Eugene Ely makes the first airplane takeoff from a warship in a Curtiss pusher airplane from the cruiser USS Birmingham at Hampton Roads, VA. (U.S. Navy via Smithsonian Institution)

Before electromagnetic catapults and "goddamned steam," the Navy launched a fixed-wing aircraft off of a warship with nothing but a dose of luck and a giant pair of balls.

Those balls belonged to Eugene Burton Ely, who on Nov. 14, 1910, successfully launched his Curtiss Pusher biplane from the deck of a U.S. Navy warship, the first such flight for a fixed-wing aircraft.

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(U.S. Navy photo)

The Navy has identified an F/A-18E Super Hornet pilot killed in a July 31 crash as Lt. Charles Z. Walker, 33, whom his commanding officer described as "an incredible naval aviator, husband and son."

Walker was killed when his Super Hornet crashed about 40 miles north of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, during a training mission.

He was was assigned to the "Vigilantes" of Strike Fighter Squadron 151 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, a Strike Fighter Wing Pacific news release says.

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Command Master Chief Brian Morris (U.S. Navy photo)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The top enlisted sailor with a California-based helicopter squadron has been removed from his job over a loss in confidence in his ability to lead.

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Photo courtesty of Barbie Wilson Photography.

Two Navy aviators were confirmed dead late Wednesday after their F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed Wednesday off Florida, Navy officials said.

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Photo illustration by Aaron Provost

On April 19, 1944, Fred “Buck” Dungan, a naval F6F Hellcat pilot, chased a Japanese Mitsubishi G4M “Betty” Bomber down to 2,000 feet and destroyed it. The sole survivor was captured and brought to the USS Yorktown, upon which Dungan was stationed. The prisoner requested to meet his would-be killer, and — in accordance with the samurai code — congratulated him on his victory, which happened to be Dungan’s first as an aviator in World War II. He was just getting started.

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Photo via DoctorBrian/Reddit

The two Navy aviators responsible for scrawling a massive sky penis above Okanogan County, Washington, on Nov. 16 have officially been punished by naval aviation chief Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, according to documents obtained by the San Diego Union-Tribune. And it appears they were spared a career-ending administrative punishment and instead instructed to educate their fellow aviators on the “ramifications and embarrassment” that result from scrawling massive penises in the skies despite the Navy’s long-standing embrace of cocky humor.

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