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.
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.