In real life, on September 16, 1943, Gregory “Pappy” Boyington and his hand-picked squadron of fighter pilots made a name for themselves on their very first mission, during which Pappy shot down six Japanese Zeros. U. S. Marine squadron VMF 214, nicknamed the “Black Sheep,” had quickly become legends of World War II. This group of men were derided by some as misfits and mercenaries, who loved, brawled and drank their way across the Pacific when not otherwise occupied shooting down enemy aircraft. They were led in all of their pursuits by none other than their Commander, Gregory Boyington. His men nicknamed him “Pappy” because the 19 and 20 year olds considered Boyington “old” at 30.
In 1958 Boyington recorded his experiences in a memoir titled “Baa Baa Black Sheep.” In 1974 his book was adapted for a television series, which ran between 1976 and 1978. The series is being re-broadcast on MeTV beginning tonight, Sunday, Sept. 7. Click here for your local broadcast times.
Look for more on Pappy Boyington and the Black Sheep in future WW2 posts to this Lady Skywriter website.