The brashest, most publicized pilots of the Pacific Theater belonged to the appropriately named Black Sheep Squadron. They were rowdy, profane, hard-drinking, fun-loving and credited with so many Japanese aircraft that they became legends in their own time.
The leader of this wild bunch was Major Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, a former Flying Tiger with 6 kills to his credit. The boozing, brawling commander downed 28 enemy planes – more than any other Marine pilot. He was born 4 December 1912 and in Coeur d’Alene, IA he took his first flight at 6 years old with barnstormer, Clyde Pangborn. Boyington grew up thinking his step-father was his biological father and went by the name Hallenbeck. It wasn’t until he graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in aeronautical engineering that he learned his real name.
Boyington formed the Black Sheep in the summer of ’43 when…
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