Happy Birthday Pappy Boyington

December 4th, 2009 | by Sqotty |

Gregory “Pappy” Boyington was born on this day in 1912. Pappy was a Marine Corps fighter pilot during World War 2, being awarded our nation’s highest medal, the Congressional Medal of Honor. Boyington also served in the American Volunteer Group, the Flying Tigers, during the lead-up to the u.S. entry into WW2. A TV series, highly dramatized (fictionalized) about his exploiuts and those of his squadron was made in the ’70s, inspired by his memoir of the same name.


This picture is of Boyington on the wing of a Corsair during the making of Baa, Baa, Black Sheep in 1976. Boyington gave me this picture when I had the pleasure of meeting him during my senior year of high school. I don’t know who the photographer was. During that year our paths would cross several times starting with an opportunity to accompany a buddy of mine who was interviewing him for his school’s paper, and then Boyington coming to the Upstart Crow where I worked to sign books and drink coffee. He was, and is, one of the most unique and interesting people I have ever known.

Boyington served gallantly in WW2, leading VMF-214, one of the most successful fighter squadrons in the Marines, and is an inspiration to those who serve in our Armed Forces as much today as when he lead the Black Sheep in battle.

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