Pilot Callsigns

The web's largest collection of callsign stories

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The Three Rules of Callsigns

  1. If you don't already have one, you will be assigned one by your "buddies".
  2. You probably won't like it.
  3. If you complain and moan too much about 1. and 2., you'll get a new nickname you'll like even less!

So, how do you get a callsign?

Do something stupid or have it fit with your last name. Obvious examples, 'Crash' or LT 'Cheese' Kraft. Sometimes it's based on a physical appearance thing like 'Carrot'. After you've earned the respect of your buddies, you'll get a more 'heroic' callsign.

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Most recent additions

Our callsigns list contains 1460 callsigns. Here are the latest additions:

Scoofer

 (added: 23 May 2017)
WWII commander of a Navy TBF Avenger Squadron haggled a great deal on a souvenir (goat?) from an Arab trader. As he walked away, the old trader repeatedly yelled "Scoofer!" ("crook!") at him.

Snoopy

 (added: 6 Jun 2017)
Told everyone, assuming alcohol was involved, that Snoopy flying ace was the inspiration for him becoming a fighter pilot. The name stuck with him in the squadron.

SPIN

 (added: 7 Jun 2017)
Shortest Pilot In NATO

FATSO

 (added: 17 Apr 2015)
Repeat offender for supersonic in non-supersonic airspace. FaTSo (FAster Than SOund). This was a hostile renaming after being mistaken for a UFO. Primary callsign was sufficiently bribed off.

BUGS

 (added: 18 Apr 2015)
Boobs Under G Suit...Warthog driver

Captain

 (added: 30 Apr 2015)
F-16 Driver in Japan - real name was James Kirk

Killer

 (added: 17 May 2015)
Given to a Marine F-4 RIO that locked up on the wrong target during an east coast missile shot. Ended up shooting down a Navy A-4.

Press Dent

 (added: 11 Jun 2015)
Corrupted version of "president". Aircraft was accidentally hit by a tug in 2008, and the incident was compared with John McCain's Navy plane being shot with an accidental discharge. Of course, there was a real dent.

Nails

 (added: 19 Jun 2015)
Charles McDaniel was an instructor in advanced jet instruction. He was a hard grader, believed that if he passed a pilot who was killed due to lack of proper training, it would be his fault. When he passed a pilot as being jet proficient, that pilot was ready for the fleet and combat. He was considered to be an excellent instructor and hard as nails.

Bulltaco

 (added: 19 Jun 2015)
F-18 pilot stubborn as hell, pussied out on a lot of social events, via the taco. Hard core as a Marine.

SLOE

 (added: 16 Jul 2015)
A Naval Aviator I once worked with whose last name is Lehner, he was known as Slow Lerner

Cosmo

 (added: 1 Aug 2015)
"ex"-Astronomer. I loved flying at night due to the ability to see all the stars.

Vampire

 (added: 6 Aug 2015)
My last name Knobloch translates to the surname meaning garlic in German. And due to my acute hatred for the smell of garlic, I received the call sign Vampire.

Badger

 (added: 12 Sep 2015)
As a specialist helicopter pilot, we were involved in night time flying ,almost all of the time.One of my buddies got the nickname of Vampire, I fell over laughing, I had to ask,why that call sign, he responded by saying he was told only vampire bats fly at night. Before I could say anything else, he responded with a reply, you have one too. Badger, how come I asked , he responded, they only come out at night looking for something to eat, just like you, every time you fly, you look for a candy bar to put into your flight suit pocket.

CHIMBO

 (added: 13 Sep 2015)
OCD Navy F-18 pilot. Chick In a Man's Body

Rudy

 (added: 13 Sep 2015)
A short Marine Prowler pilot who actually walked on to the scrub team at Notre Dame.

Buddy

 (added: 13 Sep 2015)
Guy had a thing for 50's rock n roll. Few guys said it was asking for bad luck considering what happened to the real singer. "Buddy" however took it in rather good stride.

Razor

 (added: 24 Sep 2015)
Lt Col Gillette, 309 FS, Luke AFB. Pretty obvious one if you ask me.

Aslan

 (added: 24 Sep 2015)
Got it at Sheppard AFB in tech training. Instructor caught me staring off into blank space while I was writing up practice forms and told me to "come back from Narnia". Gave me the nickname after the lion from the Narnia series

Wiki

 (added: 24 Sep 2015)
Shortening of Wikipedia. Name given by my buddies in tech training because I had a mind like a steel trap and knew way too many random facts that I used to fill time.

Paps

 (added: 28 Sep 2015)
Poor guys last name was Speer. Great fighter pilot, did look a lot like Opie from the TV show Andy Griffith.

Kanga

 (added: 5 Jun 2014)
Lt Gen Bill Rew, USAF (Ret), former ACC/CV.

FROG

 (added: 20 Jun 2014)
While in at VT-7 at NAS Meridian during the Strike phase my room mate was on final approach as he touched down he hopped three time down the runway and the the instructor came in to the ready room as asked if he was impersonating a Frog.

Rabbit

 (added: 25 Jun 2014)
Evidently the F-15E driver came a little "too close" to the lights on the approach end of the runway. (Chased the rabbit and killed it.) He always was fond of saying 'once an eagle, always an eagle', but that rabbit had no meat.

Nutsbe

 (added: 28 Jun 2014)
Last name Chaffin...think about it