Swashbucklers and Black Sheep: A Pictorial History of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in World War II
A stunning portrait of incredibly courageous men and their awesome flying machines. Alex Kershaw, author of The FewMarine 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 Squadron. Swashbucklers 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.
OUT OF THE ASHES
ON HALLOWED GROUND
THE SWASHBUCKLERS AT MUNDA
LEGENDS IN WAITING
SLUGFEST OVER RABAUL
THE LEGACY OF HEROES
GUNFIGHTS OVER BOUGAINVILLE