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War Flyers In The Headlines
" ...some of the men who in the more recent pass have distinguished themselves to the point where they merited and won newspaper headlines. Among them are such flyers as:

Major Gregory (Pappy) Boyington
After passing his twenty-fifth victory over an enemy plane Major Gregory Boyington of Okanogan, Wash., attached to a Corsair unit [VMF-214] in the South Pacific area, swore he would equal or excel the all-time-high record of Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker of World War I and that set in the present war by Major Joe Foss, each of who scored twenty-six. Alas for his hopes, his next attempt proved his last for he never returned from it, though there is evidence aplenty that he got his Jap, even though in so doing he lost his own life.

Boyington learned to outwit the Nip flyers while with the American Volunteer Group in China where he was officially credited with his first six victories. Shortly after being shifted to the South Pacific he broke a leg, which kept him inactive for seven months, but as soon as he was ready to take the air again he was eager to resume building up his record. Being without a squadron he faced a desk job, but he went over the head of his superiors and was finally authorized to create a squadron composed of pilots whom nobody else seemed to want. Boyington called them his “Black Sheep” and taught them every flying trick he knew. Soon they became a terror to the Japanese and within a few weeks downed fifty-eight Nip planes in addition to twenty-two probables and the destruction of ore than twenty more on the ground. By his fatherly watch over his charges and daily concern over their training and welfare he earned his nickname of “Pappy,” so on failing to return fro his last mission he was mourned indeed like a “father” by those grim veterans of the “Black Sheep” squadron."
Credit: Flying Aces Magazine  Date: April 1944

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