Black Sheep Chronicles, Part 3: The Origins of The Black Sheep

The beginnings of the Black Sheep Squadron, the group of 28 pilots who achieved fame and glory under the command of Major Gregory Boyington in the summer of 1943.

F4U-1 of VMF-214 is on the ground at Turtle Bay fighter strip on Espiritu Santo island in the 1940s, in colonial New Hebrides (present day Vanuatu) during WWII. Image via Wikipedia
Aircorps Art Dec 2019

The third episode of Black Sheep Chronicles: VMF-214 in World War II is now on YouTube. Last year Gamble announced (HERE) a new and exciting series of episodes about the famed Black Sheep Squadron (VMF-214). Gamble published his first book, The Black Sheep, in 1998, a highly readable account that serves to both correct and extend the record of the VMF-214 and its renowned squadron leader Greg “Pappy” Boyington. With a total of four titles now in print, Bruce is recognized as one of the top authors on the air war in the Pacific.

Marine Attack Squadron Two Hundred and Fourteen – VMF 214 (Black Sheep Squadron) on Turtle Bay Fighter Strip, Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, September 11, 1943. Report after the flight. Note Major Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, (center). Image via South Pacific WWII Museum

Under the leadership of their renowned squadron leader, Greg “Pappy” Boyington, Marine Fighting Squadron (VMF) 214 earned a reputation as one of the most well-known and vibrant combat units of World War II. The popular television series Baa Baa Black Sheep contributed to their fame, albeit overshadowing the truly remarkable combat achievements of the Black Sheep and Boyington. Bruce Gamble, a retired naval flight officer and former historian for the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, presents a highly accessible narrative that not only rectifies but also enriches the legacy of this distinguished fighting force.

Episode 3

Previous Episodes

Black Sheep Chronicles, Part 1: Wildcat Days
Black Sheep Chronicles, Part 2: Corsairs and Swashbucklers!

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