If you don’t know who is Marine Corps Major Gregory ‘Pappy’ Boyington then you should not be on this website.
Born in Idaho on December 4, 1912, he was a leading Marine Corps Air Ace in World War II. He had been a Marine Corps officer before the war, but had resigned his commission in order to serve with Claire Chennault’s “Flying Tigers” in China.
When the United States entered the war, he rejoined the Marine Corps in early 1942 and was assigned to the Solomon Islands in the Pacific, and also served in the Bougainville campaign. He was shot down and subsequently captured by the Japanese on January 3, 1944 while on a mission over Rabaul. He was then a prisoner-of-war until he was liberated at the end of the war. He was awarded the Medal of Honor upon his return to the United States. He was promoted to Colonel upon his retirement from the Corps in 1947.
He died in Fresno, California, on January 11, 1988 and was buried in Section 7-A of Arlington National Cemetery, near the Memorial Amphitheater and the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Baa Baa Black Sheep (later syndicated as Black Sheep Squadron) is a television series that aired on NBC from 1976 until 1978. Its premise was based on the experiences of United States Marine Corps aviator Pappy Boyington and his World War II “Black Sheep Squadron“. The series was created and produced by Stephen J. Cannell. The opening credits read: “In World War II, Marine Corps Major Greg ‘Pappy’ Boyington commanded a squadron of fighter pilots. They were a collection of misfits and screwballs who became the terrors of the South Pacific. They were known as the Black Sheep.”