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

By Bruce Gamble

“A lovely portrait of highly brave males and their amazing flying machines.”
—Alex Kershaw, writer of The Few

Marine battling Squadron (VMF) 214 is the world’s most renowned fighter squadron. Its moment wartime squadron commander used to be the mythical Greg “Pappy” Boyington. Boyington and the squadron have been the free idea for the late-seventies NBC tv sequence Baa Baa Black Sheep, which was once later syndicated less than the identify Black Sheep Squadron.
Swashbucklers and Black Sheep is a finished illustrated historical past of the squadron from its formation and primary strive against excursions on Guadalcanal because the Swashbucklers, which incorporated their transition to the long-lasting gull-winged Corsair, to the arriving in their moment commander, Pappy Boyington, and then they grew to become the Black Sheep. The squadron’s wrestle over Bougainville and Rabaul and the tale of Boyington being shot down are coated, as are the squadron’s exploits within the latter a part of the battle (while Boyington used to be a POW), which culminated within the heavy losses suffered aboard the service USS Franklin. The squadron’s provider in Korea, Vietnam, and the worldwide struggle on Terror whole the storied historical past of VMF 214.
In addition to a wealthy choice of old images, Swashbucklers and Black Sheep gains strive against aviation art from 4 of America’s most sensible aviation artists: John Shaw, Jim Laurier, Craig Kodera, and Bob Rasmussen.


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Led by means of Boyington, the Corsairs joined a wide formation of SBD Dauntlesses and TBF Avengers headed for Ballale, a heavily-defended jap fighter base on a tiny islet south of Bougainville. Land-based army F6F Hellcats, making a few of their first wrestle sorties within the Solomons, additionally supplied escort. With greater than 100 airplane concerned, the strike used to be one of many biggest but assembled within the sector. the japanese replied through scrambling 40 A6M versions from air teams to intercept the yank plane, resulting in a livid engagement.

Ewa, 1st and second Solomons excursions McCartney, Henry A. 1st Black Sheep travel McClurg, Robert W. 1st and second Black Sheep excursions McDonnell, Robert J. CV-13 McPherson, Warren H. Santa Barbara, CV-13 Miller, Harold D. Santa Barbara, CV-13 Miller, Henry S. Ewa, 1st and second Solomons excursions, second Black Sheep journey Moak, David R. Ewa, 1st and second Solomons excursions Moon, Charles G. Santa Barbara Moore, Donald J. 1st and 2d Black Sheep excursions, MIA 12/28/43 Mullen, Paul A. 1st and second Black Sheep excursions, wounded 9/23/43 Nabors, William A.

Bob Bragdon, a rugby participant at Princeton, prepares to take a snap from Don Fisher, who accomplished 3 years on the college of Florida. Ed Olander Bruce Matheson, the single member of the unique Black Sheep to arrive the rank of brigadier common, flew Corsairs in international warfare II, jets in Korea, and helicopters in Vietnam. he's pictured right here with a smoke and a few studying fabric within a Dallas hut. Frank Walton The novices built-in speedy. Al Johnson and Harry Johnson manned a wood desktop gun during this Black Sheep rendition of “Praise the Lord and move the Ammunition.

August 15 marked the renewal of Admiral Halsey’s increase up the Solomons with an amphibious attack on Vella Lavella, basically 90 miles from Kahili airfield. now not unusually, the japanese counterattacked vigorously. The depth of the air battles over the principal Solomons dictated a strenuous time table of patrols and escort missions for the Swashbucklers, but they overlooked many of the occasions whereas different Corsair squadrons scored a number of victories—sometimes racking up as many as six or seven enemy planes every day.

Lots of water from damaged traces and firefighting efforts poured lower than decks. including planned flooding measures, the out of control weight brought on a perilous record to starboard. nationwide data the 1st week aboard USS Franklin used to be leisurely for the embarked air wing. nobody flew throughout the transit to Hawaii, because the carrier’s deck used to be filled with all demeanour of battle materiel. Offloading the shipment and replenishing beneficial offers at Pearl Harbor took one other days, and then Franklin obtained underway back for 2 weeks of workups.

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