Swashbucklers and Black Sheep: A Pictorial History of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in World War II

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MBI Publishing Company, Sep 15, 2012 - History - 216 pages
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A stunning portrait of incredibly courageous men and their awesome flying machines. Alex Kershaw, author of The Few

Marine Fighting Squadron (VMF) 214 is the world's most famous fighter squadron. Its second wartime squadron commander was the legendary Greg Pappy Boyington. Boyington and the squadron were the loose inspiration for the late-seventies NBC television series Baa Baa Black Sheep, which was later syndicated under the name Black Sheep SquadronSwashbucklers and Black Sheep is a comprehensive illustrated history of the squadron from its formation and first two combat tours on Guadalcanal as the Swashbucklers, which included their transition to the iconic gull-winged Corsair, to the arrival of their second commander, Pappy Boyington, after which they became the Black Sheep. The squadron's combat over Bougainville and Rabaul and the story of Boyington being shot down are covered, as are the squadron's exploits in the latter part of the war (while Boyington was a POW), which culminated in the heavy losses suffered aboard the carrier USS Franklin. The squadron's service in Korea, Vietnam, and the Global War on Terror complete the storied history of VMF 214. In addition to a rich collection of historical photography, Swashbucklers and Black Sheep features combat aviation artwork from four of America's top aviation artists: John Shaw, Jim Laurier, Craig Kodera, and Bob Rasmussen.

 

 

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Well, I wish my mother, Gladys Marie Beeler (nee Maitlen) had lived long enough to see this book with her husband's (Lt Clare R. Beeler) photo and brief write-up in it. They were high school sweethearts. I'm not Lt Beeler's son but her second husband's oldest child/son.
The other tthing of note is that Lt Beeler is also remembered at the Hawaii Punchbowl of the Pacific on the USMC Marble Monolith for those whose remains were never recovered. I'm sorry to say that I had not visited that site until after my mom's death in November 1991. I know that it would have meant a lot to her to see him remembered that way.
Jim Myers
 

Selected pages

Contents

CONTENTS
7
INTRODUCTION
8
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
9
OUT OF THE ASHES
11
ON HALLOWED GROUND
21
BENTWING BIRDS
39
THE SWASHBUCKLERS AT MUNDA
53
LEGENDS IN WAITING
67
SLUGFEST OVER RABAUL
125
NEW SHEEP
161
BIG BEN
169
THE LEGACY OF HEROES
191
APPENDICES
206
BIBLIOGRAPHY
213
ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES
214
INDEX
215

GUNFIGHTS OVER BOUGAINVILLE
89
SOJOURN
109

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About the author (2012)

Bruce Gamble (Lynn Haven, FL) is a retired naval flight officer and former historian with the Naval Aviation Museum foundation. He is the author of four previous books about the Pacific war: The Black Sheep, a complete combat history of Marine Fighting Squadron 214; Black Sheep One, a definitive biography of Greg Pappy Boyington; Darkest Hour: The True Story of Lark Force at Rabaul, on the Japanese invasion of New Britain; and Fortress Rabaul, about the buildup of the infamous Japanese stronghold.

 

www.brucegamble.com

 

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