Gregory "Pappy" Boyington

Pappy Boyington  

USMC  Lt. Col

Medal Of Honor,   Navy Cross

Born 4 December 1912 in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho
Childhood in Okanogan, Washington, on an apple farm
Moved to Tacoma, graduated from Lincoln High School
Graduated from Washington State U., with a BSc
Home in Seattle (grew up as Greg Hallenbeck)
Joined the USMC in 1934 after graduating from Wazzu
Applied for flight training in the USMCR on 8 May 1935
Was instructing when he resigned to join the AVG, Sept. '41
Flew with the 1st squadron - the "Adam and Eve" Sqn.
Claimed 6 kills with the AVG - they paid him for 3.5
Clashes with Chennault caused him to quit (3 months early)
He returned to the US & was reinstated into the Marines
Had a desk job until his CO was posted out and by luck,
- got the chance to form a new squadron (VMF 214)
There he was nicknamed "Gramps" & "Pappy"
He is credited with destroying 22 planes with them
(This too is disputed by some, but why single him out ? )
Shot down (improbably by 'Mike' Kawato) & made POW
- on 3 Jan. 1943 after being seen to shoot down his 26th
Freed in Aug. '45, he claimed 2 more went down before him
He died (cancer) 11 January 1988  (Read his Final Interview)


Okanogan Flyer Death On Zeros

UNITED STATES HEADQUARTERS IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC, 20 Sept. 1943 - (AP) - A new American flying ace has emerged from heavy raids on Japanese bases in the Solomons with a record of shooting down five Zeros in a single engagement.
Marine Major Gregory Boyington, 30, of Okanogan, Wash., accomplished the rare feat last Thursday as almost 150 Dauntless dive bombers and Avenger torpedo bombers, escorted by fighters, raided the Ballale airdrome on Bougainville island.
Other pilots in dogfights brought down 10 other Zeros. Against the total of 15 Japanese planes destroyed, we lost four fighters but two pilots were known to have been saved.
Boyington, who bagged six bombers while flying with the American volunteer group in China, now has 11 victories to his credit and becomes one of the leading aces in the south Pacific.
His one day's record equals that of the late Marine Lieutenant Colonel Harold W. Bauer, who also shot down five Zeros in the early days of the fight for Guadalcanal.
Boyington joined the Marines in May 1935. Resigning as a Pensacola instructor in 1941, he went to China, then rejoined the Marines last November.
He graduated from the University of Washington, where he starred in swimming and wrestling.


VMF 214 pilots

Marine Flyers Will Trade Zeros For Ball Caps

South Pacific Headquarters, 7 Oct. 1943 — (AP) — Those caps the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals are wearing in the World Series may be traded for Japanese zero planes — and quickly. At least, the caps of the winning team may be.
Such baseball caps are popular headgear in the tropics because they keep the sun out of the fliers' eyes. But they are scarce down here.
Today, Major Gregory Boyington, a South Pacific ace with 15 planes to his credit, said his Marine fighter squadron has an offer to make. It is willing to shoot down a Japanese zero in trade for each cap of the winning team.
Major Boyington, of Okanogan and Tacoma, Wash., said his squadron was willing to put up 13 enemy planes which his men have shot down during the past two weeks as collateral in the deal.
Major Boyington shot down six Japanese bombers last year as a member of China's famed Flying Tigers. Last Sept. 18, in a 10-minute engagement over Bougainville in the northern Solomons, he bagged five zeros. Since then he has shot down four more. Those 15 do not take into consideration the planes he has destroyed on the ground.
The Marine fliers said they felt the caps which have adorned the victorious team in the World Series should help bring them luck. In return, they promised to make a clean sweep of the South Pacific aerial series.


Flier Has Two Weeks to Better Foss-Rickenbacker Mark

ALLIED HEADQUARTERS IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC, 26 Dec. 1943 - (UP) - Marine Maj Gregory Boyington of Okanogan, Wash., shot down four Japanese Zeros in Friday's attack on Rabaul to bring his total of enemy planes destroyed to twenty-four, it was announced today.


American Flier Out After His 26th Victory

Boyington 27 Dec 1943  
By JAMES LOWERY TOROKINA AIRFIELD, BOUGAINVILLE, 27 Dec. 1943 — (Delayed) — (UP) — Maj. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington, Okanogan, Wash., shot down his 25th enemy plane over Rabaul today and vowed that he would take to the air every day until he broke the American record of 26 victories set by Maj. Joe Foss on Guadalcanal.
Boyington, who scream's displeasure at the Japanese when they won't come up to fight him, was equally displeased with himself today because he shot down only one plane instead of the three that he had hoped to bag.
"Damn it," he said, "I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a bass violin today. I guess the tension was too great."
However, other Marine fighter pilots in the formidable Black Sheep squadron which Boyington commands said that poor visibility made sky fighting difficult in the battle over Rabaul.
The record of 26 planes which Boyington has vowed to break originally was set in the First World War by Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker of the famous Lafayette escadrille. It was matched by Foss, a Dell Rapids, S. D., farm boy turned Marine flier, when he was based at Henderson field early in 1942.
Boyington handles his deadly Corsair fighter with the skill he has learned from long experience in aerial dueling with the Japanese. His delight in pouring streams of tracers into Tojo's airmen prompts him to hang over enemy airdromes at 12,000 feet waiting for them to come up. If they don't or won't come, Boyington turns on his radio and screams insults at their ancestry mixed with challenges to "come up and fight." He sometimes even gives the enemy his exact position so as to be sure they won't miss a chance to meet him.
If that doesn't goad the Japanese into action, he shows his contempt by roaring down and strafing them on the ground. These tricks make his pilots nervous. But it is common knowledge, that wherever Pappy goes, the Black sheep squadron follows. Boyington first arrived in the South Pacific last January, but a broken leg grounded him for seven months. When he was ready to return to duty he was slated for a soft job behind a desk. He set up an awful howl and finally got a squadron made up of pilots nobody else seemed to want at the time. Hence the name "Black Sheep".
Pappy has had his narrow escapes, of course. Like the last time up - yesterday. A Zero roared head-on at his plane, closing to Within 150 yards before swerving aside.
Boyington learned to fight the Japanese with the American volunteer group in China, where he shot down six of his victims which were officially confirmed and credited to his score rolled up in southern Pacific skies.
After three weeks training under Boyington, the squadron quickly earned a reputation. In the six weeks prior to the opening of this field, it shot down 58 Japanese planes and got 22 probables and 20 more destroyed on the ground at Bougainville alone.
As squadron commander, Boyington has the privilege of sending himself into the air as often as he pleases, and there's not a man with the Black Sheep insignia on his plane who wouldn't bet his last dollar that Boyington breaks the Foss and Rickenbacker records.


"Pappy" Boyington Credited With His Twenty-Sixth Plane

GUADALCANAL, 6 Jan, 1944 - (AP) - Major Gregory 'Pappy' Boyington of Okanogan, Wash., was officially credited today with shooting down his 26th Japanese plane to tie the record set by a fellow Marine, Major Joe Foss.
Boyington, a former member of the "Flying Tigers" in China, got his 26th in a raid on Rabaul, New Britain, three days ago. More than 50 fighters participating in the sweep over the Rapopo airdrome shot down six of 20 intercepting Zeros, with five more listed as probables. Two Corsairs were lost.
The 30-year-old flyer, leading ace in both the south and southwest Pacific sectors, brought down his 25th enemy plane December 26 over Rabaul. On December 28, he hit a Japanese plane but it was listed only as a probable since it was not seen to crash.

May Have Total of 40
Other members of his "Black-Sheep" squadron have expressed belief that Boyington destroyed 40 Zeros in all. However, only those seen to crash, explode or burn have been listed on his confirmed score.

Got Six With Tigers
Boyington's 26-plane mark includes a score of six which he rolled up while a member of the Flying Tigers.
He participated in a fighter strike against Rabaul December 2 in which 15 and probably 19 Japanese aircraft altogether were destroyed by Marine and Navy flyers. Delayed reports said, however, that he failed to make contact with the enemy. He returned the next day to attain the record mark.

  Greg Boyington


Ace Fliers Miss Major Boyington

An Advanced Solomons Airbase, 8 Jan. 1944 - (UP) - The "Black Sheep" squadron of Marine fighter pilots is about to leave this forward area after hanging up one of the most outstanding combat tour records of the South Pacific war, but the leader they knew as "Pappy" - Maj. Gregory Boyington - is not here to go with them.
Boyington has been listed as missing in action, unheard of or seen since Jan. 3, despite an inch by inch search of this area for the man who tied the American "ace of aces" record by shooting down 26 Japanese planes.
(Announcement that Boyington was missing in action was made Thursday night by his mother, Mrs. E. J. Hallenbeck of Okanogan, Wash., following official notification by the Navy, department.)
The heartbroken Black Sheep pilots, who have bagged 93 Japanese planes in three months action, carried out a fruitless daylong search Monday for their leader, missing from a fighter sweep over Rabaul. Lt. Chuck Carr, who flew with Boyington, said the mission was a sweep over Rapopo airdrome.


Missing Marine Ace Made First Flight When Only 8
Love of Flying Uppermost in Life of Fighter, Says Mother of Maj. Boyington

By Jessie Geissler, Okanogan, Wash., 10 January 1944 - (AP) - Gregory Boyington made his first model plane at a kindergarten age...
He made his first flight when he was 8...
He once said flying "is the only thing I'd ever want to get up before breakfast for"...
So Gregory Boyington became a flier. And, as Maj. Gregory Boyington of the United States Marines, he shot down his 26th enemy plane this week - a total that made him a co-holder of the record for United States airmen - but did not return.
He was reported missing in action only a few hours after the news came of the 26th "kill" that put him even with another Marine, Maj. Joe Foss, and with Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, whose mark has stood since the First World War.
Boyington was 31 - old for a fighting pilot - and he'd been striving for the record in a race against time, the time when he would be grounded in a staff job. Sometimes he doubted that he would make it: "The Japs are getting pretty scarce out here and I doubt if I will be able to beat Joe Foss' record before I am sent home," he wrote in December.

Mount up
Boyington "mounts up" for another mission against the Japanese
Always a Fighter
But Gregory Boyington was "always a fighter," his mother, Mrs. E. J. Hallenbeck, recalls, "always coming home with a bloody nose."
"Greg wasn't a brilliant student, but he was thorough and whatever he learned he kept," says Mrs. Hallenbeck. "And he was practical - wasn't happy until he had applied what he learned to a use," adds his stepfather, an Okanogan county official, whom the pilot had known, since he was 3, as "Dad."
The Hallenbecks have watched Boyington's love of flying develop since he fashioned his first model planes from bits of shingles and paper.
"They didn't have 'model planes' for little boys then." says his mother. "Gregory made his own. And then there was the day he - was only 8 years old - when he went up for his first flight. It was with Clyde Pangborn."
Pangborn, who later flew the Pacific nonstop, was barnstorming at St. Maries, Idaho, where the Hallenbecks lived. Small, tow headed Gregory hung around the hay field where Pangborn had his plane, and induced the flier to take him and an 8 year old comrade for a flight at $2.50 each, instead of the regular $5 rate. Later he wrangled a free ride by scattering pamphlets from the barnstormer's plane.
The next year he and the same pal hitchhiked 60 miles to an air circus at Spokane and saw a pilot killed.
"I thought such a sight would dim Greg's interest in flying." says his stepfather, "but it didn't."

Stepfather a Real Father
Until he joined the Marines in 1935, a year after he was graduated from the University of Washington in aeronautical engineering, Boyington spent all his life in the northwest states and was known as Gregory Hallenbeck.
His mother married Dr. C. B Boyington, a dentist at Coeur d'Alene, Idaho where Gregory was born.
This marriage ended in divorce, and when Gregory was three, she married Hallenbeck, then in the lumbering business, and they moved to St. Maries, Idaho.
Both Gregory and a son of the second marriage, William, were reared as Hallenbeck's sons. When Gregory, joining the Marine corps, asked for his birth certificate, “we knew we must tell him," the mother said." We did. He was dumbfounded. He wouldn't believe us at first."
And Gregory Hallenbeck became Gregory Boyington in the Marine Corps.
When Gregory was 12, the Hallenbecks moved to Tacoma, Washington where Gregory was graduated from high school. He always insisted that the family picnics be held on the site of what now is McChord field, where the mooring mast of the ill-fated dirigible Shenandoah still stood. Although the mast was protected by a shield, Gregory would get over the shield and perch atop the 80 foot pole and "pretend he was flying."
After graduation from the University of Washington Gregory was employed by Boeing Aircraft Company as a draftsman, meantime marrying attractive Helen Clark, then 17, whom he met at a university dance.

With Flying Tigers
Their son, Gregory, jr., now eight, had just been born when Boyington, anxious to get into actual flying, decided to join the Marine Corps "Nobody can stop me, not even my mom, because that's what I've always wanted to do," he said when his mother questioned his decision. He was commissioned at Pensacola, Fla., served a year at the Marine school at Quantico, V., and attended gunnery school for a year at Philadelphia, Pa. He was an instructor at Pensacola when he resigned his commission and joined Chennault's Flying Tigers in China The Boyingtons by this time had three children, Gregory, jr., Janet and Gloria, but their marriage was headed for misfortune, and while Boyington was in China it was dissolved in divorce.
Boyington returned from China with six confirmed "kills" to his credit after a year's service and was reinstated in the Marine Corps. On Jan. 1, 1943, he sailed for the south Pacific.
"Dad" Hallenbeck is convinced Boyington would have established himself long ago as the all-time American ace had he not suffered a broken ankle during his first months in the south Pacific.
"That kept him off his feet for four or five months while the Japs were thick," explains Hallenbeck. "Then, when he got well, they kept him at a desk job and he had a hard time getting in the air again."


Ace Dared Japs to Come Up and Fight

By FRED HAMPSON, Advanced South Pacific Base, 10 January 1944 - (AP) - The skipper didn't get back.
The news spread like the chill wind from revetment in the "ready roam" to the tent camp on the hill. The war stood still for 100 pilots and 500 ground crewmen.
For Maj. Gregory Boyington, leader of the Marine's "Black Sheep Squadron" had failed to return from a mission during which he shot down his twenty-sixth enemy plane.
Three accompanying pilots saw the 31 year old Okanogan (Wash.) ace send his twenty-sixth spinning down in a ball of fire into St. George's Channel, the gateway to Rabaul, New Britain.
Lieut. M. B. Miller then saw Boyington and Wingman Capt. G. M. Ashmun dive on a formation of Zeros below. "They disappeared below a cloud," he said. "I don't see how Greg could have missed getting one or more, but I never saw him afterward." (He got 2 more -jf)
Search planes sighted neither the wreckage of Boyington's Corsair nor the life raft that pilots carry.
Marine Maj. Gen. Ralph Mitchell of New Britain, Conn., commander of the Solomons air force, said "not only was Boyington of immense value as a pilot but his instructional ability was almost un-measurable. We need men like him to 'read the bible' to the kids backs home who don't know it yet."

Best and Bravest
Intelligence Officer Frank (Red) Walton, former Los Angeles policeman, former international swimming star and a "father confessor" to Boyington, said:

Pappy in the cockpit
This is the last picture taken of Maj. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington before he got his twenty-sixth enemy plane and was reported missing.
"He may show up or he may not. If he doesn't, you ought to tell the American people they lost about the best and bravest guy that ever came out here to fight for them. The Japs know it already."
Boyington was a flier's flier. His squadron's esprit de corps fed on his skill and character. Like their leader, they considered themselves the hardest hitters in the Pacific and accepted battles against any odds.
"He knew what a Corsair would and wouldn't do," said Capt. Kenneth Frazier of Burlington, N. Y., second Black Sheep ace with 12½ planes, in commenting on Boyington's technical intimacy with airplanes.
A week ago he leaned across the mess hall table and bellowed, "Sure I want that record (of 26 planes downed); who the hell wouldn't? I'd like to make it 35!"
Boyington chose his friends without regard for rank, and once was grounded for his easy attitude toward discipline - but he was too good to keep down.

Answering the Japs
Once at Kahili on Bougainville the Japanese found the Allied fighters' wave length, and a servile voice said, "Maj. Boyington, what is your position, please?"
Recognizing the ruse, Boyington retorted, "Right over your damn airport - why don't you yellow bellies come up and fight?"
"Maj. Boyington, why don't you come down?" came the sibilant Japanese voice.
Boyington and his wingman went down through heavy antiaircraft fire, strafed two gun positions and a couple of Zeros on the ground and shot up to fighter altitude.
"All right, you ______, I was down," yelled Boyington. "Now how about you coming up?"
None came.
The stocky former "Flying Tiger" was the leading fighter ace in the Pacific, but had never been decorated. Only a few days before his last mission, he laughingly remarked, "When I get home all I can wear is a South Pacific Campaign Ribbon."


Marine Ace Describes Bagging Four Zeros
Major Boyington Records Air Battle Before Taking Off to Get Plane No. 26

Pappy and some of his Black Sheep
"Pappy" goes over the details with members of his sqn.
WASHINGTON, 13 Jan. 1944 - (AP) - The voice of Major Gregory Boyington, recorded before he was shot down and reported missing in action in the South Pacific, was heard over American radio stations today, describing a raid on Rabaul in which he shot down four Japanese planes.
Boyington has been listed as missing since January 3, when his plane went down in an air scrap in which he accounted for his twenty-sixth enemy plane, tying the record of Major Joe Foss, also a Marine flier.
Boyington, of Okanogan, Wash., was interviewed, December 23, at Vella Lavella by Sergeant James O. Hardin, Jr., of Marietta, Ohio, who recorded the interview for broadcasting in the United States.
Telling of the raid, Boyington said:
"We tangled with all the Jap Zeros we could in dogfights and I saw eight other planes destroyed besides the four I destroyed myself.
“The first contact I made was with a lone Zero that made a pass at the tail of my formation. I pulled up in a wing-over and the Zero started down. I guess he was out of gas or would be shortly, and was going for home. I just kept following him down from about 18,000 down to about 6,000 when I finally boresighted him from about 50 feet behind and blew him up in flames.
"The second time I saw Zeros, there were two of them. I thought at first it was one of our planes being attacked by a Zero. I went up and found out it was a Zero that had been crippled, flying in a straight line.
"I caught this one on fire from about 100 yards behind. The pilot bailed out and the other Zero turned on me and I pulled out of his way. The plane crashed in the water and the pilot landed not far from it.
"The escorting Zero went down and circled around the pilot in the water. While he was doing this, I came down from 10,000 feet, unknown to him, out of the sun. I got within about 50 feet behind him and set him afire and he never bailed out.
Describing the killing of his fourth Zero for the day, Boyington continued, "I went to 18,000 and circled over Rabaul for about 20 minutes. I finally located a patrol of nine Zekes in V-formation. I came down, unknown to the Zekes, and picked off the tail-end man and then ran like a son of a gun."
Boyington finished up that day's activities by strafing a submarine as he started home.


"Greatest Pilot of All Time," Pal Tells Daughter

SEATTLE, 27 Jan. 1944 - (AP) - Marine Corps Lieutenant Jack Giddens, assistant operations officers for the fighter group with which Major Gregory Boyington served in the south Pacific, today said he did not believe the ace who downed 26 Japanese planes is "gone."
Lieutenant Giddens told the major's small daughter, Gloria, that he didn't say this just because he thought Major Boyington the "greatest pilot of all time," but because records showed 75 per cent of our pilots lost in the Solomons have been recovered. Men have been lost as long as 50 days, he said.
The Okanogan, Wash., flyer was reported missing January 3 when he tied the American record by downing his 26th enemy plane over Rabaul.
"Those of us who knew Greg as a flyer don't think there's a man alive he couldn't whip in a plane." the Seattle lieutenant said. "If the Japs did get him, it must have been ack-ack — a lucky shot he couldn't do anything about."
The Japs would be bragging about it if they had captured Boyington, the lieutenant added.
"They heard about 'Pappy's' reputation and they would call him by name when he flew over Kahili. 'Boyington,' they'd radio, and then they'd try to gang up on him.

Bombs Water and Goes Home
"It used to bother all of us that the Japs talked perfect English, because we knew lots of them had been our schoolmates at northwest universities. Once, at Guadalcanal, a Jap dive-bomber came over and we didn't have any planes to send after him.
"'I don't know whether to drop my bombs or not,' the Jap said. ‘It was nice back there in Oregon.' And then he dropped his load harmlessly in the water and went home."


Boyington Receives Medal of Honor

WASHINGTON, 12 April 1944 - (INS) - Maj. Gregory Boyington of Okanogan, Wash., Marine Corps fighter pilot who was reported missing in action over Rabaul after shooting down a total of 26 Japanese fighter planes, today was awarded the Medal of Honor.
The Navy announced that the high honor was granted to the missing ace by President Roosevelt for "extraordinary heroism."
The citation accompanying the award said the Marine pilot was "a superb airman and determined fighter against overwhelming odds" who led his Black Sheep fighter squadron against the Japs in the Solomons from September 12, 1943, to January 3, 1944, when he failed to return from a mission over Rabaul.
The 31-year-old major was known in the Solomons as "Pappy," skipper of the squadron which shot down 94 enemy planes in 12 weeks of combat.
The medal is Boyington's first and only decoration.

Boyington kneels before a Corsair (the censors have done a good job of scratching any details off the bird)

  Black Sheep head out


Capt. Bong's 27 Planes Downed in Combat Puts Him at Top

(By The Associated Press) Today's Southwest Pacific headquarters announcement that Capt. Richard Ira Bong has downed 27 enemy planes in combat makes him the leading American ace in number of planes shot down in combat, but second to Capt. Don S. Gentile of the European theater in the number destroyed both in the air and on the ground.
Gentile, the Piqua Ohio fighter pilot who flies from Britain, is credited with 30 planes destroyed — 23 shot from the skies and seven others destroyed on the ground.
Bong, who lives at Poplar, Wis., broke Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker's long-standing record of 26 planes shot down in combat in World War I by getting his 26th and 27th enemy plane over the Japanese base at Hollandia, New Guinea.
Only planes destroyed in aerial combat are tallied in the Pacific theater while all planes destroyed, both on the ground and in combat, are credited to Eighth air force fliers in Britain, the Navy keeps no official counts of individual victories but Lt. (jg) Ira Kepford of Muskegon, Mich., is credited with 16 Japanese planes.
The Marine record of 26 planes downed is held jointly by Maj. Joe Foss of Sioux Falls, S.D. and Maj. Gregory Boyington of Okanogan, Wash., who is missing in action.
Nineteen other Army, Navy and marine corps fliers have destroyed 15 or more enemy planes, and while Mediterranean theater records list no fliers among the top 24 with 15 or more planes to their credit, the two leaders there are Maj. Herschel Green of Mayfield, Ky., with 13 and Lt William J. Sloan of Richmond, Va. with 12.
The leading aces are:
European theater: Capt. Don S. Gentile, Piqua, Oh., 30; Capt. Robert S. Johnson, Lawton, Okla., 22; Capt. Duane W. Beeson, Boise, Ida., 21; Maj. Walker Mahurin, Fort Wayne, Ind., (missing) 21; Maj. Gerald Johnson, Owenton, Ky., (missing) 18; Maj. Walter Beckham, De Funiak Springs, Fla., (missing) 18; Maj. Francis S. Gabreski, Oil City, Pa., 17; and Lt.-Col. Glenn E. Duncan, Houston, Tex., 15.
Pacific (Army): Capt. Richard Bong, Popular, Wis., 27; Col. Neel E. Kearby, San Antonio, Tex., (missing) 21; Lt.-Col. Thomas J. Lynch, Catasauqua, Pa., (dead) 19; Capt. Thomas B. McGuire, Jr., San Antonio, Tex., 17; Maj. Robert Westbrook, Hollywood, Calif., 16 and Maj. George S. Welch, Wilmington, Del., 16.
Pacific (Marines): Maj. Joe Foss, Sioux Falls, S.D., 26; Maj. Gregory Boyington, Okanogan, Wash., (missing) 26; Lt. Robert Hanson, Newtonville, Mass., (missing) 26; Capt. Donald Aldrich, Chicago, 20; Lt. Kenneth Walsh, Brooklyn and Washington, 20; Lt.-Col. John L. Smith, Lexington, Okla., 19; Maj. M. E. Carl, Hubbard, Ore., 17; Lt. William J. Thomas, El Dorado, Kan., 16 and Capt. Harold R. Spears of Ironton, Ohio with 15.


Another Ace Of Aces

There is not one of us who does not thrill to read of the exploits of America's fighting airmen, and of the numbers of enemy planes they have forever removed from the skies of battle. Almost daily we are told that there is a new ace of aces, and the most recent to wear the proud title - as of this date - is Capt. Richard I. Bong, of Poplar, Wis., whose record in the southwest Pacific is twenty-seven planes, or one more than Captain Eddie Rickenbacker's First World War record of German aircraft. All planes destroyed by Captain Bong were shot down in combat, whereas the record of Capt. Don Gentile in the European Theater includes several enemy planes destroyed on the around.
There are many leading aces in all theaters, but some of them now must be spoken of in the past tense. That master airman of the Marines, Maj. Gregory Boyington Okanogan, Wash., shot down 26 Jap planes in the Pacific fighting - but is missing in action. So also is Lt. Robert Hanson, Newtonville, Mass., who had downed twenty-five Japs. Col. Neel Kearby, of Texas, an Army airman who fought in the Pacific area, had accounted for twenty-one enemy aircraft - before the silence enveloped him. Another famous ace now listed as missing was Maj. Walker Mahurin, Fort Wayne, Ind., whose score was twenty-one. And there are still other great American aces who never returned from their missions and whose fate is unknown but grimly guessed.
Almost we are inclined to deplore the atmosphere of fraternal contest that has been thrown about the exploits of our leading airmen. These young men, we believe, are in conflict with the enemy, not in competition among themselves. The spirit of rivalry may impel them to take fantastic and fatal chances, when a certain degree of prudence would assure that they should live to add to their laurels. Yet, it is but a manifestation of the traditional spirit of American youth, and no doubt we are wrong. If we are wrong, it is because of our deep concern for them. - Portland Oregonian


Boyington May Become Sky Legend

AN ADVANCED SOUTH PACIFIC AIRBASE, 15 May 1944 - (AP) - Almost five months have passed since Major Gregory Boyington vanished over Rabaul, but there's an insistent rumor from Finschhafen to Sydney that the 26-plane Marine ace is still alive.
Wherever airmen gather they talk of Greg as if he were just temporarily missing, and they recall one of his last comments that "I may disappear with 30 Zekes on my tail but remember - I'll meet you guys in a San Diego bar six months after the war."
A week or so after Boyington's disappearance last Jan. 3, some scout pilots thought they saw his stocky figure trying to signal them from the beach of a Japanese-held Island. Search planes covered every foot of the coastline, to no avail.
Then somebody thought he saw a group of airmen on the coast of another Island. Again the searchers came home empty handed.
The picturesque Okanogan, Wash. fighter pilot, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after his disappearance, has been the object of air searchers throughout the Bismarck Archipelago and the northern Solomons. It's all rumor of course, that he's still alive. Rumor, and hope.
The Pacific war holds no darker secret than the fate of downed aviators at Rabaul.
Boyington may grow into one of this war’s sky legends, like George Guynemeyer, the French ace of the last war who disappeared without a trace.
Some thought Guynemeyer had flown straight into heaven.
The last time anybody saw Boyington he was throwing .50-caliber slugs into his 26th victim and diving through a hole in the clouds onto a formation of Zekes. Few airmen have disappeared as quickly and as dramatically and with so few clues.
The Black Sheep squadron which he headed has been broken up, but the boys have a date with Boyington "in a San Diego bar six months after the war."
Who knows? - he may keep that date.

  Greg "Pappy" Boyington


The Washington Merry-Go-Round
Navy Sore Over Awards. Their Flyers Slighted

By Drew Pearson, Washington, 24 May 1944 - Civilians may not understand it but, inside the Army and Navy, the top-heavy awarding of medals to Army heroes is causing unfortunate bitterness and rancor.
You don't hear so much about it on the home front but, in the officers' clubs in Hawaii or Australia, you will see a naval airman come up to a bemedaled Army airman and say, "Hi, hero!" Sometimes this is almost a fighting salutation. Sometimes it results in a long and heated argument about how little the Army has done compared with the Navy to deserve decorations.
Sometimes brawls have resulted - all from the fact that the Army has given more than 100,000 air medals since the war started as against only about 700 for the Navy. While the Navy is smaller - about one-fifth - the ratio of medals is about 7 to 1000.
There is no disposition here to detract from the valor of Army heroes. They deserve every ribbon they get and then some. But somehow or other, Navy awards should be standardized with the Army's, so that a Navy man who has shot down just as many enemy planes doesn't come home only to find that his neighbor in the Army is a hero while he, in the Navy, hasn't one single decoration ribbon on his tunic.

What particularly riled Navy men was the Army's award of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star and the Purple Heart to a dog. Meanwhile, some naval airmen who had been flying for two years hadn't been decorated.
For Instance, when naval flyers operated from Guadalcanal for four long months, scarcely able to hold Henderson field and living only on Jap food, they got no reward. But when the Army came into Guadalcanal, the men of a ground crew who remained there only one week got the Legion of Merit. The Navy flyers that had fought on Guadalcanal for four months were almost ignored.
Again, while Brigadier General Oliver R. Germann received seven citations in one day for participating in 17 missions over Europe, Marine Corps Major Gregory Boyington had to shoot down 26 Jap planes before being awarded a medal. Not until last month (three months after he had been reported missing in action) was he finally given the Medal of Honor. General Germann certainly deserved his awards and then some, but the Marine Corps and Navy can't help feeling that their men with equal or greater records also deserve recognition.
Again, Corporal Henry J. Bonura was awarded the Legion of Merit by General Eisenhower for establishing 20 baseball fields in North Africa. Without detracting from his credit, nevertheless naval officers are irked when Marine Corps officers like Captain Roger Haberman, Lieutenant Jack Pittman, Captain Ernest Powell, Captain William Snyder, Captain Stanley Synar and Major Arthur Warner shoot down five Jap planes each — and in some cases more — without receiving citations.

Naval men can't very well explain to their friends that the Annapolis line officers trained on battleships, who really run the Navy, don’t give much recognition to the Navy air arm, and are much stingier than the Army, anyway, when it comes to medals.
Meanwhile, the situation is getting serious for morale. It is not merely a question of personal vanity. Editorials on the subject have appeared in the service journals. And the situation has reached a point where it has sometimes actually interfered with efficiency in combat.
For instance, returning flyers tell of one case in the south Pacific where Jap Zeros were about to clash with Army 38s. Some Navy 4-Vs sighted the approaching combat, but signaled to each other: "To hell with the 38s. Let them get home if they're good enough. If we save 'em, they'll get DFCs (Distinguished Flying Cross) and we'll get another mission."



WASHINGTON, 24 June 1944 - (AP) - Award of the Navy Cross to Major Boyington of Okanogan, Wash., 31-year-old Marine Corps ace now listed as missing in action, was announced by the Navy today. Boyington was listed as missing after an attack on Japanese planes over New Britain Island on January 3. He had tied the existing American record of 26 enemy planes shot down just before he plunged into the jungles during this action.
Boyington previously had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.


Noted Marine Flying Ace Found Alive

ABOARD USS ANCON, Tokyo Bay, Aug. 20 — (AP) — Maj. Gregory Boyington, 32-year-old irrepressible Marine ace of the South Pacific who was convinced no Japanese airman could kill him, was reported alive today nearly 20 months after he vanished in a cloud during an air battle over still unconquered Rabaul.
The report was tenuous. It was flashed to this communications ship from the American cruiser San Juan.
Details were lacking. The report was believed to have come from a Japanese pilot guiding the cruiser into Tokyo Bay or from Yankee airmen on Atsugi airdrome near Tokyo.
Typical of Boyington's confidence in his ability to come through was his promise to members of his "Black Sheep" squadron in the South Pacific that he would see them in a San Diego bar after the war was over.
Officially credited with sending 26 enemy planes to their destruction in Pacific actions, Boyington nevertheless is believed by his Black Sheep squadron of Corsair pilots to have shot down at least 40.
He was last seen Jan. 3, 1944. tailing a Japanese plane into a cloud near Rabaul.
The former University of Washington wrestling champion, fondly nicknamed "Pappy" by his friends, first got his ace's rating in downing 5 Zeroes in a single engagement over Ballale airdrome in the Solomons on Sept. 16, 1942.
At the time of his disappearance he was attacked by 12 Japanese planes, said his wingman.


Daddy Boyington Safe? Gloria Knew It All Along

SEATTLE — (AP) — The surprise of their young lives awaited Janet Sue and Gregory Boyington Jr. today when they clambered from their beds at their grandma's farm near Brewster, Wash., but their little sister, Gloria, knew all the time that her daddy, Maj, Gregory Boyington, was alive.
Entirely unimpressed when told last night that the major was believed alive in Tokyo, she said gravely:
"I know it; I just said my prayers for him."
Gloria is 5, Janet Sue, 7, and Gregory Jr., whose nickname is Bob, is 10. The major's mother, saying she was "overcome with happiness" when given the news last night, said the older children were asleep and she would wait until morning to give them the news.
But Gloria lives in Seattle with her aunt, Mrs. A. G. Wickstrom. When Boyington, after separating from his first wife, obtained custody of the children, he left Gloria with the wife's sister and the two others with his mother.
"We have never given up in our hearts," said Mrs. Wickstrom when told that Boyington was reported alive.
The Marine pilot's father, Dr. C. B. Boyington, said at St. Maries, Ida., he "had hopes all along that he would be found." He said numerous communications from servicemen in the area where his son had flown "seemed so confident that they made me feel that way."
Mrs. E. J. Hallenbeck, the pilot's mother, was reached by Mrs. Wickstrom at her remote country home near Brewster, Wash., and heard the news "with tremendous excitement."
"Tell the A.P.," she asked Mrs. Wickstrom, "I'm overcome with happiness. I'm so excited I don't know what to say."
With Mrs. Hallenbeck were the two older children, Janet Sue, 7, and Gregory Jr., 10.
Boyington received custody of the children when he returned from China after serving with the famous Flying Tigers.
Hallenbeck family gets the good news
Word that Pappy is alive in Tokyo is read by his mother to his children Janet Sue & Greg jr. while stepfather E. J. Hallenbeck looks on


Boyington Beaten With Ball Bat

Major Boyington is greeted by Cmdr. Harold Stassen (R), former Governor of Minnesota, who's now on General Halsey's staff

ABOARD THE MERCY SHIP REEVES OFF OMARI PRISON CAMP, Tokyo Bay, 30 Aug. 1945 (AP) - Surviving 20 months of secret imprisonment during which he was tortured by baseball bat beatings, Maj. Gregory Boyington, 32, U.S. ace from Okanogan, Wash., was rescued by an expedition commanded by Commodore Roger Simpson, he told me today. Simpson exhausted from his all-night mission, which he carried out with Cmdr. Harold Stassen, former governor of Minnesota, told a pitiable tale of maltreatment and neglect. His statements were borne out by Navy doctors who found most of the 500 were suffering from injuries, concussion, burns or malnutrition.
The elderly Japanese colonel in charge of the camp declined to release the prisoners, saying no official word had been received from Tokyo.
"We told him we carried official word from Adm. Halsey, which was even better. ‘Cut out that ... stuff,' we told him, and he did. We then released the prisoners. I went to the prison hospital three miles away."

One of the first prisoners rescued was Maj. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington, 32, Okanogan, Wash., Marine fighter pilot ace shot down and believed killed over Rabaul in 1944, and who now has 28 Japanese planes and a Medal of Honor to his credit.
Boyington said he had 20mm wounds on his head, neck, arms and ear and his ankle was broken. The main gas tank on his Corsair blew up.
"I flipped my plane on its back and unfastened the safety belt," Boyington said. "I dropped 100 feet to the water and was stunned by the impact."
"My Mae West lifebelt failed to inflate and investigation revealed 200 holes in it. I shucked my shoes and clothes and treaded water. Four Nips in Zeke fighters strafed me until they ran out of ammunition.
I finally located my plane's rubber lifeboat and inflated it okeh. After a few hours a Japanese submarine surfaced near me by coincidence and took me aboard off Capt St. George. The sub transported me to Rabaul.

No Medical Aid
"At Rabaul, I was blindfolded and handcuffed and my medical equipment was taken away. I was questioned the whole night. I had no medical treatment for 10 days during which time my festering wounds smelled so bad I wondered how the Jap questioners could stand the stench. On the 11th day, another internee was permitted to apply hot water bandages.
"I was held for two months in Rabaul. I trekked into town daily from the camp in the outskirts for continuous grilling. Twenty other airmen were in the camp but I was singled out as a special prisoner and had no prisoner of war privileges.

Was Slugged 300 Times
"On March 7, 1944, I was transported to a secret Navy camp in the country village of Ofuna, Japan, for questioning. It was here that I was given the baseball bat treatment. It consists of standing with your hands tied while a guard slugged my back and legs with the bat as hard as he could. My rump was so swollen I could see it over my shoulder.
"I was slugged in the jaw approximately 300 times. Similar beatings killed other prisoners. Even Jap civilians took part in administering the battings. The barber who shaved our heads every two months delighted in taking pokes at us.
“A Japanese pharmacist's mate,” observed Lieut. Bill Harris, the son of Maj.-Gen. Phil Harris, and who was captured at Corregidor, reading about Russia's success in Europe in a Japanese paper he had fished from a garbage can.

Knocked Down 20 Times
"The Jap called all prisoners into formation, then beat Harris for half an hour with a baseball bat, knocking him down 20 times. When Harris was finally knocked out, the Jap kicked him in the face, ribs and stomach with his heavy shoes.
Boyington said Harris recovered from his ordeal.
"On April 5, this year, I was transferred to Omori where politeness was the order of the day. We were required to bow to the emperor every morning and also to bow from the waist politely to the guard in asking the Japanese for permission to go to the toilet and then on returning we had to seek out the guard and bow again, thanking him. Since most of the prisoners were suffering from dysentery and could not conform to this rigamarole, they were beaten and otherwise punished as a result.
"Our menu consisted of milo maize and rice in a combination tasting like chalk supplemented by soy bean soup which was mostly water. As an occasional treat, a fishhead or a seaweed was thrown in.
"My normal weight of 175 pounds fell off to 110 until I wrangled a job for myself as a kitchen kobin (slavey), whereon the combination of my year-old hunger and the available food ballooned me up to 190.
The Marine ace, who still has boundless energy but a jaundiced complexion, now weighs 160 pounds.
The first news that the famed "Pappy" Boyington was still alive came last night when other prisoners, learning of the approach of Commodore Simpson's rescue party, painted his name in large letters on the roof of the toilet.


Mom Knew Long Ago

BREWSTER, Wash., Aug. 30 - (AP) - Mrs. E. J. Hallenbeck confirmed today a report by Fred Gregory in San Francisco that her son, Maj. Gregory Boyington, had informed her this year, by a ruse, that he was alive, but said she knew in November, 1944, that he was a prisoner of the Japanese.
Fred Gregory, an uncle of the Marine flying ace, said Mrs. Hallenbeck received a letter written by another prisoner and addressed to "Dear Greg." It said "Deeds" — one of Boyington's nicknames — was alive and well. The letter arrived in January.
Mrs. Hallenbeck said that in November, 1944, she received a message from Gen. A. A. Vandergrift, Marine Corps commandant, saying Japanese documents had been found which listed the major as a Japanese prisoner.
"The general said I was to keep the information absolutely secret because divulging it might imperil Greg's life and the life of others," the mother said.



6 Sept. 1945 - Dr. C. B. Boyington of St. Maries, Idaho, is looking forward to the "greatest day in my life," he told the Chronicle today.
He was in Spokane arranging air transportation to San Francisco, where he plans to meet his famous son, Marine Maj. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington, who has been freed from a Japanese prison camp after being shot down, wounded and captured in an air battle in the Pacific.
Maj. Boyington, the Marine Corps top air ace, who lists Okanogan as his home, was scheduled to arrive in San Francisco tomorrow, his father said. But his arrival will be delayed, the Marine Corps announced, because he has decided to remain a few days in the Pacific to regain his strength.
"It will be our first meeting since 1939," Dr. Boyington said.
"I never gave up hope for him. I knew that boy. He was naturally resourceful from a child, and I was sure he would come out all right."
During the war period, Dr. Boyington worked part time at St. Maries as a yard clerk and communications operator for the Milwaukee railroad as a personal contribution in the nation's war work. A former resident of Coeur d'Alene, he was graduated from the dental college of Northwestern University in 1905 and was for many years a practicing dentist in Coeur d'Alene and St. Maries.


45 Reach Oakland

OAKLAND. Calif., Sept. 7. - Two transport planes loaded with 45 thin and weary, but happy sailors and Marines, the first prisoners of war from Japan to be flown directly back to the United States by the Navy air transport service, landed at Oakland airport early today.
Two other N.A.T.S. transports, carrying still more liberated prisoners of war, are scheduled to land later today.
The big C-54 transports had picked the former prisoners up at Guam and brought them direct to the United States via Honolulu, after other N.A.T.S. planes had carried them from Kisaru on the east shores of Tokyo bay to the Marianas.
Waiting anxiously as the planes completed the 8000 mile over water flights were relatives and friends of the returning men with whom they held happy and tearful reunions.
Among the repatriates was Clayton O. Decker of Paonia, Col., motor machinist's mate 2/c, one of the nine survivors of the submarine Tang, sunk by one of its own torpedoes between Formosa and China, October 25, 1944.
One of those with him on the plane was J. S. Knutson, R l/c, of Orofino, Idaho.
Decker told a harrowing tale of cruel treatment at the hands of the Japanese, and also disclosed that he was stationed for a time at the same camp with Maj. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington, 26-plane Marine aerial ace who is due to arrive here some time Saturday.
"Pappy and I made out pretty well," he said. "We both were assigned to the job of cutting wood for the galley and we were pretty good food stealers."
Decker was met by his redheaded wife, Lucille, and 4-year-old son, Harry Leroy, from whom he had been separated for 22 months. Both now live in San Francisco.
He was trapped in the forward room of the Tang when one of its own torpedoes proved defective and circled around, hitting the stern of the craft.


Pappy Ill, Delayed

SAN FRANCISCO, 7 Sept. 1945 - (AP) - Maj. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington), liberated Marine Corps ace, was removed from a San Francisco-bound plane at Hicham Field, Hawaii, last night because of illness, the Marine Corps said today. It is not known when he will be able to resume the flight home.
The airman's father, Dr. C. B. Boyington of St. Maries, Idaho, and several members of his Black Sheep squadron are in San Francisco awaiting his return.


PAPPY FLIES AGAIN - Maj. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington, Marine Corps flying ace from Okanogan, takes the controls of a plane for the first time since he was shot down over Rabaul in February 1943, and captured by the Japs. He is shown aboard a naval plane which brought him and other liberated prisoners back to United States territory. Boyington's return to the United States has been delayed by illness. (AP wirephoto)

  Pappy flies again


Boyington Welcomed by His "Black Sheep" - Gets Promotion on Way Here

Pappy home in USA
Oakland, Cal. - "Pappy" is carried from the plane on the shoulders of his former Black Sheep Squadron mates.


By JEAN KAPEL U.P. Staff Correspondent, 12 Sept.1945
Wearing the shiny new silver Oak Leaves of a Lieutenant Colonel on his uniform, Gregory Boyington, the Marine ace who couldn't stay missing came home to a roaring welcome from his fellow "Black Sheep" today.
A four-motored R5D — the Navy equivalent of the Army's C-54 transports — bringing "Pappy" and 21 Navy enlisted men, landed at the NATS base at Oakland Airport at 5:46 a.m. (PWT).
Twenty-one original members of the "Black Sheep" squadron which Boyington welded from a group of green replacements into one of the fightingest outfit in the Pacific grabbed him on their shoulders.
"This is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me," Boyington yelled.
The 21 Black Sheep — 17 flying officers and four ground crewmen  — had been waiting at the terminal more than two hours to meet Boyington, long missing flier with at least 26 Japanese planes to his credit.

Shortly after his arrival, Boyington reviewed his last flight before being shot down and his experiences during his 19 months imprisonment.
As the stocky, mustached ace talked in the officer’s lounge of the airport, the Black Sheep asked more questions than the newsmen did. It was more like a squadron briefing than a press conference.

"If we gave Japan a soft peace, the Japs would think we're even greater suckers than they already believe we are," he said.
Army authorities, he said, knew the names and descriptions of all brutal guards at Honshu prisoner of war camps.
"The Nips will turn them over," he said. "It's no trouble for them to double cross a pal."
Boyington, who once said, "just shooting them down" was all the "tactics" any flier needed, recalled that the squadron had tackled 70 to 80 Japanese planes over Rabaul Jan. 3, 1944.
Boyington sent his 26th Japanese plane down in flames, equaling the then-record of Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker and Marine Maj. Joe Foss.
Then, Boyington said, Capt. George Ashmun, Fall River, N. J., his wingman told him on the radio:
"You got a flamer, skipper."
A moment later more enemy planes roared down on the already outnumbered Black Sheep from above. Ashmun's Corsair went down smoking. A moment later Pappy's plane, riddled with bullets, followed.
Boyington said he remained, badly wounded, in the water with his head much of the time "under water like an ostrich" while Japanese planes strafed him.
  Pappy the hero
Boyington the Hero  

These two photos, taken simultaneously, show a jubilant Greg Boyington and members of his famed Black Sheep squadron, celebrating their long awaited - but 6 months early - reunion in Oakland.

In between duckings he took stock of his injuries. His scalp was "hanging in my eyes." His left ear had been nearly shot off. There was a bullet hole in his upper right leg, shrapnel wounds in both arms and his left ankle was broken about two inches above the point where he had broken it previously. That was the time — before the squadron was organized — that the former member of Lt. Gen. Clare Chennault's "Flying Tigers" was told by a Navy doctor he would never fly again.
Finally, Boyington was picked up by a Japanese submarine.
"They treated me okay on the sub," he said. "They gave me saki, tea, cookies and cigarettes. I got a fine view of Rabaul sitting on the deck of the sub coming in.
At Rabaul the Japanese questioned him for 16 days, beating him with rifle butts in an attempt to gain military information.
His hands were tied behind his back during the entire questioning. He was able to catch only a few winks of sleep in more than two weeks.

He was moved to Truk the day American carrier planes raided Japan's one-time south Pacific bastion three times, he said.

From there he was transported to Japan by way of Saipan and Iwo Jima.
At each place he was only a few weeks ahead of conquering American troops.
At first he was held in the notorious Ofuna "Intimidation camp" where American fliers and submarine men were held as unregistered prisoners and tortured in search of possible military information.
It was there he learned he had been awarded the Congressional Medal that has not yet been formally presented to him.
He was moved to the Omori camp, from which he was rescued Aug. 30, 1945, where treatment was a little better.
They didn't really beat us there," Boyington grinned. "It was just slugging, and you can't really count that. I've been hit harder by my friends. But they knocked every filling out of my teeth."

The 32-year-old pilot has two decorations awaiting him in the United States - the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross. The first was conferred on him four months after he was reported lost.
Boyington's mother, Mrs. E. J. Hallenbeck, never had given up hope that the famous flyer would be rescued. She and Boyington's sister, Mrs. A. G. Wickstrom, had cared for his three children, Gregory Jr., 10, Janet Sue, 7, and Gloria, 5.
The children were placed in charge of their aunt and grand mother after Boyington won a divorce from the former Helen Clark of Seattle when he returned to America after serving with the Flying Tigers. He charged his ex-wife with neglecting the children.

Father Misses Landing
Dr. C. B. Boyington of St. Maries Idaho, father of the hero, was not at the airport when the big four engined plane landed in the early morning fog, the Associated Press reported.
Boyington, who plans to remain in the post-war Marines, said he hoped to remain in the San Francisco Bay area for about five days.


Boyington Arrives Stateside

Pappy greets pals
Happy reunion - Pappy says hello to former members of his Black Sheep sqn.

By MYRTLE GAYLORD (Chronicle Staff Representative) SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 12. (Special.) — Colonel Gregory (Pappy) Boyington, who shot down 28 Japanese planes, is looking forward to shooting pheasants and ducks in the Okanogan country of Washington.
"Col. Boyington arrived here early this morning. After resting for an hour or so at the St. Francis hotel, he ate a lunch of chicken salad, ice cream and chocolate. He said it "tasted wonderful."
"I'd like to cook for you what we had for meals three times a day in Japanese prison," he said. "It was one part rice and 12 parts barley." The colonel has not seen his father, Dr. C. B. Boyington, who was waiting for him at the St. Francis hotel because he was tied up with Marines. He plans to visit his father in St. Maries this winter and to see his three children in Seattle. He will go hunting for Washington birds with Dr. Charles Ellsterman of Okanogan.
His future plans are to remain in the Marine Corps.

Describes Tortures
He described the tortures and hard work in Japanese prison camps and said, "If you don't think I've been working, take a look at my hands." They were covered with calluses.
"I still have them and I haven't worked for three months," he said. The colonel said the American prisoners had cleaned the streets of Tokyo and planted gardens after the bombing. He said there were not many American prisoners injured in the bombings. He said most of the injured were British and Dutch.
He said he talked with his children in Seattle by telephone from Honolulu.

"I am going to Seattle as soon as I can," he said. "I am anxious to see my youngsters. Three years is a long time. After all, they must have changed a lot."
He will have a 90-day furlough, during which time he will see his folks.
He plans to go through Spokane on his way to St. Maries.
He said his physical checkup in Honolulu showed that he was anemic, had an enlarged spleen and beri-beri.
"But I still feel swell," he said.


HARSH CONTROL OF JAPS URGED - Must Be Severe, 'Pappy' Boyington Says

Pappy's New Watch
"Gramps" checks out his new gold watch - given to him by former members of his Black Sheep squadron. It is inscribed, "To Gramps - From his Black Sheep"
13 Sept. 1945 - San Francisco - (INS) - Lt. Col. Gregory ("Pappy") Boyington, famed Marine ace back from 20 months in Jap torture camps called Thursday for stern treatment of defeated Japan.
"If we go soft in any way in handling the beaten Japs, we'll be as big suckers as the Japs believe we are," he declared.
The 32-year-old fighter pilot who has 28 Jap planes to his credit returned from the "dead" Wednesday when be landed at Oakland airport after a flight from Honolulu.
He was officially "killed" January 3, 1944, when a cloud of Jap fighters shot him out of his Corsair off Rabaul. And until Japan was defeated - more than 19 months later - remained in the "grave."
Wednesday night, as he ate his way through a mountain of food in a swank San Francisco hotel as the guest of 20 members of his celebrated "Black Sheep" squadron, he was reminded of his prophetic promise.
"If you guys ever see me go down with 20 or 40 Japs on my tail, don't worry," he told his pilots shortly before he plummeted into the Pacific, "I'll meet you in a bar in the states six months after the war, and I'll buy you a drink."
But his promise was only half kept.
"Pappy's" money wasn't any good at the bar Wednesday night. Not with the men who refused to concede his death, even after their chaplain had said burial services for him and despite the fact that congress awarded him the Medal of Honor, posthumously.
Thursday, and for the next "four or five" days, the famed flyer will be enjoying life with happy members of his family.


All Okanogan Ready to Pay Homage to Ace

WENATCHEE, 20 Sept. 1945 — Lt. Col. Gregory Boyington "came home" to Okanogan today for the first time in three adventure and torture filled years as a Marine fighter squadron leader and a Japanese captive.
He was "piloted" over the mountains from Seattle by a motoring Okanogan delegation of five after tumultuous welcomes in San Francisco and Seattle, and from his home town in the Okanogan valley came word today that the greeting prepared for the Marine hero there will surpass anything he's seen yet in the way of genuine Joy and sincerity.

Rests at Home
The colonel will spend the next two days at the ranch of his mother and step-father, the E. K. Hallenbecks, near Brewster. On Saturday evening a small reception and banquet has been planned at Okanogan's Caribou Inn, for "special friends" and newsmen.
Boyington's first public appearance will come at 1 Sunday afternoon in the big parade down Okanogan's main street. At 2 p.m. he will be introduced at the city park, where Okanogan and Omak business men have planned an elaborate program.
Another reception is planed for later in the afternoon, with special arrangements provided for World War II veterans and at 7 Sunday evening the colonel will be honored at a banquet at the Caribou Inn, staged by the Okanogan Chamber of Commerce specifically for veterans of the Second World War.
But the high point of the weekend will be the reunion of his family of three sometime tomorrow afternoon. Gregory Jr., 10, and Janet Sue, 7, greeted their famous father in San Francisco soon after his arrival from Japan, then yesterday in Seattle the colonel visited with his youngest daughter, Gloria, 5.

Family Reunited
But in the Hallenbeck's Brewster ranch home tomorrow the entire Boyington family will be reunited for the first time since the colonel flew off to the south Pacific to form his immortal "Black Sheep" fighter squadron.
Boyington will spend until Sept. 28 with his family at his mother's home, leaving then for Seattle to board a plane for the east.

Happy reunion
Boyington reunites with his mother & two of his children, Greg jr., & Janet Sue in Calif.
He will spend a day and a half in Chicago, continuing on to Washington, D. C, on October 2. On October 5, he will be presented the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross - presumably by President Truman.

Friends With Him
With him in Okanogan are Capt. Ned Thomas, Marine public relations officer from San Francisco and Captain Larry Hays of Los Angeles who handles Boyington's radio appearances.
Driving the Boyington party over the mountains from Seattle today were the following Okanoganites - Dr. E. F. Baker, Lyle Brinkerhoff, Bob Murray, William M. Van Liewen and Marine S/Sgt. Bob Day.

Air Show Too
Twenty naval war planes will present a typical performance next Sunday over Okanogan, home of Lt. Col. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington, as his old friends put on a homecoming celebration for their famous son and top Marine ace, according to Lt. Lloyd Weir of Seattle, who wired today that approval for the expedition had been granted by Washington, D. C. There will be all kinds of planes sent, including Hellcats and Corsairs. They will fly the length of the valley to Oroville and return to Okanogan, putting on the show there between 2:30 and 3 in the afternoon.
The busiest week of Okanogan's history is in progress as committees and organizations join in making preparations for the highly colorful event.
The parade has been in preparation for several days and the park and street decorations will rival metropolitan attempts, the committees promise.


Greg & Greg junior  

Family Reunion


22 September 1945 - One of the most colorful fliers of the war, Lt. Col. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington of the Marines, who was a Jap prisoner, is back and having a reunion in Brewster, Wash. He is seen here with his son, Greg, jr. who is pointing something out to his Pappy on a rifle — AcmeTelephoto


The President Decorates 14 Navy & Marine Heroes

Washington, Oct. 5 - (AP) - President Truman today conferred the nation's highest valor award on 14 Navy and Marine heroes and asked that the nation win the peace to prevent other young men from being killed or Injured. The veterans of the Pacific war who received the Congressional Medal of Honor in ceremonies on the south lawn of the White house included 11 Marines and three Navy.
In the group were Lt. Col. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington, Marine flying ace, and 17-year-old Private Jacklyn H. Lucas, of Belhaven, N.C., who was decorated for smothering two exploding Japanese grenades with his body.

Three Vets Collapse
Three service men collapsed during the 45-minute ceremony and were treated in the White house dispensary.
After the president placed the last medal on Marine Private Wilson D. Watson of Earl, Ark., he stepped to a microphone and said:
"We fought a good fight and won two great victories. We are facing another right now — a fight for a peaceful world.
"Let's go forward and win that fight and this war will not have been in vain."
The ceremony was held in a hollow square formed by detachments of marines and bluejackets and the Navy band.
High ranking Navy, marine and Army officers sat with cabinet members, senators and congressmen as Vice Admiral Louis E. Denfeld, chief of Navy personnel, read the citations for deeds of heroism performed in and over the Solomons, Okinawa, two Jima, Peleliu, Guam, and the Korean coast.
The president stood between the American and presidential flags and bestowed the medals as they were handed to him by his naval aide, Commodore James K. Vardaman. Later, he said he had told almost every one of the men he'd rather have the medal than be president.

Boyington gets Navy Cross
Boyington received the Navy Cross from Gen. Alexander Archer Vandegrift yesterday
Truman presents Pappy Boyington with the Medal of Honor
President Truman congratulates Col. Boyington on his Medal of Honor
Devereux Watched
Watching the ceremony from a seat on the sidelines was the marine hero of Wake Island,  Lt. Col. James P. Devereux of Chevy Chase, Md., who was recently released from a Japanese prison camp.
Mrs. Truman sat on the south porch while her daughter, Margaret, sat with the spectators in front of the Navy band.
The text of the president's informal remarks:
"This is one of the pleasant duties of the president of the United States, these are the young men who represent us in our fighting forces.
"They said we were soft, that we would not fight, that we could not win. We are not a war-like nation. We do not go to war for gain or for territory; we go to war for principles, and we produce young men like these. I think I told every one of them that I would rather have that medal, the Congressional Medal of Honor, than to be president of the United States.
"We fought a good fight. We've won two great victories. We're facing another fight, and we must win the victory in that. That is the fight of a peaceful world. A fight so we won't have to do this again, so we won't have to maim the flower of our young men and bury them.
"Now let as go forward and win that fight, as we have won these other two victories, and this war will not have been in vain."



30 Oct. 1945 - Lt. Col. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington, Marine fighter ace whose fabulous exploits in the Pacific air war won him the Congressional Medal of Honor and nation-wide fame, was at Felts field Sunday night for a 10-minute reunion with his father, Dr. C. B. Boyington of St. Maries, Idaho, and his aunt, Miss Jo Mae Boyington of W1107 Carlisle.
He was en route from New York to Seattle in company with Capt. Frank Walton, a member of his famed "Black Sheep" squadron. They will spend the next two weeks working in Washington's Victory Bond drive, and then Col. Boyington will report to the marine hospital at San Diego for a checkup.

Ace "Looked Fine"
The Marine ace "looked fine" and seemed fully recovered from his ordeal in Japanese prison camps, according to his aunt. The airport meeting was her first look at her famous nephew since he went into uniform. Dr. Boyington was at San Francisco to meet his son on his recent arrival from the Pacific.
Col. Boyington received the Medal of Honor at the hands of President Truman in ceremonies in Washington, D. C., just before he went to New York. The family didn't have a chance to see the nation's highest military decoration during the brief visit.
"We were just too busy talking to ask about it," his aunt explained.

(Seattle) Pappy is welcomed home at one of the many parades held in his honor


Welcome home Pappy


29 Jan 1942
6 Feb 1942
7/8 Feb 1942
24 Mar 1942
16 Sept 1943

21 Sept 1943
27 Sept 1943
4 Oct 1943
15 Oct 1943

17 Oct 1943
18 Oct 1943
19 Oct 1943
24 Dec 1943
27 Dec 1943
3 Jan 1944
2 Nates
2 Nates
1 Nate
2.5 u/i e/a
5 Zeros
1 Zero
Steam Launch
1 Zero
3 Zeros
1 Zero
3 Zeros
3 Zeros
1 Zero
3 bombers
4 Zeros
1 Zero
3 Zeros
destroyed (not credited)
destroyed (credit for both)
destroyed (not credited)
dest. OTG (credit for 1.5)
destroyed OTG
destroyed (2 unconfirmed)


28 - 22 / 4 / ?

22 to 28 kills, 4 probables & an unknown number damaged

plus 4.5 (or 5.5) destroyed On The Ground

This list is what I've found & may not represent all his claims

As per some news articles above, his men felt he had closer to 40 kills

Dan Ford has a breakdown of his AVG claims here

The 1st four on the list to the right are AVG claims

The debate, unfortunately, continues ...


1946 & beyond


Pappy Boyington Planning To Wed

Reno, Nev., 5 Jan. 1946 - Culminating a romance that began in a Bombay Canteen in 1942, Mrs. Lucy Malcolmson, 34, of New York City said tonight she plans to marry Lt. Col. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington, U.S. Marine Corps flying ace, when she obtains a divorce here early next week from her General Motors executive husband. The tall, attractive brunette said she met Boyington, who equaled Eddie Rickenbacker's World War I record of 26 planes shot down, when he tripped over a rug in a Bombay Canteen.
The marriage, Mrs. Malcolmson said, will take place here Tuesday or Wednesday of next week when she expects to obtain a divorce from Stewart Malcolmson, who she said was production manager for General Motors in Australia.


'Pappy' Boyington To Marry Tuesday

RENO, Nev., Jan. 7 - (AP) - Lt. Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington will marry Mrs. Lucy Malcolmson, an attractive 30-year-old brunette, immediately after she obtains a divorce tomorrow, she told newsmen. Boyington, United States marine pilot who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, has arranged leave from the marine base at San Diego, she said.
Mrs. Malcolmson is divorcing Stewart Malcolmson, General Motors production manager in Australia.
She said she met the Marine flier in India early in 1942 while he was en route back to the United States after having flown with General Chennault's Flying Tigers. They were at a Bombay area canteen when he tripped on a rug after making a “wolf call” at her.
Boyington shot down 26 Japanese planes while leading his Black Sheep squadron in the Pacific. He was shot down and captured by the Japanese in 1944 and released at war's end.


Boyington Says Wedding Is Off

SAN DIEGO. Calif., Jan. 7. (UP) Lt. Col. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington's "wolf call" romance with Mrs. Lucy Malcolmson has ended, the Marine flyer said today, admitting the wedding had been called off.
Boyington gave no reason for the change in plans, except to say: "I'm not going to Reno. The wedding is off."
Boyington announced his plans last Saturday to wed Mrs. Malcolmson in Reno later this week when her divorce from Stewart Malcolmson, General Motors production manager in Australia, becomes final.


Lawyer Produces Ardent Love Wires From Boyington

RENO, Nev., 8 Jan. 1946 (AP) — Mrs. Lucy Malcolmson's attorney today displayed a series of telegrams he said she received from Lt. Col. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington as she traveled west from New York to obtain a divorce here preparatory to marrying the famed marine flyer.
"Can hardly wait love you so darn much," one of the wires read.
Boyington in San Diego yesterday said he does not plan to marry Mrs. Malcolmson, who was to have appeared in court today to obtain a divorce from Stewart Malcolmson, General Motors production manager in Australia.
"My client is on the verge of a complete collapse and is unable to appear in court today," Attorney Joseph P. Haller told an Associated Press reporter. "But in all fairness to her, and so you can see she did have some reason to think Col. Boyington had intentions of marrying her, I'd like to show you some wires she received on her way here."

All Signed "Pappy"
The telegrams were all signed "Pappy." Haller said the first was sent from Los Angeles to Jamestown, New York, November 8. It read:
"I love you. Hurry up and get out here. Miss you terribly. All my love."
The next was sent the same day. It read:
"Nice work darling. Counting days. Good luck. Love you."
To Gary, Ind., November 10:
"Doing fine baby darling. Keep it up. Worry about the time you're under the wire. Can hardly wait love you so darn much."
To Omaha, November 11:
"After arriving Omaha distance will go faster. Practically nuts now as you and time are closer. Thanks for the sweet letter. Love you darling."
A telegram sent to Reno November 20 read:
"Did not realize you were hurt, darling. Will fly over Wednesday afternoon and back Friday morning. Very anxious to see you. Love you Apple Duck." It, like the others, was signed "Pappy."
Mrs. Malcolmson, who said yesterday she was "stunned" by Col. Boyington's announcement, said today she plans to remain in Reno.
"I have nothing to be ashamed of," she told reporters. "I would like to settle down here and get a job. Also an apartment."
The divorce hearing was removed from the court calendar, but was still pending. It was to have been heard at 1:30 p.m. today.


Boyington Denial of Intent to Wed Angers Socialite

RENO, Nev., 8 Jan. 1946— (UP) — Mrs. Lucy Malcolmson, New York socialite, said today she still was waiting for a phone call from Lieut. Col. Gregory ( Pappy) Boyington to find out what's going on" about their disputed marriage plans,
"But I wouldn't take Pappy back now if he was gold-plated, she snapped.
Mrs. Malcolmson, 34 yours old, said she had canceled plans to file suit for divorce from Stewart Malcolmson, General Motors executive in Australia, after Boyington asserted flatly that talk of their marriage was "all a mistake."
Boyington, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner, told the United Press in San Diego that "there never were any marriage plans as far as I know. The lady made a mistake — we're friends, but not that friendly."
"I can't believe it. Mrs. Malcolmson said when told of Boyington's denials. "I talked to him Saturday and everything was all act."
Today she admitted that her first confusion and tears had given way to "some anger."

Heard News on Radio
"If there had been some reason for him to change his mind, why didn't he call and tell me? If he were half the officer and gentleman he's supposed to be, he would have let me know and not let me hear it over the radio."
Mrs. Malcolmson's attorney, Joseph B. Haller, said he had received a telephone call from Boyington's Los Angeles attorney, Arthur Miller, who said the Marine ace had no intention of marrying her now or ever."
According to Miller, Boyington had gone to Reno New Year's eve to break his engagement to Mrs. Malcolmson but had ended up giving her a ring instead. "Boyington claimed that she hypnotized him," the lawyer said.
Fighting back the tears, Mrs. Malcolmson said she had paid Boyington's bills since they met at a canteen in Bombay, with the understanding that they would be settled following their marriage.

Her Allowance Stopped
She said Boyington had persuaded her to sell her New York home "because we had planned to take his children and go to Lima, Peru," and that her husband had stopped her allowance.
"Now I'm virtually penniless and I don't know what I'm going to do."
Mrs. Malcolmson wore the large, three-carat diamond ring which she said Boyington had given her. She exhibited a telegram from the flyer's mother, sending best wishes for the marriage.
During the interview, Mrs. Malcolmson sat near a table on which stood a huge photograph of Boyington. It was inscribed:
"Dearest Lucy, I shall always love and adore you. There is not enough space on this earth to separate us. All my love, Greg."


Pappy Boyington Wed to California Woman

LAS VEGAS, Nev., Jan. 9. (UP) — Lt. Col. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington, who this week announced he had changed his mind about marrying New York socialite Lucy Malcolmson, married Frances Baker, 32, of Los Angeles, here yesterday it was announced today.
The marriage ceremony was performed by Justice of the Peace M. E. Ward, Harold Mummey and Carol Walton, court attaches, acted as witnesses.
It was not immediately known where the Boyingtons went after the ceremony.
Marriage records showed Boyington had been divorced in Seattle in 1941 and that his bride won her freedom from a previous mate in San Francisco in 1932.

"Pappy Isn't That Kind"
"Pappy just isn't that kind of fellow," Mrs. Lucy Malcolmson insisted today, despite reports that Lt. Col. Gregory Boyington, war hero, had no intentions of marrying her.
He has not been available for comment since then.
"In spite of all I've heard on the radio and seen in the papers," Mrs. Malcolmson told newsmen, "I just don't believe Greg would do what he appears to have done."
"I still like Pappy, and think he's about the swellest marines that ever walked down the street."
However, Mrs. Malcolmson did not appear in court for her divorce hearing yesterday, and it was removed from the court calendar.


Boyington Switches, Weds Onetime Screen Actress

Baker & Boyington
Boyington & his new bride Frances Baker
HOLLYWOOD, 10 Jan. 1946 - (AP) - Rugged, stocky "Pappy" Boyington was honeymooning today with the blonde former Frances Baker, after a fast-breaking romance which left his attractive bride "happier than I can tell" and "stunned" the brunette who asserts he jilted her.
Pappy, otherwise Lt. Col. Gregory Boyington, said the affectionate terms of a series of telegrams and letters he had sent Mrs. Lucy Malcolmson were the result of "overseas nerves."
"Remember, I'd been out of the country a long, long time," he remarked, a little sheepishly.
The Colonel, at a press conference, gave his version of the romantic mixup which in the past few days may have made him wish he was back fighting the Japanese over Rabaul, where be was shot down Jan. 3, 1944 and subsequently taken captive.
He said he met Mrs. Malcolmson about June 1943, on the SS Brazil as he was returning to the States from Bombay.
In December 1942, before he returned to combat, he continued, he entered into a legal trusteeship which made her guardian of his children by a previous marriage, Gregory, Jr., 10, Janet Sue, 8, and Gloria, 6. They are now with his parents in Brewster, Wash.
The flier said he went to Reno New Year's eve to discuss dissolving the trusteeship, under which, he declared, she had received between $16,000 and $18,000 in salary and allotments while he was overseas. He wound up by giving her a "sort of" engagement ring. However, be added, he told her there would be no marriage between them.
"Mrs. Malcolmson had no reason to announce she would be married," he declared.
In Reno, Mrs. Malcolmson — her divorce suit from Stewart Malcolmson, Australian production manager for General Motors, marked, "off calendar" — went into seclusion.
Her attorney said she told him she would return some of Boyington's personal effects and quoted her:
"I am so stunned I have nothing more to say. I have no reason to see him further."
The 35-year-old officer, at his bride's Hollywood home, said he welcomed a chance to "get this thing cleaned up." Mrs. Boyington posed for pictures with her hero husband, but left the room before he started discussion of l'affaire Malcolmson. She is an ex-film actress, well known socially in Hollywood, and the former wife of Russell Baker, San Francisco restaurateur.


'Pappy' Boyington Charges Ex-Flame With $9,000 Theft

San Diego, Calif. 21 May 1946 - (AP) - Sheriff's deputies today hunted Mrs. Lucille (Lucy) Rogers Malcolmson on complaint of Lt. Col. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington
Early this year Mrs. Malcolmson charged the famous Marine flier with jilting her. His complaint on which she is being sought today charges her with grand theft of more than $9,000 he turned over to her for care of his three children by a former marriage.
In Reno where Mrs. Malcolmson had gone to establish residence for a divorce shortly before Boyington married actress Frances Baker, her attorney would not disclose her address, but said she was in the Reno vicinity.
The attorney, Joseph P. Haller, said he "imagined" his client would submit to service of a warrant for her arrest after he made an effort to have her bail reduced. Municipal Judge A. F. Malina of San Diego had set bail at $25,000.
Boyington swore out the criminal complaint before Judge Molina yesterday. District Attorney Thomas Whelan said he asked for "a substantial bond" because he had heard Mrs. Malcolmson "might be on her way to India."
The flyer said in the complaint he had allotted $420 a month from his Marine Corps pay to Mrs. Malcolmson in 1942 for the care of his three children. They are children by his first wife, whose recent marriage to a Seattle newspaper vendor ended in divorce action.
Seven counts in Boyington's complaint listed sums he charged were taken by Mrs. Malcolmson from the allotment money from Dec. 6, 1944, to Jan. 14, 1946.


Mrs. Malcolmson Is Still Missing

RENO, Nev. 22 May 1946 — The search continued today for pretty Mrs. Lucy Malcolmson, who disappeared after Lt. Col. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington, Marine air ace of the Pacific, charged her with grand theft.
Mrs. Malcolmson, wife of an Australian General Motors executive, disappeared Monday shortly after Boyington — Medal of Honor winner she recently accused of jilting her — had filed theft charges in San Diego.
Police and sheriff's deputies made the rounds of Reno's innumerable guest houses, dude ranches and nearby mountain resorts searching for Mrs. Malcolmson, auburn-haired New York socialite.
They were armed with a warrant for her arrest on seven charges of grand theft totaling $9,340. Bail was set at $25,000.


Mrs. Malcolmson Freed in Bail
Woman Says Boyington's Charges Mystify Her

San Diego, Cal., 23 May 1946 - (AP) - Mrs. Lucy Malcolmson, 35, was free today under $10,000 bail in grand theft charges brought by Lieut. Col. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington, the Marine hero who loved her, she said, in January but accused her of crime in May.
Last week Boyington, top-ranking fighter pilot before his capture by the Japanese, filed the complaint charging Mrs. Malcolmson with the theft of more than $9,000, which was entrusted to her, Boyington said, for the care of his three children.
Sheriff’s deputies began a search for Mrs. Malcolmson. Yesterday she appeared here with attorney Richard Cantillion, of Los Angeles, was booked at the county jail and was released on surety bond approved by Municipal Judge A. F Molina. Her preliminary hearing was set for June 26.
"I am innocent and I will prove it at the proper time," she said. She described Boyington's filing of charges as a mystery to her.
"The last time I saw him," she said, "was January 3 in Reno. He was due back the next Wednesday. I was waiting at the airport for him when I heard he had been married."
Mrs. Malcolmson had announced in Reno early this year that she was engaged to Boyington. That was a few days before he married actress Frances Baker. The three children, for whose care Boyington said he sent an allotment from his Marine pay to Mrs. Malcolmson were by his first wife. The mother of the children won a divorce yesterday from a Seattle News vendor she married two months ago.


"Pappy" Faces "Lucy" in Trial

SAN DIEGO, 26 June 1946 - (UP) - Marine hero Lt. Col. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington today looked back into the green eyes of Mrs. Lucy Malcolmson, but squirmed under the cross examination of her attorney, Dick Cantillon, of Los Angeles.
Boyington, who accuses Mrs. Malcolmson of seven counts of grand theft, testified at her preliminary hearing before Municipal Judge Eugene Daney, Jr., that just before he left for overseas he gave her a list of debts he owed and that she promised to pay them out of his money. He said the list included the names of two doctors, one of whom, he owed $236 and the other $110.
After his return, he said Mrs. Malcolmson told him all the debts had been paid, but a few weeks later he was served with papers from one of the doctors. He said the suit is now pending.
Boyington said he considered it a breach of trust that the bills had not been paid.
Under cross-examination, Boyington identified a list produced by Mrs. Malcolmson as the list given her and upon inspection admitted the doctor's name was not on the list. The list was admitted as exhibit 1 for the defense.
Earlier Boyington told how he had drawn up papers appointing Mrs. Malcolmson trustee of his funds to be used for the care of his children and the paying of his debts. He said Mrs. Malcolmson had written him that upon his return from overseas he would have "a bank balance."
"I never got five cents out of the whole thing," Boyington testified.


Boyington Admits Marriage Intention

SAN DIEGO, Calif., 27 June 1946 - (AP) - Lt. Col. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington admitted on the witness stand here yesterday that he had planned to marry Mrs. Lucy Malcolmson, whom he now charges with grand theft.
He testified under cross-examination that he asked her to marry him in 1942 and that she told him to "go out and make something" of himself first.
He returned a hero in 1945, from nearly three years of war and Japanese imprisonment, Boyington said and she consented.
"I made the announcement," he added, "that I was going to marry Lucy" at a banquet at the St. Francis hotel in San Francisco.
Boyington also disclosed that, before going to the south Pacific, he had made a will leaving everything, after payments of debts, to Mrs. Malcolmson.
He had testified earlier that on his return from war "not a single 5 cents" remained in a bank account entrusted to Mrs. Malcolmson for care of his children.


Pappy's Suit Postponed On Plea of Defendant
Woman Accused by Flier Given Chance To Prepare Defense in Grand Theft Charge

San Diego, 27 June 1946 - (AP) - The preliminary hearing of Mrs. Lucy Malcolmson, 35, on grand theft charges brought by Lieutenant Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, 32, was continued today to July 30 for the attractive brunette defendant to prepare her case.
Boyington, Marine air hero, offered no objection to the delay as he appeared in court at the second day of the hearing with his blonde wife, former Frances Baker, 32, whom he married a few days after breaking off an engagement with Mrs. Malcolmson last January 3.
Boyington, who charges that the wife of a General Motors executive in Australia embezzled $8,800 entrusted to her while he was at war and in Japanese imprisonment, admitted on the stand yesterday he had written her husband they were to be married.
He broke off with her before her divorce plans in Reno materialized, he said, because he became suspicious about her handling of his financial affairs.
Testimony thus far disclosed that nearly $20,000 of the flyer's money passed through Mrs. Malcolmson's hands during his three years absence, including monthly payments to his children by his first marriage.
The defense argued that the $8,800 in dispute (one count charging theft of $500 was dismissed) could have gone for rings, an automobile, property in Long Island and traveling expenses on Boyington's authorization.


Cries on Stand As She Hears Flier's Letters

SAN DIEGO, Calif., 20 Aug. 1946 - (UP) - Terms of endearment such as "my darling" and "dearest cuddle-bun" once written to her by Lt. Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, 32, U.S. marine corps air hero, brought tears and smiles from Mrs., Lucy Malcolmson, 35, as she defended herself against grand theft charges today.
The bemedaled flier, who has caused her arrest on charges of embezzling $9,000 of nearly S20,000 he entrusted to her while he was away at war, wrote in one letter read in evidence:
"I shall reward you one of these days for all you have done for me, my darling." She broke into tears on hearing these words read by her attorney.
In another, Boyington suggested they someday have a child of their own, writing: "I think you ought to become a mother of one at least." He had requested her to adopt two of his children by a former marriage.
Mrs. Malcolmson, taking the stand at the continuation of her preliminary hearing before Municipal Judge Eugene Daney Jr., told how she finally had consented to marry Boyington after his release from Japanese captivity at the end of the war.
By his own admission, he broke off the marriage agreement last Jan. 3 in Reno, where Mrs. Malcolmson had gone to obtain a divorce from her present husband, an Australian business executive.
Boyington, Baker & Malcolmson
Lucy with her lawyer Joe Haller (L) & Frances & Pappy
Boyington rapped the counsel table nervously with his fingers—his face expressionless—as the attractive auburn-haired defendant testified.
His present blonde wife, the former Frances Baker, 32, whom he married a few days after breaking off the engagement with Mrs. Malcolmson, sat behind him.
Boyington has stated that he left his entire estate to Mrs. Malcolmson in a will drawn up before he went to the South Pacific in January 1943, and that he signed over his pay allotments to a bank account for her to use in paying his bills and providing for his children.
She testified she did not adopt the children because Boyington's relatives resisted her efforts and she "was never able to get them out of the State of Washington."
"If you can't get the children, don't stop caring for me," Boyington wrote in one letter.


Boyington Loses Embezzlement Case
Judge Dismisses Charges Against Mrs. Malcolmson

Pappy, Frances & Malcolmson
Pappy & Frances sit behind Lucy (right) at the trial today

San Diego. Cal. 22 Aug. 1946 - (AP) - Lieut Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington salvaged his Navy Cross and a suitcase of clothes today out of his romance with Mrs. Lucy Malcolmson and wondered out loud who was going to pay the income tax on $8,800 he didn't get back.
The auburn-haired wife of an Australian businessman was cleared yesterday of Boyington's charges that she had embezzled the money.
Afterward she sent him the Navy Cross and clothing by her attorney.
"Is this all I get out of it?" asked the 32-year-old marine fighter pilot. "Who is going to pay the income tax?"
The charges were dismissed by Municipal Judge Eugene Daney Jr., following two days preliminary hearing.

Marriage Plans Collapsed
Boyington had Mrs. Malcolmson arrested several months ago, charging she wrongfully appropriated $8,800 of nearly $20,000 he had entrusted to her while he was overseas. She maintained she had spent more than the $8,800 in traveling and other expenses authorized by Boyington in connection with their marriage plans.
The marriage didn't come off. Boyington married his present wife, Frances Baker, Hollywood actress, on the day Mrs. Malcolmson said she was to have received her Reno Nev., divorce. She said she dropped her divorce action then.
"I'm very relieved it is all over," she told newsmen after the hearing "Thank God I had those receipts."

"Congratulations," Boyington muttered, as she passed the counsel table where he and his wife were sitting. "I hope you enjoy the money," Miss Baker chimed in.



HOLLYWOOD, 27 Feb. 1947 — In the opinion of Gregory W. (Pappy) Boyington, the Marine Corps' top ace of the Pacific war and a longtime Japanese prisoner, "we should do all we can to give the Japanese people every break."
Boyington, in a talk last night to the marine newsmen's club, told his listeners that while prison food was scanty, Japanese soldiers were little if any better off and asserted "Japan will prove to be one of our most valuable assets."
"While I was a prisoner," he recounted, "I found many decent Nips who went out of their way to treat me nicely. For instance, there was one little Japanese lady who damned me in the presence of Japanese officers but as soon as they left, she would bring me food.
"The Japanese are industrious people. They think in the American way. Japan, if allowed to go our way, will prove very valuable in the next war when it comes. And it is not far off."


Pappy’s Medal of Honor

2 December 1956 …Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, [who] had a rough time for awhile and is now engaged in writing a book … says the medal drove him into the depths of alcoholism in civilian life but he is now fighting his way back in the biggest battle of his life.
Boyington shot down 28 Jap planes before he himself went down, survived two years in a Japanese prison camp and learned, upon liberation, that he had won the Medal of Honor "posthumously."
"I was no angel when I got out," he says. "Sure, I drank. They made something special of me. There were lots of parties, tours and dinners. They used me for publicity."
Eventually, he experienced resentment and jealousy among his fellow workers, drank more and more, and drifted from job to Job. He finally wound up seeing psychiatrists and spending time in an expensive sanitarium.
Boyington said he hit rock bottom about a year ago, then an organization dedicated to helping alcoholics "pulled me out."
At 44, Boyington now lives in Burbank, Calif., works as a pilot for the Flying Tiger Airline and is hard at work on a book on his war experiences. "I'm not sensitive about that medal as before," he says, "but I still wish I had never gotten it."

Excerpted from a 2 Dec. 1956 article by Bennett De Loach called “338 Medal Of Honor Winners Are Still Living; Here’s What Happened After The Shooting Ended”


What a Hero Thinks About Bravery

by COL. GREGORY "PAPPY" BOYINGTON, 12 October 1956
Winner of a Congressional Medal of Honor and Navy Cross for his World War II exploits as a Marine fighter pilot, "Pappy" Boyington hit the skids when the shooting was over. For years he drifted from "job to job, refereed wrestling matches now and then and carried on a losing battle with alcohol. His courageous comeback as a human being is described in his recent best-selling book, Baa Baa Black Sheep (G. P. Putnam's Sons), from which this article is excerpted.
While in prison camp, and for a long time afterwards, I was very much in the dark, so to speak, concerning two words. I prided my ego on both of them, although I knew, even then, that my pride in one of them was not honest.
The first one is "bravery," for which I took many a phony bow, and I imagine to this day that many people still believe I was mighty brave. I mention this because I was beginning to learn the difference between daredevil and brave. In looking back over the years, I wouldn't go so far as to say I have never been brave, but most of the things for which I had been given credit for bravery were nothing but daredevil stunts. It was trying to build up my own ego, trying to imitate the bravery of people I had read about, or had been told about, in the years gone by.
The second word, will-power, closely allied with bravery in my mind, was a thing in which I honestly prided myself, for too many years. And, needless to say, it was quite a spiritual revelation to finally get these two bothersome, ego-feeding expressions straightened out in my mind. The reason it had taken me so long a time, even though it happened to be nobody's fault but my own, was that my emotional maturity was very retarded.
Can you imagine how the air went out of me when I finally found the true meaning of will-power? Will-power means that one is going to do whatever he wants to do most at any particular time. So actually, one of the things I prided myself for is really no accomplishment at all.

Daredevils Are Played Up
My definition of bravery is when a person does what he honestly believes is the best thing for him to do at any particular time. So the majority of my life can be linked up with showoff, or daredevil. The bravest man in the world would be the man who acts as he honestly thinks best more particular times than anyone else. Little wonder, then, that so many of the true acts of bravery go unheralded, while the daredevil antics are played up.
I'm not trying to change the world any more — people can go on writing and thinking what they damn well please — but for my own peace of mind I have to realize the truth about myself, and not what somebody writes about me — good or bad.


Pappy Boyington Takes 3rd Wife

28 October 1959, DENVER - (UPI) - Gregory (Pappy) Boyington, World War II Marine flying ace and author, married Delores Tatum — a 33-year-old actress — in a quiet ceremony Tuesday. It was the second marriage for Miss Tatum, and the third for the 46-year-old retired Marine Colonel. Boyington won The Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross during World War II. He was credited with shooting down 28 Japanese planes in the Pacific.


Pappy & Dee Reconcile

26 July 1964 - Col. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington and his actress wife, the former Dee Tatum, join in a reunion toast after their reconciliation. They called off a divorce suit scheduled for tomorrow.
Prior to the reconciliation, Boyington had claimed that his wife was not legally divorced from her previous marriage.


Greg Boyington & Dee Boyington toast their reconciliation after canceling their divorce plans

  Pappy & Dee Tatum


WWII Flying Ace Pappy Boyington Dead

Sunday Times-Sentinel, FRESNO, Calif. 12 January 1988 - (UPI) - Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, the legendary World War 11 flying ace who won the Congressional Medal of Honor and a place in TV history for his flamboyant exploits as leader of the famed Black Sheep Squadron, died in his sleep of cancer. He was 75.
Boyington died at 4 a.m. Monday at a hospice, where he had been for nearly two weeks, after his wife and son had spent most of Monday with him, hospice spokeswoman Nancy Hinds said.
His skill in the cockpit of the blue, gull-winged F-4U Corsair fighter won him the nation's highest military honor, and his brawling, romantic lifestyle was celebrated in the 1970s TV series "Baa Baa Black Sheep" that was based on the best-selling book. Robert Conrad played Boyington, who was technical adviser, telling the actor he should not be afraid to portray his arrogance.
Boyington left the Marine Corps to fly against the Japanese with the famed Flying Tigers in China, shooting down six enemy planes. He added 22 more kills while leading the Black Sheep Squadron as a Marine major in the South Pacific after the United States entered World War II.
His luck ran out in January 1944, when he was shot down and presumed dead during a sweep over Rabaul, New Guinea. He was awarded the nation's highest military decoration posthumously, but returned like Lazarus to a hero's welcome, having parachuted safely into the sea and spending the last 20 months of the war as a prisoner.
But Boyington was almost as famous for his two-fisted drinking, barroom brawls and romantic encounters as he was for his skill as a pilot and as leader of the rag-tag squadron of maverick veterans and teenage fighter pilots who called him "Pappy" because he was the senior man at 29 when the group was formed.
Conrad remembered Boyington as "a hell of a man ... one of the few men I'm in awe of ... an outstanding American."
"He wanted me to depict him in a certain way," Conrad said. "He said at the time we did the series (1976-78) that he didn't want me to be a leading man afraid to buck the trend at that time, which was to downplay arrogance. I told him, 'I'd be happy to portray your arrogance.'"
His book recounted his squadron's drinking bouts, fistfights and Boyington's own romantic flings, and chronicled not only his dogfights with Japanese pilots but his many battles with superior officers and his fight to keep Squadron 214 from being disbanded because of its seeming disregard for rules and regulations.
The Black Sheep shot down nearly 100 Japanese planes in the South Pacific and became one of the most famous units of the war.
Born in Couer D Alene. Idaho, on Dec. 4, 1912, Boyington attained the rank of colonel before retiring from the Marine Corps.
But his civilian life was far from the glamorous image he had as a fighter pilot, and he supported himself by working in department stores and refereeing wrestling matches.
He beat alcoholism and ran unsuccessfully for Congress in Southern California.
Boyington once explained that some of his antics might be explained by the wounds he suffered in the war.
"My skull is full of hunks of shrapnel, and every now and then, one works its way out of the bone, so if I'm a little nutty, I've got a legitimate reason," he said.
In 1982, Boyington accepted an invitation from his former adversaries in the Zero Fighter Pilots Association to address the group's annual meeting in Japan.
"I know at least one of them that will be there was in the squadron that shot me down." he said before leaving. "He and I have written back and forth."
Boyington said he looked forward to meeting the Zero pilots.
"Hell, I don't think I ever looked at them as bitter enemies, just combatants on the other side," he said. "Pilots are pilots no matter what country they fly for. They were just doing their Jobs."
"This stuff is all gone, and I’d just as soon let it go and forget it,” Col. Boyington said in a 1972 interview. “I rarely bring it up. I don’t want to bore anybody or give the impression of being a bore.”
But in later years, he appeared at airshows and other events, promoting his book and describing his exploits in a gravelly voice, his weatherbeaten face displaying a wide grin.

Boyington will be buried at the Arlington National Cemetery.


Pappy Boyington – The Final Interview

Interview by Colin D. Heaton (This version edited originally for Aviation History Magazine)

Pappy in 1977  

Colin Heaton: Where did you grow up?
“Pappy” Boyington: We were from Idaho, but we moved to Okanogan, Wash., where my parents had an apple farm, when I was in junior high school. My brother Bill and I had a great environment when we were growing up.

Heaton: When did you decide to become a pilot?
Boyington: I had always loved the idea of flying. I used to read all of the books about the World War I fighter aces, and I built model planes, gliders and things. I went to the University of Washington and received a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering, and I also played football and did a lot of boxing there. I was there with Bob Galer, who commanded the first fighter detachment on Guadalcanal in 1942. He was shot down several times and always made it back through Japanese lines. Of course, he was usually sober. I also flew during the Miami air races - anything to log more air time.

Heaton: How did you get involved with the American Volunteer Group ?
Boyington: Well, I had been in the Corps since 1934 and flying since 1935, and I became an instructor for both basic flight school and instrumentation. That was where I met many of my friends, including Joe Foss. I resigned my commission and accepted the job with the AVG in September 1941, since rank was slow in coming and I needed the money. The AVG was paying $675 per month with a bonus of $500 for every confirmed scalp you knocked down. In 1941 that was the same as making $5,000 a month today. And with an ex-wife, three kids, debts and my lifestyle, I really needed the work. Besides, the government knew damned well what we were doing. They set it up. That was when I learned that Admiral Chester Nimitz maintained files of all of the Navy and Marine pilots and ground crews going over. The only catch was that we had to be secret about the whole affair. We went to San Francisco, where we boarded a Dutch ship, Boschfontein, that was carrying 55 missionaries, men and women, to China. That was our cover, and it stated this in our passports, although my personal cover was that I was going to Java to fly for KLM. It was the same kind of setup the Germans had for going to Spain, and it didn’t fool anyone, especially the real missionaries on board. Dick Rossi and I were pegged immediately. This is amazing considering that I was not the only one hardly sober enough to remember our cover story and not too careful with his language.

Heaton: When did you first meet Claire Chennault, and what did you think of him?
Boyington: Well, I met him many times. The first time was in a village called Toungoo, right outside Rangoon, Burma. He was very impressive in appearance and commanded respect, although some of his decisions later alienated him from many of us. He was less than pleased with some of our antics, such as shooting down the telephone lines with our .45s on the train to our billets, holding water buffalo races and rodeos in the street, or shooting up the chandeliers in a bar when they quit serving us. Some of the ground crew had been caught smuggling guns for profit, and that went over like a mortar round. Our radioman had even purchased a wife from her father, and we tried like hell to keep Chennault from finding out. Once before we left for good we began having target practice by shooting at a wall, and it created a problem. A civilian representative from Allison was almost hit by a ricochet, and his report was less than glowing. One of our last stunts was to fly the Chiangs on an escort mission. Before this, we were told to give an airshow, a fly-by for the benefit of the Chiangs, Chennault and some other dignitaries. We passed by so low in a rolling turn that they all fell flat on the deck. Our relationship with the RAF [British Royal Air Force] boys was also somewhat strained, since they did not think much of us on the whole. I wondered why they were so snobbish, since they were losing the war. I received more than my share of threats of courtmartial, although technically we were civilians, so those threats went in one ear and out a Scotch bottle. My opinion of Chennault began to go downhill following his orders for a greater effort in ground attack missions - missions that were costing us in aircraft and pilots for no appreciable gain.
One pilot who was killed was Jack Newkirk. The 3rd Squadron was unusually busy, attacking imaginary depots and “unknown numbers of troops in the field.” It was all bull. Chennault just wanted to keep the reports active once we ran out of Jap planes to tangle with. Many of the pilots refused to fly those missions, since there was no bonus in killing a tree. Chennault threatened us with courts-martial, and that really began the tide rolling against him. We were civilian specialists working for a foreign government, not his personal command. Finally, Chennault negotiated extra money for strafing, and I volunteered.

Heaton: How was the AVG organized when you arrived?
Boyington: Well, there were three flights. The 1st Squadron was “Adam and Eve,” which I was assigned to. The 2nd Squadron was the “Panda Bears,” commanded by Jack Newkirk, while the third was the “Hell’s Angels,” led by Orvid Olsen. My squadron saw the least combat and was the last to really get involved. Each squadron had 20 pilots and was completely staffed with ground crews, including mechanics, avionics and weapons specialists. The rest of the staff included a top-heavy Asian administration section, whose purpose was never made quite clear to me. They always seemed to just screw things up. The only time we ever saw them was at meal time. The greatest thorn in my side personally was the executive officer, Harvey Greenlaw. This clown was not a friendly type, and he prepared the paperwork for a court-martial on me and a fellow named Frankie Croft for “conduct unbecoming officers,” all because we had been holding rickshaw races with the locals. He saw us pulling these two rickshaws with the drivers sitting in luxury as our passengers.
The bitch of it is we had to pay these drivers for the privilege of pulling their rickshaws. Greenlaw was still a pain in the ass even after we transferred to Kunming, China.

Heaton: How did you avoid any legal problems from Greenlaw?
Boyington: I simply told him that if he made any problems for me I would introduce him to a few rounds of good old hooking and jabbing. I think I also mentioned the fact that accidents happened, and sometimes those Japanese bombs that lay around unexploded had the habit of going off unexpectedly - you never knew who might get hit. He finally got the message.

Heaton: What were the conditions like where you were staying?
Boyington: Absolutely the worst shit-holes you could imagine. People did their toilet business right in the street. Sanitation was unheard of, and the various diseases that we witnessed were enough to convert even the most adventurous of Romeos.
There were these dogs, real nasty mongrels that were wild and fed off of the dead and dying people. They were the best-fed inhabitants, but they were never really a danger to anyone, I suppose.

Heaton: When did you start flying?
Boyington: I began flying familiarization with the Curtiss P-40s that we had been issued, as well as the P-36 types that were around. All of us went through this training evolution. This was in November 1941. The P-40s were aircraft that we had Lend-Leased to Britain, and which had been loaned from the RAF to us again. We got the idea to paint shark mouths on them after someone found a picture in a magazine showing an RAF P-40 in North Africa painted that same way. My first flight in a P-40 was something of a show, since I had always preferred to make three-point landings in the planes back in Florida. I had the cockpit check and took off, and when I tried to land I bounced, so I slammed the throttle forward for another go around. The result was a manifold gauge that ruptured, and when I landed I was given a stern reprimand about gunning the Allison engines. I started flying combat with Adam and Eve in December, and I remember thinking when we heard about Pearl Harbor that it was only a matter of time before we would be brought back into the U.S. military.

Heaton: What were the flying conditions like?
Boyington: Well, first off we were lied to about everything. The aircraft were garbage, with spare parts a virtual unknown and the tired engines barely able to get us off the ground. Every takeoff - let alone flight - resulted in a serious pucker factor. The maps we were supposed to use were the worst I had ever seen. Whoever made the maps had either never even been to those places or was more drunk than I was when they sat down to create those worthless objects. Some points of reference were more than 100 miles off, and the magnetic declination was worthless. I remember one of the maps had a major road listed not far from a river. Flying over it, we saw that not only was there no river, but the “major road” turned out to be a series of paddy dikes. Go figure. The weather could also get you into trouble, and we had no meteorological reports, not like today, and not even as good as what we had during the Pacific campaign. At Kunming we had a 7,000-foot runway that seemed to never get completed, even after five years of constant work, not until our military came in well into the war. Now take into account the greatest lie of all, that the Japanese pilots were pathetic and lacked good vision. I can tell you from firsthand experience that the best men ever to fly a plane in combat were the Japanese, especially the Imperial Navy pilots. Those guys were no joke. If you screwed up you were done for, end of story. We also never had radar or a modern air warning system. However, we did have a series of visual lookouts and a system of telephone relays, and considering the hundreds of dialects and different languages on this massive line system-things still got done. Anyway, we were ordered down to Rangoon, and I managed to get there with the squadron on February 2, 1942.

Heaton: Describe fighting the Japanese in the P-40. How did it compare to the Mitsubishi A6M Zero?
Boyington: The Zero was legendary in its agility, due to its light weight and turning radius. No one could turn inside a Zero, but the Zero could not catch us in a dive, which proved to be a life insurance policy. However, most of our fights were against other aircraft, like the I-97 [Nakajima Ki.27]. We developed the tactics of hit and run. Dive down from higher altitude and strike, continue the dive and convert air speed into altitude for another attack. The other plus for us was the fact that we flew three element flights, with the top cover waiting until the other two had attacked. Once the Japs scrambled to intercept us, the top cover would swoop down and pick them off. We also had the advantage of heavier armament - two .50-caliber and four .30-caliber machine guns, with later versions having all 50s against their two 7.7mm machine guns. We also had armor plate in the cockpit and self-sealing fuel tanks. The Japs had none of those, and it cost them dearly throughout the war.

Heaton: Your group suffered a series of accidents, didn’t it?
Boyington: Well, we had three Curtiss Wright CW-21 Demons, designed for high altitude interceptor duty. All three of those ships flew into a mountain on December 23, with only one pilot surviving, Eric Schilling. We had a P-40 come down during a night mission in conjunction with the RAF. It crashed into a parked car that was giving headlight visibility, and a man sleeping in the back seat was killed. The prop tore the car apart, and the other men bailed out, forgetting the guy in the back.
There was also an incident where I was escorting a [Douglas] DC-2 carrying General and Madame Chiang, the same day as the airshow with a flight. We were never told the destination, so we had to shadow the transport. All six of us ran out of fuel and landed belly-up in a Chinese cemetery. We drove out in an old American truck driven by a guy who knew nothing about driving - a real odyssey, during which we were nearly shot by mountain bandits. These were feudal lords who would rather fight each other than fight the Japanese. We later recovered the aircraft, and no pilots were lost. There were other incidents, but those were the most memorable. Once, during an air raid, while we were at the Silver Grill, a bar we used to frequent where the chandeliers became targets, I had been talking to Wing Commander Schaffer. Schaffer, who had been in the Battle of Britain, was doing some experimental night flying in a Hurricane, which was a serious boost to the Brewster Buffaloes they had in the RAF day squadron. As the bombs began to fall, we bolted out and headed for the trenches. I remember hurdling a high railing and landing in a ditch. Somehow I had unconsciously managed to grab two bottles of Scotch that survived, and I considered it an omen. Another event occurred on February 7, 1942, when Robert “Sandy” Sandell, the group leader, was killed test-flying his P-40. RAF witnesses said he inverted and appeared to be stalling, but that he recovered.
It would appear that he pulled back on the stick too hard and half-rolled into an inverted crash. That was a sad day - he was a great guy. The next day only a few of us could attend the funeral due to duty requirements. Once, during an air raid over the strip, I jumped into my P-40. To make a long story short, the maintenance had not been carried out, and I crashed, really banging myself up. I tore up my knees, and my head was split from the gunsight. I managed to crawl out of the wreckage, since I was afraid of fire, but I was barely able to make it. Meanwhile, an entire group of Chinese stood around watching, never offering to help. I was really pissed at the time, but you have to understand that these were poor people, who believed; once you saved a man’s life, you were completely responsible for him. To make matters worse, we had a wedding one evening - one of our guys from 3rd Squadron, John Petach, got married to a beautiful lady. During the wedding I sat next to Duke Hedman, the AVG’s first ace, since I could not really stand up very well. During the ceremony the air raid sounded, and I was left alone. I decided to hobble out and jump into a trench. I actually jumped off a cliff in the dark, further injuring myself and undoing the repair work that the doctors had already done. After this I was flown to Kunming and placed in the hospital. Within a few weeks I had my knees tapes up real good and began flying again. This was when Chennault had converted some of the P-40s into dive bombers, and I had had enough.

Heaton: When did you score your first victory?
Boyington: Right after we arrived in Rangoon. We took off on a “bogey” call on January 26, 1942, and we ran into around 50 to 60 Japs. We were severely outnumbered by the enemy, who were flying I-97 type fighters. They were about 2,000 feet above us and diving down. Pretty soon I was all alone, as everybody else had decided to run for the deck. I pulled over to the right to avoid the crowd, and I spotted two I-97s and closed with them. As I fired at one, the other pulled a loop over me, so I had to break off and compensate for the maneuver. I just gave up and followed suit, heading for the deck. Then I pulled up and climbed. I spotted another fighter and decided to drop the nose and close in, firing as I gained on him. Suddenly, as he was almost filling the windscreen, he performed a split-S that any instructor would have envied, and I then noticed that I was not alone, his friends had joined in. I got smart real fast and again took a dive and ran for home, no claims.
When I landed I found a Jap 7.7-millimeter bullet in my arm, an incendiary that gave me a nice scar.
I also found that I had been reported shot down. This first crack at the Japs was a disaster, and all of us were seriously upset with our dismal performance, especially since Cokey Hoffman had been killed. The first kill came two days after this. I got two, and the flight scored a total of 16 with no losses to us. The next kills came soon after. We had already taken off on two false alarms. Finally, on the third hop, I saw a lone I-97 and took him out over the bay at the Settang River. I got three more on one mission, two close together. The third was an open-cockpit fighter, and took a long time to go down, even after I popped a lot of shells into it. I pulled up next door and saw the pilot was dead, his arm just flapping in the breeze. I fired one well-placed burst to collect the money. At that point I had six confirmed with the AVG. [In actuality, the AVG credited Boyington with 3.5 victories.]

Heaton: There is an ironic twist to this mission regarding one of the AVG pilots, right?
Boyington: Yes. Two RAF Hawker Hurricane pilots had been flying above 50 Japs of the main force. They saw a P-40 and thought he would join them, but instead the AVG pilot threw himself into the whole group, with Japs all around him, guns blazing and confusion all over the place. The two Brits dropped to assist, cursing the crazy man who had started the melee. They all managed to get out of it, and the Brit I was talking to dropped a 7.7mm slug on the bar. He found it in his parachute after he landed. The American turned out to be Jim Howard, and it figured that he would get the Medal of Honor for doing the same thing against the Germans later.

Heaton: I believe you met Lt. Gen. Joseph “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell. What did you think of him?
Boyington: They did not come any better. He was a real fighter. The candy asses sitting in Washington attending cocktail parties second-guessed his evacuation of Burma. The British really harangued Stilwell because Burma fell. They always failed to mention that he had only Burmese, Indian and Chinese troops under his command - no American or British forces - and they were not adequately supplied. Stilwell was a real soldier, and he thought no more of sharing a can of grub with an enlisted man than pulling his boots on. Few people have earned my respect. He’s one of them. This was when we were evacuating Burma as well, and we learned that one of our mechanics had purchased a mascot, a tame leopard. We used to play with it, although I was never completely convinced that the animal would not hurt one of us. We played with it anyway to keep it user friendly, and it was always well fed.

Heaton: When did you return to the Marines?
Boyington: Well, the AVG was being disbanded by July 4, 1942, and Chennault informed us that we all were to be inducted as lieutenants in the Army Air Corps, regardless of past affiliation. I did not agree with that arrangement, especially since I was the only regular pilot and the rest were reservists. I had a major’s commission waiting in Washington with the Marine Corps, and I was not about to sacrifice my gold wings for dead lead. I mentioned the written agreement, but Chennault was having none of it. Besides, majors make more than lieutenants, and when I heard about this from Chennault, my Sioux-Irish blood began to boil. I was not alone, either. Besides, Chennault had pissed me off when he placed a two-drink maximum on my nights out. He never said how large or small they had to be. He even had spies watching me. He was also less than pleased by the fact that we all enjoyed the company of the local girls, and I was no angel. I suppose we did not pass his morality test or something. Another thing that irritated many of us was when the incompetent administration staff told us that we could not get paid for our kills, or even for our monthly back pay, because they had lost some of the after-action reports. I knew damned well that they were not lost. I just wanted to know who was collecting our money, or if Chiang Kai-shek was too cheap to pay us once he knew we were all going back into American uniforms. I said to hell with them and caught a plane to Calcutta along with three other AVG men, all of them bound for the Gold Coast of Africa to ferry new P-40s. I was more afraid of dying in that DC-3 over “the Hump” with ice clinging to the wings and propellers than I had been when I had a few dozen Japanese fighters around me. I made Bombay then found that Chennault had issued an order banning me from U.S. military transports and directing that I be drafted into the Tenth Air Force. Well, not to be outdone, I boarded a ship, SS Brazil, which was headed for New York, via Cape Town. I wish I could have seen the look on Chennault’s face when he learned I was Stateside.

Heaton: What did you think of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and Madame Chiang?
Boyington: Chiang was a legalized bandit, stealing what was not nailed down while pretending to command the Chinese Army fighting the Japs. His wife was the brains of the outfit. None of us really had much respect for him, but his money was good when it was paid.

Heaton: What happened following your arrival in New York?
Boyington: I landed in New York Harbor in July, caught a train straight for Washington, D.C., and placed a letter of reinstatement, citing my agreement with Nimitz. I was told to go home and await orders, so I did. After a few months I went back to my job of parking cars, the same job I had in college. I later learned that my orders were delayed, due to a personal grudge held by someone. All 10 of us former Marines who fought with the AVG were in the same boat. In November I finally sent an express letter demanding a resolution to the problem, and three days letter I was ordered to San Diego.

Heaton: What was your transition like?
Boyington: No real problem. I left Dago and went to the South Pacific, where this story really takes off.

Heaton: The television series starring Robert Conrad seemed to upset several of the former Black Sheep, from what I have heard. I also understand that there was actually a Colonel Lard (played by Dana Elcar) and a General Moore (played by Simon Oakland). How much of the series was pure Hollywood and how much was based on reality?
Boyington: Oh, the whole damned thing was Hollywood, but I guess that’s showbiz. Yes, there was a Brig. Gen. James Moore, chief of staff of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, and he was a real stand-up guy. He took care of us and kept Lard off our backs. Lard [Lt. Col. Joseph Smoak, operations officer of Marine Air Group 11] was a real by-the-book Marine, but unlike most of the characteristic backstabbers, he had pulled his time when it counted. He had served in China, and I respected him for that. I was simply the kind of officer he could not understand. I have no ill will toward him or anyone.

Heaton: How did you get back into flying combat?
Boyington: A twist of fate. When I hit Espiritu Santo, I became assistant operations officer, a deadstick assignment that was not going to work. The good part about the posting was that I was able to meet some old friends again, such as Bob Galer, who had scored 11 kills, and Joe Foss, who was so sick with everything from malaria to malnutrition I did not even recognize him when I saw him.
Another old friend I saw again was Kenneth Walsh, who scored 20 kills and earned the Medal of Honor, before being shipped home immediately afterward. It was in May 1943 when I was chosen by Elmer Brackett to be his executive officer for VMF-222, and I checked out in the Vought F4U-1 Corsair. But as fate would have it, he was promoted and left, leaving me with the command. During my tenure there I never even saw a Japanese aircraft.

Heaton: I believe you were involved with the Lockheed P-38 mission that killed Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. How did that come about?
Boyington: The P-38s were on Guadalcanal with us, and they had been ordered to make the intercept, due to their range and speed. We helped plan the trip for them, including logistics and obtaining meteorological reports. We knew about the mission on the quiet, and I told the men not to say anything. We did not want the Japs to know we had broken their new code. However, soon Naval Intelligence was interrogating everyone on the island, since word had leaked out. At this point my combat career was almost ruined when my ankle was broken in a football game and I was sent to Auckland, New Zealand, to recuperate. Shortly after this, VMF-222 scored 30 kills against the Japs.
I guess they were waiting for me to leave. After I healed up, I was bounced from one squadron to another, although always in a non-flying status. One of my jobs was to process the disciplinary paperwork of certain officers and enlisted men. This was where I got the idea to try and form a squadron. I spoke to the MAG-11 commander, Colonel Lawson Sanderson, who had led more of a charmed life than anyone I knew. He gave his off-the-record approval, and I went to work, collecting pilots wherever I could find them. Not all of these men were fighter pilots, but anyone could be converted, or so I thought. Unfortunately, Sanderson rotated out and Lard entered the scene. Well, the only thing left to do was choose a squadron name. One of the men suggested “Boyington’s Bastards,” and I liked it but knew that would not fly. I suggested “Black Sheep,” since we were not the typical, picture-perfect material glossing the magazines of the day. The name stuck, as did my two nicknames, “Gramps” and “Pappy,” due to my age.

Heaton: When was your first mission as a squadron?
Boyington: September 16, 1943. We had just arrived in the Russell Islands. We had 20 Corsairs broken up into five flights to escort 150 [Douglas SBD] Dauntless and [Grumman TBF] Avenger bombers on a mission to Ballale, near Bougainville. We maintained radio silence and thought about the 600-mile round trip over anything-but-friendly terrain and open ocean. We ran into a heavy cloud base, lost sight of the bombers, and dropped below the clouds to try and pick them up. Sure enough, I saw the bombers doing their stuff on time and on target. However, we had another problem then - we were jumped by 40 Zeros with full fuel tanks. And these guys were no fools, or so
I thought. One of them pulled up next to me, waggled his wings as if telling me to form up, then pulled ahead. I had forgotten to turn on the gunsight or arm the guns, but when I did, I knocked him down. My wingman, Moe Fisher, blasted one off my tail, and we headed for the deck to protect the bombers. I nailed another one real quick, but I flew through the explosion. I saw another skimming the water trying to get away, so I chased him. I was closing on him when a little voice warned me, and I pulled away. There was his wingman. The lead Jap had been the bait, and I had almost fallen for it. I turned into the second Zero head-on. We closed, firing on each other, and I won. The first Zero had disappeared, but I saw another coming head-on at a lower altitude, and I got him, too. As I tried to milk my remaining fuel, I saw a Corsair - just over the water and vulnerable – being attacked by two Zeros. The Marine aircraft was damaged, with oil all over the windscreen, and was losing speed. I attacked the nearest Zero, and as I fired, he pulled up. I tried to follow, still firing, and he broke apart, but I stalled out. I recovered enough to hit the second Zero, and then I calmed down. The adrenaline rush of air combat is something that you can’t explain. I did not see the Corsair again or even know who was in it, but Bobby Ewing was the only loss we had, so it must have been him. There was no way I could make it back to base, so I headed for Munda, where I made a perfect dead-stick landing - no gas at all.

Heaton: Unlike what we’ve come to expect from the TV show, that was not a typical mission, right?
Boyington: Far from it. I scored five kills in one mission, and I would never do that again. Most of a combat pilot’s missions are mundane and almost boring, especially when you are beginning to win a war and you outnumber the enemy, although that would not really be the case until after I was finally bagged.

Heaton: Did the success of the unit help you out with your superiors at all?
Boyington: Everyone except Lard. He had heard about the drinking problem in China and Burma, so he placed me under parole of sorts. I was not to drink, and if I did, it was to be reported. I still had a few, and Lard found out about it and placed me in hack. Unless I was flying, I could not socialize. Do I need to tell you whether or not I obeyed that order?

Heaton: No, I don’t think so. Did the Black Sheep’s success garner any interest from superiors?
Boyington: Shortly after our first great success, I was invited along with my executive officer to the new commander’s office. He offered me a drink, and I was suspicious. He assured me that he was not part of Lard’s program, that I was safe. He even pulled out a copy of the order signed by Lard and tore it up. Well, we soon got stuck with escort missions galore. We did not engage a single enemy plane in weeks, although the guys at Munda were having a hell of a time. They were the first line of defense, and the Japs never got through them to reach us. We finally got creative, especially when the Japs began to identify me over the radio. They would ask my position in plain English, although they were fooling no one. One day I gave them a lower altitude as a response, and sure enough, there came 30 Zeros. We caught sight of the Japs heading to 20,000 feet to intercept us, but we were at 25,000, and we peeled over into them. We screamed into the enemy formation head-on, and I think everyone got a hit or kill on the first pass. My first hit blew up, and a second plane I hit began to smoke and the pilot bailed out. I continued to pull around and caught a third Jap, and he went down. We had done good work, and I was proud of my boys. We had scored 12 kills without a loss.

Heaton: You had a few close calls yourself, didn’t you?
Boyington: Sure, but most of my problems were caused less by the Japanese than by our own ground crews. I scrambled with the squadron to intercept some inbound enemy bombers, and in the middle of a dogfight with escorting Zeros my engine died. I took a dive for the deck with a dozen meatballs on my ass. If it were not for the Navy pilots in a Hellcat unit, I would not be here now. I headed back to base without fuel. My plane had not been refueled after the previous mission, and I was about as pissed as you could be without committing murder. I had had a perfect chance to score some bomber kills, and it was gone. Another time I took off and the engine cowling tore loose, forcing me to return to the strip. Upon landing, I jumped into another Corsair and continued the mission, but without any success. I never scored a bomber kill. But we did destroy a large number of aircraft on the ground during fighter bombing and strafing missions.

Heaton: You met Admiral William Halsey and Chesty Puller. What did you think of them?
Boyington: Halsey and some other brass came to see me once at Munda, and I liked him. He didn’t appear to be the kind of man who really got on your ass about small things. I could relate to him, like Stilwell. Now Chesty, on the other hand, was a completely different animal, sort of like me 10 times over, and on steroids. He was one hell of a Marine, the best who ever served probably. He’s one of those few even I would do anything for, because he cared about his men and he loved the Corps.

Heaton: What happened the day you were shot down?
Boyington: Well, first of all, contrary to what I have heard over the years, I was stone-cold sober the day of the flight, which was January 3, 1944. Everything started out wrong that day. My plane was down, so I had to take another. I led the squadron on a fighter sweep to Rabaul, the bastion of Japanese naval pilots. We were at 20,000 feet. Everyone knew that I was expected to beat Joe Foss’ record of 26 kills, since he had just tied Eddie Rickenbacker’s score not long before. Even Marion Carl allowed me the opportunity to lead several of his flights, giving me the chance to increase my score. This was because I was due to be rotated out due to age and longevity. At this time I had 25 [actually 21], and Rabaul was just about the best hunting ground you could imagine. Well, to make a long story short, my wingman George Ashmun and I were looking for trouble, and George told me just to focus on getting the kills - he would take care of my six. Soon we were surrounded, and I scored three, but George was overwhelmed, and I was trying to help him when I was also hit. I could hear and feel the shells striking the armor plate and fuselage. I remember my body being banged around, then suddenly I had a fire in the cockpit. The engine and fuel line had been shot up. I was at about 100 feet above the water, so I did not have much choice. George had already been flamed and hit the ocean. I was apparently going to share the same fate, so I managed to kick out of the Corsair and pull the ripcord, letting the slipstream open the canopy. I hit the water, but it could just as well have been pavement. I managed to inflate my rubber raft, but my Mae West was shot full of holes and was no good. I assessed my injuries, saw that I was beyond screwed up, and hoped that I would be rescued. This wish to be rescued really became urgent once four Zero pilots began taking turns strafing me in the water.

Heaton: You were rescued - but not by friendly forces, right?
Boyington: Yes, a few hours later a Jap submarine on the way to Rabaul surfaced and collected me. I dumped everything I had that was of any military value over the side.

Heaton: How bad were your wounds?
Boyington: Well, I nearly lost my left ear, which was hanging in a bloody mess. My scalp had a massive laceration, my arms, groin and shoulders were peppered with shrapnel, and a bullet had gone through my left calf. I had seen better days. Luckily, the sub crew tried to take care of me.
They were very humane and I wondered if this was the type of treatment I could expect in the future. One of the crew spoke English and assured me that I was going to be all right.

Heaton: What preparation had you been given in training for capture and interrogation?
Boyington: None. We never even considered the possibility. I think this was a great mistake on the part of the military. I was totally unprepared. I believe that even if we had been prepared for captivity and interrogation, we would have still been unprepared to some extent, since we would have trained our men in the Occidental method of psychological warfare and interrogation resistance. All of this effort would have been wasted once we were captured by the Japs, or later the North Koreans, Chinese or Vietnamese. Their mind-set and perspective are completely different, and we just don’t understand it.

Heaton: What was your imprisonment like? Do you hold a grudge against the Japanese for the way you were treated?
Boyington: Well, it was hard. We were beaten on occasion, and questioned even about the most ridiculous BS. Most of the guards were pretty brutal, but once you learned how to out-think them you could get by. There was one particular interpreter who had been educated in Honolulu, and he was very important, since he effectively saved not just my life but the lives of others as well. Then there was this old lady in Japan whom I worked for in the kitchen at the camp. By the time I got there I was down 60 or 70 pounds and not looking so good. She took care of me, and I owe her as much as anyone. However, despite the beatings and starvation diet, I probably lived as long as I have due to the fact that 20 months in prison prevented me from drinking. The one exception was New Years Eve 1944, when a guard gave me some sake. Another important person was a Mr. Kono, a mysterious man who spoke English and wore a uniform without rank. He perhaps did more to save American lives than anyone else. As far as holding a grudge, no. That would be silly. There are good and bad people everywhere. The Japanese civilians who had been bombed out and were always around us showed us respect, not antipathy. Many of them went out of their way to help us at great risk to themselves, slipping us food. When I think about how the Japanese civilians treated us as POWs in their country, I can only feel very ashamed at how we treated our own Japanese Americans, taking their homes and businesses and placing them in camps.

Heaton: Did you get any news about how the war was going while you were in captivity?
Boyington: Well, we were kept updated on the war news, usually by friendly guards who would tell us what was going on. Other news we learned by listening to the guards. I picked up the Japanese language pretty quickly, and I could understand many phrases and key words. New prisoners were also a great source of information. We knew the war was going badly for Japan, and in February 1945 we saw a massive raid on Yokosuka from our camp in Ofuna. I was informed by a Japanese man that Roosevelt had died and that Germany had surrendered. Later we were moved from Ofuna to a real POW camp. This was a great thing because we were, up to that point, below prisoner status. At least when we were POWs our families would know we were alive and reasonably well.
That also meant it would be more difficult for the Japs to just execute us with no one asking questions, which was always on our minds. When we were moved to a more solid structure, I felt a little better - especially once the Boeing B-29 raids picked up the pace. We would watch them at high altitude, sometimes engaged by a Jap, but they just gave us so much hope. However, once the bombing picked up, we were placed on rubble-clearing details, digging tunnels in the hills. This was near Yokohama. One bit of irony was when a guard told me about a single bomb that had been dropped on his home in Nagasaki. He was speaking in Japanese, so it was difficult to understand. I could only make out that the city had been destroyed by a single bomb. This was beyond my comprehension, and it was not until after I was released that I found out it was true. I also found out from a guard that the war was over. The guards, almost to a man, got drunk at the news - something I was very familiar with. What bothered us was the fact that some were openly discussing killing us, which made us a little uncomfortable. The commanding officer came down the next day and gave us vitamins and new clothes, preparing us. Six days later I was standing in front of the Swiss Red Cross in new quarters and very clean. A few days later B-29s were dropping clothes and food to us, and a few guys were killed by being hit. Soon the Navy landed with the Marines, and we were able to leave. We went to the hospital ship Benevolence, where the medical staff checked us all out. After the disinfectant and shower, I had the best meal in memory, ham and eggs. Some of the guys just could not take that diet after the pathetic diet of rice and stuff we had lived on.

Heaton: How soon did you get swamped by the media?
Boyington: Almost immediately, on the ship. I really didn’t have much to say, except hello to my family. After I was cleared, I flew from Tokyo to Guam, Kwajalein, and Pearl Harbor, headed Stateside.
Major General Moore met me at Pearl Harbor, and I can’t explain the feeling I had on seeing my old friend and benefactor. He gave me the use of his quarters, car and driver, and that was great.
I had decided to change my ways, accept my fate and clean myself up. I felt that if the nation was going to honor me as a hero, I should honor the nation by acting like one, or at least looking like one. You know, I think that the only reason the Corps released all the glowing heroic junk about me was because they thought I was dead. It took a few weeks after I returned for anything to be forwarded or for any of the public relations brass to get in touch with me. But, as I have been quoted as saying, show me a hero and I'll show you a bum.

Heaton: I believe you met some of your old squadron mates upon returning. Tell us about that.
Boyington: That was in San Francisco. Twenty of the guys had shown up, remembering that we had planned a party six months after the war was over, and they decided to have one then and there.
We did, but after so much time I could not drink like I used to. The best thing was the gift they gave me, a gold engraved watch. Ironically the party was covertly covered by Life magazine, and the pictures were impressive. I suppose it was a good thing that they were never around in the South Pacific when we had our parties then. The morality meter would have spun off the scale.

Heaton: How did things turn out for you after the war?
Boyington: Well, for PR purposes I did these war bond drives with Frank Walton, the S-2 [Intelligence officer] of the squadron. We talked to people all over the country, but I still had not received my back pay. I was living off the generosity of others, broker than hell. When we went to Washington, D.C., I received the Navy Cross from General Archibald Vandergrift, the commandant. Then I went to see President Harry Truman, who gave me the big one. After that, it was a New York tickertape parade, then more traveling. Later I was retired due to wounds, but that only made things worse. I could not find a job until I began working as a wrestling referee part time. My second wife, Franny, kept me out of too much trouble, although nearly every place I went there was some cop for whatever reason waiting to pick me up, especially after I had been in a bar. They would call the press just to get their names in the papers at my expense. Later I was a beer salesman for a few years; it seemed like poetic justice in a way. It made me sober up again after falling off the wagon.

Heaton: The later years seem to have been pretty good to you.
Boyington: Well, I sobered up after a bad crash-and-burn session once. I think that Steve Cannell and the others who wanted to create the movie and television series did a lot to help me maintain perspective. We still have the reunions of the AVG and Black Sheep, and Dick Rossi handles all of the AVG gatherings. Those are held here in California, so they are easy to get to.

Heaton: How do you feel about the wars that followed WWII, and the military today?
Boyington: Well, first of all, I don’t think a man - let alone an officer - could get away with the things we used to pull back then, especially me. And that is probably not a bad thing. The wars that followed were pretty much like any other. I could not respect a man who walked away from a fight where his flag was at stake. However, I think that our government should be more particular as to which wars we get involved in. The military today is high-tech and all volunteer. I think that as long as we never lose focus on what’s important, we will be all right. I would hate to think that American lives could be easily thrown away on a bad policy decision. We just have to have faith in our government, which is not easy, and faith in the military. If the government goes to war, then let the military fight it. That's how America will stay great.


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--- Black Sheep Aces ---

Check Out

Dan Ford's take

article on blogspot.ca

great collection at blogspot.fr

Rescued - video on YouTube




Thanks to all the folks who sent me stuff
Thanks to Colin Heaton (who conducted the interview with Pappy)
& Cy Stapleton, of the House of Gutenberg, for letting me use their stuff !
BTW, if you're interested in autographs, displays & other militaria, you should check out all the cool stuff Cy's got

On these pages I use Hugh Halliday's extensive research which includes info from numerous sources; newspaper articles via the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC); the Google News Archives; the London Gazette Archives and other sources both published and private.

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