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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Submit a Callsign - and don't forget the story!

Most recent additions

Our callsigns list contains 1677 callsigns. Here are the latest additions:
 (added: 16 Nov 2023)

No, not from a carrier landing. It's from when I was off base, pulling out of a bar on my motorcycle and ended up getting clotheslined by the cable of a winch on a wrecker.

The bar was having a car towed, and this tow truck driver hooked up to it and was trying to pull it away from the edge of the lot enough to get in front of it. He just happened to be pulling it across the entrance and exit to the lot, and didn't see me pulling out, and threw tension on the cable...just as I was riding towards the exit. The cable stripped me off the seat of the motorcycle, in full view of two of my squadron mates.

 (added: 15 Nov 2023)
July 1990 - Sitting in weaponeering class, which was part of learning to fly the A-6 Intruder.

One of my classmates turned to me and said “I heard you have a poodle”, in the same tone you would use if you caught someone in the middle of some deviant act.

I replied “so what?”.

He (a marine) was outraged. “It must be your wife’s dog, right?” Not being smart enough to see the dignified exit, I vigorously defended our little dog. Big mistake. He turned to the rest of the class and announced “Patrick has a fucking little Fifi poodle, and likes him!”

I’m now almost 60 years old, and my close Navy friends still call me Fifi.
 (added: 19 Mar 2018)

No Apparent Fear Of Death.

I was an Ensign in my first fleet squadron, The Golden Warriors (VA-87). We were doing carrier qualifications on either the Kennedy or the America, I can't remember which. It was 40 years ago. Lt Bob "Wimpy" Christiansen was my Landing Signal Officer (LSO) and nicknamed me NAFOD for getting 6 out of 10 1 wires in the daytime. The target is the 3 wire of 4 total. My night traps were fine but I was "spotting the deck" in Navy parlance during the daytime, which is not a good thing.

Sadly Wimpy was killed a few years later flying into the water. Great guy. Probably saved my ass. RIP

 (added: 5 Apr 2018)
Stop Talking Or I'll Kill You.... Ever debriefed a guy that has more to say than the IP?
 (added: 3 Nov 2023)
A mechanic working on F-16s. Anything he touched immediately had problems. Even when it had been checked and inspected, things still went wrong as long as he touched it.
 (added: 15 Nov 2023)
Her last name was Woo
 (added: 16 Nov 2023)

He never planned the work out all the way, causing it to be done over again.

 (added: 16 Nov 2023)
First name, Erlin. Top Gun fanatic and could recite entire scenes. Always twirled a pen or pencil during sortie briefs and debriefings.
 (added: 5 Apr 2018)
Every squadron has a guy or two like this. Thinks he knows everything, will argue over how right he thinks he is.

Self Appointed Guru Of Everything.

“W” or Dubya
 (added: 9 Nov 2023)
My daughter was a Flight Equipment Tech assigned to an A-10 squadron at Davis-Monthan. Her last name started with a “W” and the Hog drivers found out she was a big fan of Bush 43.
 (added: 14 Jan 2011)
Water skiing while deployed and fighting Eagles out of Tyndall, Fl. Put in hack for two weeks, stood the duty...rode the the call sign.

Comment by one officer who caught me, "Stupidist thing I've ever seen, also the funniest; now go to your room and I'll tell you when you can come out."

I hear tell the Navy is scrubbing their call signs to comply with current convention... boring, inaccurate, meaningless, limp.

 (added: 7 Nov 2023)
Bounced a few times onto a carrier deck... Pretty self-explanatory.
 (added: 2 Nov 2023)
Had a friend who was flying F/A-18s for the Navy. Newly in the fleet, he kept bragging about how easy the Case 1 recovery (a landing in nearly picture-perfect conditions) he was in pattern for was going to be, and how he was going to show everyone why he graduated at the top of his class. Lined up, came in too high, and had to do a bolter. Came around again, caught cable 1 (for reference, the prime target was cable 3 of 4). He said that particular crow didn't taste so good until the name grew on him.
 (added: 3 Nov 2023)
Stands for "seven miles scent" a translation from a popular (at the time) Chinese song "七哩香", about a boy in love with a girl and he recognised the scent of her perfume everywhere he went. Everywhere this F-16 mechanic went, she left the scent of her perfume.
 (added: 4 Nov 2023)
Saluted an Officer with my left hand on my first day
Sweet Pea
 (added: 5 Jan 2022)
At Pensacola I held the door open for a civilian that was leaving the classroom. She responded with "Thanks Sweet Pea" in front of the whole class.
 (added: 18 Apr 2022)
Female Hornet driver from Alaska. Didn't mind the callsign so much, just that her squadron mates that bestowed it on her were too stupid to realize the Yukon is in Canada and not Alaska.
 (added: 3 Jun 2023)
Had a young Lieutenant that worked with us and was an outdoorsy type - went hunting an fishing and that sort of thing. When he'd go hunting in the Fall, he'd climb up in a tree and wait for his prey to come "Danger Close". So one day he fell out of the tree, hitting a few limbs on the way down and broke his shoulder. So we came up with: "What falls out of trees in Ohio in the Fall? Walnuts and lieutenants." His moniker became "Walnut".
 (added: 26 May 2023)
Given to a caretaker who spent an entire day fixing one fuse at an RAAF bare base before a training wing could be ferried there. The inventory paperwork was wrong, the forklift was being serviced, the only replacement fuse was faulty, and he had to drive 70km to the nearest town to procure a new one.
 (added: 26 May 2023)
Early in my career smoked out a kitchen when I left a bagel I was toasting for too long (got distracted) and caused a fire alarm to go off, sending everyone outside that evening. Apparently a coin toss was held as it was either going to be "toast" or "bagel", and "bagel" won out.

Hated it at first, but the name grew on me.

 (added: 14 Jun 2023)
2Lt. Raihan Khondker - Having a unique last name with three back-to-back consonants was always a challenge for people to pronounce. It is pronounced very close to the word 'conquer'. Guess what my call sign became?
 (added: 9 Jul 2023)
Named after a children’s book, 'The Poky Little Puppy". Always getting others in trouble, but mostly avoiding consequences for himself.
 (added: 12 Oct 2023)
Last name Oldham. First platoon sergeant didn't like and decided to rename me, he called me tainted meat, but it was too long to yell and everyone figured out quickly what's funnier.... Taint.
 (added: 14 Oct 2023)
Based on the Hindu God, "Shiva the Destroyer". When your LT kills everything in the sky that isn't friendly...
 (added: 3 Oct 2023)
Ejected twice. First time at Luke when another jet hit him from behind/above in the landing pattern. Did two swings in the parachute and suffered two broken legs. Appeared in the class photo on crutches.

Second time the engine failed on takeoff in Saudi Arabia. Saw flames between his legs and ejected.

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