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Pappy Boyington

Awarded the Medal of Honor

Born: December 4, 1912, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Died: January 11, 1988 (age 75) Fresno, California

Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington USMC, was an American fighter ace. Boyington flew initially with the American Volunteer Group ("The Flying Tigers") in the Republic of China Air Force during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

He later commanded the famous U.S. Marine Corps squadron, VMF-214 ("The Black Sheep Squadron") during World War II. Boyington became a prisoner of war later in the war. For his U.S. Marine Corps service he was awarded the Navy Cross and the Medal of Honor.

What do you know about Pappy Boyington? Take off with the quick quiz.

1. Boyington graduated in 1934 with a B.S. in aeronautical engineering. Where did he attend college?

  • University of Washington
  • USC
  • Michigan

2. On February 18, 1936, Boyington accepted an appointment as an aviation cadet in the Marine Corps Reserve. He was assigned to the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, for flight training. Boyington resigned his commission in the Marine Corps on August 26, 1941 to accept a position with the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO). CAMCO was a civilian organization that contracted to staff a Special Air Unit to defend China and the Burma Road. The unit later became known as the American Volunteer Group (AVG), the famed Flying Tigers of China.

  • Fact or Myth?

3. Boyington became Commanding Officer (CO) of a Marine Fighter Squadron, better known by its nickname, the "Black Sheep Squadron." What was the official name of the squadron?

  • Marine Fighter Squadron 415
  • Marine Fighter Squadron 666
  • Marine Fighter Squadron 214

4. What was the fighter Boyington is best known for his exploits with the "Black Sheep Squadron"?

  • Vought F4U Corsair
  • Lockheed P-38 Lighting
  • Grumman F6F Hellcat

5. Boyington�s squadron, flying from the island of Vella Lavella, offered to down a Japanese Zero for every baseball cap sent to them by major league players in the World Series. They received 20 caps and shot down many more enemy aircraft.

  • Fact or Myth?

6. Boyington was the tactical commander of the flight and arrived over the target at eight o'clock in the morning. In the ensuing action, the major was seen to shoot down his 26th plane. He then became mixed in the general melee of diving, swooping planes and was not seen or heard from again during the battle, nor did he return with his squadron. Who claimed to have shot down Pappy?

  • Ichiro Suzuki
  • Masajiro "Mike" Kawato
  • Sadaharu Oh

7. Boyington had been picked up by a Japanese submarine and became a prisoner of war. When was he released from Omori Prison Camp near Tokyo?

  • August 29, 1944
  • August 29, 1945
  • August 29, 1946

8. He retired from the Marine Corps on August 1, 1947, and because he was specially commended for the performance of duty in actual combat, he was promoted to full colonel. When did he retire from the Marine Corps?

  • August 1, 1947
  • August 1, 1948
  • August 1, 1949

9. What was Boyington's cause of death?

  • Cancer
  • Heart Failure
  • Auto accident

10. Where is Gregory "Pappy" Boyington buried?

  • Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
  • Coeur d�Alene Cemetery, Coeur d�Alene, Idaho
  • Century Cemetery, Spokane, Washington


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