.  During which time, he was trained in various aspects of F-16 maintenance.

Doing forms.



LOX servicing.
Chippie was safely palletized and was awaiting loading into the C-130. It was then that the groundskeeper busted the caper. With squadron morale and esteem on the line, the pilots chipped in and bought Chippie.

This fact was kept secret for years.

Chippie came home triumphant. Riding in the suicide seat of the bus we had to use. He was ensconced on a shelf up high in the AMU admin shelter. During exercises, he worn an eye patch and was draped with a pirate flag.

When Hahn was closed, Chippie was kidnapped. He was repainted Gold, then Blue. In the last sighting he was painted gold, blue and orange. Where is he now? No one knows.
He has passed into legend.



FNG Pranks in the Air Force

We have all sent the new guy to the tool room to get a bucket of prop wash or 100 feet of flight line.  But there are more elaborate pranks that still worked just fine.

The Voice Controlled Lite All

NF2 Portable flood light.

The NF2 portable floodlight is also universally known as a “Lite All”.  They are used to provide lighting on the parking apron.  In the old days, they were big enough that you could climb into one.  Those big ones were replaced by smaller versions because of incidents where some airman climbed into one to get warm and died due to carbon monoxide poisoning.  Our story has a happy ending.

George AFB about 1979 or 80.  We pulled this on the new guy and I SWEAR it wasn’t me.  The victim was told that they were to be trained on the operation of the Lite All.

“This is the NF2VC  floodlight unit. This is how you turn it on. First you have to activate it.”  Trainer flips a switch, in this case it was the control panel lighting switch.  Nothing happens, but a light comes on.

“Now all you have to do is say in a nice loud voice, LITE ALL ON!”

At this point the co-conspirator inside the Lite All starts the motor and flips the lights on.

“LITE ALL OFF!” and the unit chugs to a stop.


We let the FNG try it a couple of times, pronounce him “trained” and walk off with a quiet chuckle.

Then it got better.  The Swing Shift Expeditor comes on shift and starts driving the Expeditor Truck (a bread van).   It’s getting close to sundown and wants the Lite All’s turned on.  Our FNG volunteers.  After twenty minutes or so the Expeditor sees that none of the lights are on so he tracks down the FNG.  As he rolls up, the FNG is standing next to a Lite All screaming, “LITE ALL ON GOD DAMMIT!”  The NCO says, “What are you a retard? Get in the fucking truck”.   At this point we’re in the back of the van laughing our asses off.


Hahn AB, 1985- I report in and after meeting the Flight Chief, Msgt Ron “The Mad Russian” Krevico. He tells me to go out to the expeditor truck and meet the troops.  I get in the back of the Mercedes van and there are a few folks hanging out.  It went like this.

Me: “Hi, I’m Walt what’s your name?”


Me: “Hi Mike glad to meet you.”

“And what is your name?”


“And yours?”


I demand to see the next guy’s line badge and he hands it to me saying, “I’m Mike too”.

Over the years we pulled this a couple of times.  Along with the Mikes, we also had a set of Bobs and Jims.