Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 1
11 Jan 1988 2

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Personal Details

Also known as:
Pappy--he was older, 31, than his men in the “Black Sheep Squadron” during WWII. 2
Full Name:
Gregory Boyington 3
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 2
04 Dec 1912 3
11 Jan 1988 3
Burial Place: Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, DC 2
Last Residence: Fresno, CA 3

World War II 1

Service Start Date:
Service End Date:
Employer: Boeing Aircraft Company of Seattle 4
Start Date: 1935 4
Institution: University of Washington 4
Place: Seattle, Washington 4
From: 1930 4
To: 1934 4
Award: American Defense Service Medal 4
Award: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal 4
Award: American Campaign Medal 4
Award: World War II Victory Medal 4
Navy Cross: 04 Oct 1945 4
Congressional Medal of Honor:
Date Awarded: 05 Oct 1945 4
Date of Action: September 12, 1943 to January 3, 1944 4
Place: Central Solomon Islands 4
Rank and Organization: Major, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Squadron 214 4
Attack on Kahili airdome, Bougainville:
17 Oct 1943 4
Fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal:
April 1943 4
Headed the Allied fighter sweep over Rabaul:
17 Dec 1943 4
Passed American record, shooting down 28th plane:
03 Jan 1944 4
Record of 25 enemy planes shot down:
27 Dec 1943 4
Became 1st Lieutenant in Marine Corps:
04 Nov 1940 4
Became 2nd Lieutenant in Marine Corps:
01 Jul 1937 4
Became aviation cadet:
18 Feb 1936 4
Became Naval Aviator #5160:
11 Mar 1937 4
Enlisted in the Volunteer Marine Corps Reserve:
13 Jun 1935 4
Retired from the Marine Corps:
01 Aug 1947 4
Stationed 1936, Naval Air Station:
Pensacola, Florida 4
Prisoner of War:
Duration of Prison Sentence: 20 Months 4
Liberated from the Omori Prison Camp, Tokyo area: 29 Aug 1945 4
Shot down by enemy fire: 03 Jan 1944 4
Shot down over: Rabaul 4
Social Security:
Social Security Number: ***-**-2503 3
The American Volunteer Group:
Japanese planes destroyed: 6 4
Nickname: Flying Tigers 4
Pappy Volunteered: 26 Aug 1941 4
Place: China 4
Quit the AVG: April 1942 4
World War II:
Accepted position as 1st Lieutenant: Naval Air Station, San Diego, California 4
First Combat tour with “Black Sheep Squadron”: Shot down 14 enemy planes in 32 days 4
Position: Major and Commanding Officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 214, aka “Black Sheep Squadron” 4

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Medal of Honor Citation

Washington, DC


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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