A World War II Ace who also earned the Congressional Medal of Honor and Navy Cross.
Gregory Boyington, nicknamed “Pappy”, because at the age of 31 he was much older than the men who served under him in the Black Sheep Squadron he commanded in the United States Marine Corps. The Black Sheep were based in the Pacific and primarily flew Vought F4U Corsairs.
Immediately after he shot down his last enemy plane, Boyington crashed and the Japanese took him prisoner. He served out the remaining 20 months of the war in a prison camp.
His best selling memoir, “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, details his life before and during the war years when he flew first with the Flying Tigers in China and later with the Black Sheep was turned into a television series.
The total number of Boyington’s kills is in dispute. Boyington himself claimed 28, while almost everyone else credits him anywhere from 22 to 26. To gain Ace status, six qualified kills are necessary. Regardless of what Boyington’s total kills actually were, he was indisputably an Ace as well as a war hero.