Image size: 1600 x 1111 pixel. 450 KB
Date: Tuesday, 7 September 1943
Place: Turtle Bay Fighter Strip, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
Major Gregory Boyington's VMF-214 Black Sheep Squadron on Turtle Bay fighter strip on Esperitu Santo. VMF-214 poses for a group picture before leaving for their operations in the Russell Islands. An F4U-1 is in the background. In their two tours of combat, the Black Sheep shot down 94 Japanese aircraft and counted nine aces (5 or more enemy aircraft shot down.) Gregory Boyington was shot down on January 3, 1944 and spent the remainder of the war in Omori Prison Camp. The Black Sheep were disbanded after their second tour. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington (December 4, 1912 – January 11, 1988) was a United States Marine Corps officer who was an American fighter ace during World War II. For his heroic actions, he was awarded both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross. Boyington flew initially with the American Volunteer Group in the Republic of China Air Force during the Second Sino-Japanese War. He later commanded the 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.