Special edition magazine commemorates 80th anniversary of the Black Sheep Squadron.
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 3, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Gregory ‘Pappy’ Boyington was a Marine Corps fighter pilot and the commanding officer of the VMF-214 Black Sheep Squadron in the Pacific during World War II.
Boyington was a leading flying ace, Prisoner of War, and a recipient of both the Navy Cross and Medal of Honor.
The U.S. Marine Corps’ Black Sheep squadron has served the nation continuously for 80 years. A new special edition magazine commemorates the milestone and their legacy.
“The WWII Black Sheep were among the most effective combat units and their achievements made them legendary,” said Kevin Gonzalez, the magazine’s creator. “An ace is a military aviator credited with downing five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat, and there were nine Black Sheep pilots who became aces.”
Boyington – Black Sheep Leader is a special edition magazine that features historical articles, archival photographs, and original graphic novel art. A special art section includes a depiction of Pappy’s last dogfight, when he and his wingman Captain George Ashmun, were both shot down during a strike mission over Rabaul.
Boyington survived the dogfight and was captured at sea by the crew of a Japanese submarine. He was never officially reported as a prisoner by the Japanese and was secretly held prisoner for 30 months.
Eventually he found his path to military aviation through an aviation cadet program, which then lead to the Marine Corps Reserve in 1937 and flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
Boyington was allowed to leave the Marines to join the American Volunteer Group, also known as the Flying Tigers, where he gained combat experience flying against the Japanese. After the U.S. entered WWII, he returned rejoin to the USMC.
He wrote about his experiences in his best-selling book BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP, published in 1958, which later became the basis for a popular NBC television series for two seasons in the 1970s.
Colonel Gregory Pappy Boyington died on Jan. 11, 1988, in Fresno, Calif., and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 2007, the local airport added the commemorative name Coeur d’Alene Airport/Pappy Boyington Field. In 2019, Boyington was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
The modern-day Black Sheep continue the squadrons legacy. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 214 (VMFA-214) is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, and fly the F-35 B Lightning II, the Marine Corps variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, manufactured by Lockheed Martin.
The special edition magazine is in full color and 68-pages. More information about Boyington at the website: PappyBoyingtonField.com.
“Many of the graphic artists who contributed to this project are military veterans,” said Gonzalez. “It’s exciting to see their artwork in the pages of this magazine.”
Boyington – Black Sheep Leader is a special edition magazine from the creator of the Pappy Boyington Field documentary film.
SOURCE Pappy Boyington