Major Gregory Boyington
U. S. Marine Corps, VMF-214 "Black Sheep"
F4U Corsair Pilot
Gregory "Pappy" Boyington was the Commanding Officer (C.O.) of VMF-214 "Black Sheep". Boyington claimed 20 aerial victories. On January 3, 1944 damaged, he ditched F4U Corsair 17915 and was captured and became a Prisoner Of War (POW) and was liberated at the end of the war.
|Medal of Honor Citation (12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944)
Citation: "For extraordinary heroism and valiant devotion to duty as commanding officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Central Solomons area from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944. Consistently outnumbered throughout successive hazardous flights over heavily defended hostile territory, Maj. Boyington struck at the enemy with daring and courageous persistence, leading his squadron into combat with devastating results to Japanese shipping, shore installations, and aerial forces. Resolute in his efforts to inflict crippling damage on the enemy, Maj. Boyington led a formation of 24 fighters over Kahili on 17 October and, persistently circling the airdrome where 60 hostile aircraft were grounded, boldly challenged the Japanese to send up planes. Under his brilliant command, our fighters shot down 20 enemy craft in the ensuing action without the loss of a single ship. A superb airman and determined fighter against overwhelming odds, Maj. Boyington personally destroyed 26 of the many Japanese planes shot down by his squadron and, by his forceful leadership, developed the combat readiness in his command which was a distinctive factor in the Allied aerial achievements in this vitally strategic area."
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