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Marine pilots who drew sky penises allowed to fly again after discipline

A unique T-34 "Turbo Mentor" passes in front of several other T-34's painted in the current orange and white colors. The aircraft's grey and yellow paint scheme, with Marine markings, are a part of the Centennial of Naval Aviation's 2011 celebration. (2nd Lt. Molly LeBlanc/U.S. Navy)
December 07, 2018

The two Marine pilots responsible for using their aircraft to draw a penis in the sky will continue to fly despite punishment.

The U.S. Marine Corps confirmed that the two Marines received discipline over the incident, but will permit them to remain in their position and actively fly, the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday.

“Two Marine Corps aviators were administratively disciplined following the completion of an investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding an Oct. 23 irregular flight pattern that resulted in an obscene image,” said Maj. Josef Patterson, Marine Corps spokesman. “The aviators retained their wings and will continue service to their country as valued members of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.”

In October, the two Marines used T-34C aircraft to create penis-shaped flight patterns that were picked up via flight-tracking programs.

An air traffic tracking website, Aircraft Spots, was the first to observe the pattern and posted about it on Twitter.

“Somebody needs to have a word with the crew of US Navy T-34C 160937 SHUTR91 out of MCAS Miramar,” the tweet said.

The names of the two Marines are not known, but they are a part of the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

Patterson stated in October that an investigation was opened immediately. The two Marines remained grounded as it was ongoing, only just now receiving permission to fly once again.

This isn’t the first time military aviators have been involved in scandals involving penis artwork and aircraft.

Recently, Lt. Col. Paul Goossen was fired from his position as commander of the Air Force’s 69th Bomb Squadron for allowing his squadron’s airmen to draw penis doodles on the mapping software of their B-52 bombers and other locations. An investigation revealed the airmen also drew such images on other aircraft and vehicles, and inside bathrooms and dorm rooms while deployed to Qatar.

Although Goossen was not involved in the drawings, he reportedly did not act to put a stop to the behavior, which took place in late 2017.

“The prevalent phallic drawings … indicated a poor culture and climate, indicative of a deployed location with a melting pot of unit climates and cultures that accepted those type of indecent drawings,” the investigation said, finding Goossen “failed to be above reproach.”

It’s unclear whether the airmen involved will also face some form of disciplinary action.

Last year, two more aviators were disciplined by the Navy after using their EA-18G’s cloud trail to draw visible penises in the sky over Washington. The two airmen received six months of probation, and were subject to culture and conduct briefs.