October has almost been picked up with pink show support for breast cancer awareness with pink shirts, ribbons, food and even famous monuments. Now a retired American fighter jet has received the pink treatment.

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The USS Lexington Museum on Corpus Christi Bay, Texas, on Monday unveiled the F9F-8 Cougar in a full coat of Heliconia – “a vibrant pink shade,” according to a press release from the museum. The aircraft is on display on the flight deck of the USS Lexington until the end of the month.


Credit: USS LEXINGTON Museum on the Bay

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Credit: USS LEXINGTON Museum on the Bay

The aircraft experienced brief fighting in Vietnam in the 1970s, but otherwise it served more as a training machine, according to the National Aviation Museum.

USS Lexington museum officials said the makeover is suitable for an aircraft once used in combat. They chose a fighter plane to support all of the women (and men) who struggle and survive breast cancer.

However, some might see a US Army pink plane as a weak gesture in the fight against breast cancer and another example of “rose wash“- where brands align themselves with a worthy cause with no discernible connection.

Karuna Jaggar, executive director of San Francisco-based Breast Cancer Action, finds the pink plane rather ironic and a distraction. “We are looking at a tool of violence and death” to show our support for women’s lives, she said. She added that car and jet exhausts are linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

Jaggar said he saw many military and everyday items, from handcuffs to trash cans, splashed with the ubiquitous pink. “I think year after year we think we’ve reached the height of absurdity,” she said. “What do we have to show for this empty consciousness?

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Credit: USS LEXINGTON Museum on the Bay

The Cougar is believed to be the first fighter jet to be painted pink. The symbolic paint job is not permanent: washing-up liquid was applied to latex paint so that the plane regains its less visible gray once the campaign is over.



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