Boyington, Gregory "Pappy", 1912-1988

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Gregory "Pappy" Boyington (December 4, 1912 – January 11, 1988) was an American combat pilot who was a United States Marine Corps fighter ace during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.

A Marine aviator with the Pacific fleet in 1941, Boyington joined the "Flying Tigers" (1st American Volunteer Group) of the Republic of China Air Force and saw combat in Burma in late 1941 and 1942 during the military conflict between China and Japan.

In September 1942, Boyington rejoined the Marine Corps. In early 1943, he deployed to the South Pacific and began flying combat missions in the F4U Corsair fighter. In September 1943, he took command of Marine fighter squadron VMF-214 ("Black Sheep").

In January 1944, Boyington, outnumbered by Japanese "Zero" planes, was shot down into the Pacific Ocean after downing one of the enemy planes. He was captured by a Japanese submarine crew and was held as a prisoner of war for more than a year and a half. He was released shortly after the surrender of Japan, and a few days before the official surrender documents were signed.

The television series Baa Baa Black Sheep was inspired by Boyington and his men in the "Black Sheep" squadron. It ran for two seasons in the late 1970s.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs. 1773 - 2007. News Clippings National Archives at Washington, D.C
referencedIn Stassen, Harold Edward, 1907-2001. Harold Stassen papers, 1910s-1999 (bulk 1938-1980). Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Pettus, Ken. Baa baa, black sheep. High jinx / by Ken Pettus. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
referencedIn Harold Stassen papers., 1910s-1999 (bulk 1938-1980). Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Wallgren, Abian A. (Abian Anders), 1891?-1948. Abian A. Wallgren photograph collection. U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center
creatorOf Baa baa Black Sheep : scripts, 1977. Indiana University
referencedIn Bolton, Robert, 1937-1988. Robert Bolton collection, 1955-1980 (bulk 1963-1969). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Official Military Personnel File for Gregory Boyington. 1935-1988. National Archives at St. Louis
Relation Name
associatedWith Bolton, Robert, 1937-1988. person
associatedWith Stassen, Harold Edward, 1907-2001 person
associatedWith Stassen, Harold Edward, 1907-2001. person
memberOf United States. Marine Corps corporateBody
associatedWith Wallgren, Abian A. (Abian Anders), 1891?-1948. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Fresno CA US
Coeur d'Alene ID US


Birth 1912-12-04

Death 1988-01-11






Ark ID: w6kj1bqj

SNAC ID: 84374366