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 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.
BOYINGTON BAG AT 24; NEARS PLANE RECORD;
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.
"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.
May Have Total of 40
Got Six With Tigers
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.
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.
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."
By FRED HAMPSON, Advanced South Pacific Base, 10 January 1944 - (AP) - The skipper didn't get back.
Best and Bravest
This is the last picture taken of Maj. Gregory (Pappy) Boyington before he got his twenty-sixth enemy plane and was reported missing.
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?"
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."
"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.
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.
Boyington kneels before a Corsair (the censors have done a good job of scratching any details off the bird)
(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.
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.
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.
CONTRAST IN AWARDS
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
By JEAN KAPEL U.P. Staff Correspondent, 12 Sept.1945
TELLS OF PLUNGE
TACKLED 70 PLANES
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.
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.
MOVED TO TRUK
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.
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.
"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.
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
Boyington reunites with his mother & two of his children, Greg jr., & Janet Sue in Calif.
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.
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
Three Vets Collapse
Boyington received the Navy Cross from Gen. Alexander Archer Vandegrift yesterday
President Truman congratulates Col. Boyington on his Medal of Honor
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.
Ace "Looked Fine"
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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 & 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lucy with her lawyer Joe Haller (L) & Frances & Pappy
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.
Marriage Plans Collapsed
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."
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”
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.
Greg Boyington & Dee Boyington toast their reconciliation after canceling their divorce plans
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.
Colin Heaton: Where did you grow up?
Heaton: When did you decide to become a pilot?
Heaton: How did you get involved with the American Volunteer Group ?
Heaton: When did you first meet Claire Chennault, and what did you think of him?
Heaton: How was the AVG organized when you arrived?
Heaton: How did you avoid any legal problems from Greenlaw?
Heaton: What were the conditions like where you were staying?
Heaton: When did you start flying?
Heaton: What were the flying conditions like?
Heaton: Describe fighting the Japanese in the P-40. How did it compare to the Mitsubishi A6M Zero?
Heaton: Your group suffered a series of accidents, didn’t it?
Heaton: When did you score your first victory?
Heaton: There is an ironic twist to this mission regarding one of the AVG pilots, right?
Heaton: I believe you met Lt. Gen. Joseph “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell. What did you think of him?
Heaton: When did you return to the Marines?
Heaton: What did you think of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and Madame Chiang?
Heaton: What happened following your arrival in New York?
Heaton: What was your transition like?
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?
Heaton: How did you get back into flying combat?
Heaton: I believe you were involved with the Lockheed P-38 mission that killed Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. How did that come about?
Heaton: When was your first mission as a squadron?
Heaton: Unlike what we’ve come to expect from the TV show, that was not a typical mission, right?
Heaton: Did the success of the unit help you out with your superiors at all?
Heaton: No, I don’t think so. Did the Black Sheep’s success garner any interest from superiors?
Heaton: You had a few close calls yourself, didn’t you?
Heaton: You met Admiral William Halsey and Chesty Puller. What did you think of them?
Heaton: What happened the day you were shot down?
Heaton: You were rescued - but not by friendly forces, right?
Heaton: How bad were your wounds?
Heaton: What preparation had you been given in training for capture and interrogation?
Heaton: What was your imprisonment like? Do you hold a grudge against the Japanese for the way you were treated?
Heaton: Did you get any news about how the war was going while you were in captivity?
Heaton: How soon did you get swamped by the media?
Heaton: I believe you met some of your old squadron mates upon returning. Tell us about that.
Heaton: How did things turn out for you after the war?
Heaton: The later years seem to have been pretty good to you.
Heaton: How do you feel about the wars that followed WWII, and the military today?
--- Bad Boys ---
--- AVG Aces ---
--- American Aces ---
--- Black Sheep Aces ---
great collection at blogspot.fr
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.
Some content on this site is probably the property of acesofww2.com unless otherwise noted.