Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Gregory “Pappy” Boyington

  • Was a member of ROTC while at the University of Washington. Upon graduating with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1934, he served with the Coast Artillery Reserve in Washington State and also worked as a draftsman in Tacoma, Washington at Boeing Aircraft.
  • Was designated a Naval Aviator flying for the Marine Corp in San Diego in 1937.
  • Joined the American Volunteer Group (which became known as the “Flying Tigers”) in 1941 to defend the China/Burma road from Japanese Aggression.  He became an ace in the Flying Tigers with 6 victories.
  • Rejoined the Marine Corp once the United States entered World War II and was assigned the position of Commanding Officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 214- a group which was popularly coined the “Black Sheep” squadron.
  • During World War II, Col. Boyington fearlessly downed 22 enemy aircraft over the Solomon Islands, leading his squadron with the destruction of 126 aircraft over the course of 9 months of continuous combat.
  • In 1944, he was presumed dead and awarded the Medal of Honor by President Roosevelt. However, he was alive and being held in a Japanese prison which was liberated at the end of the war. Boyington was able to receive the award in person in 1945 from President Truman.

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