CMDR Alana Garas, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Naval Academy has confirmed that on December 5, 2022, at 11:59 am EST, midshipmen from the Class of 2023 successfully conducted an air-to-ground spirit mission over the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, ahead of Saturday’s 123rd Army-Navy Game.
Twelve delivery passes dropped “Beat Army” and “Fly Navy” leaflets, along with ping pong balls, over Army West Point’s “The Apron.” Army cadets could be seen breaking formation and running for cover.
Five midshipmen led the three flight crews for the Piper PA-28 Cherokee Warriors, flying down the Hudson River Corridor to take a pass around Lady Liberty, then proceeding south, returning to the better service Academy along the Severn River. The mission was dubbed “Operation Black Knight Falling.” The Academy could not confirm how many ping pong balls were dropped and deemed it “classified.”
Navy leads the all-time series against Army 62-53-7, is 45-40-4 against Army in Philadelphia and 11-2 against the Black Knights at Lincoln Financial Field. Overall, Navy has won 18 of the last 23 contests against Army, including two of the last three.