The story of the Black Sheep Squadron, VMF-214, is the story of Gregory “Pappy” Boyington because it was Boyington who made the squadron into one of the finest fighting units in Marine Corps history. Boyington had guts, resourcefulness, and tenacity; qualities also exhibited by the men under his command.
The truth about Boyington and the Black Sheep probably lies somewhere between the Hollywood portrayal, Boyington’s version of history, and reality. The Black Sheep fought for 84 days. Piling up an incredible tally of 203 enemy planes damaged or destroyed, while sinking several troop transports and supply ships, destroying numerous Japanese installations and creating nine aces with 97 accumulated kills. For their actions, they were awarded the highest unit decoration in the US military, the Presidential Unit Citation, for extraordinary heroism in action.