The Navy is distancing itself from the USS Lexington’s decision to spray-paint a Grumman F9F-8 Cougar fighter jet bright pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The Cougar fighter jet is currently on display atop the deck of the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas, and will be available through the end of October. The USS Lexington was converted into a museum in 1992.
Shortly after news of the Cougar’s paint job started appearing in various media outlets, Twitter users quickly shot back with criticism.
The Navy is stepping in to clarify that the retired aircraft is on loan to the museum and that the museum on its own accord decided to spray paint the Cougar bright pink.
“The Lexington museum is a private museum, so the Navy does not have an opinion either way on breast cancer awareness,” Navy Office of Information spokeswoman Lt. Marycate Walsh told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The aircraft is on loan to the Lexington, but their act of painting it was their own support of breast cancer awareness. Besides that, they’ve done it on their own will and accord and it doesn’t reflect any Navy opinions.”
Museum Director of Operations and Exhibits M. Charles Reustle came up with the idea to paint the Cougar pink after he spotted a crane painted pink, while he was on his way to work.
“It supports all who have fought and continue to fight the battle of cancer,” said Reustle, according to CBS.
But the paint job is by no means permanent. Instead, the museum used latex paint and applied liquid dishwashing soap, so that the paint can come off easily. That’s the idea, anyhow. The paint is supposed to come off with a powerwasher, but otherwise, Reustle and the rest of the team will be spending November sanding off the paint.
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