*** In this new segment we will recommend an aviation related book once per month so that you all can enjoy great literature based around our favorite pastime.***
This month’s featured book is Black Sheep One. Its author is Bruce Gamble and features facts and useful details surrounding the life and legend of Major Greg Boyington, the commander of VMF 214 during World War II. Gamble is an American historian, and has written six books to date, including his 2014 release Invasion Rabaul: The Epic Story of Lark Force, the Forgotten Garrison, January-July 1942.
Gregory Boyington was born on December 4, 1912. He attended University of Washington in 1934 and received a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering (as I am working on at MSU). He worked at Boeing in Seattle for a short time before joining the United States Marine Corps. He went on to become the commanding officer of VMF 214. The Black Sheep ruled the skies above the Pacific during the latter part of the war; the F4U Corsairs they flew allowed them to dominate the air and defend American and Allied from aerial attack. Greg Boyington, known as “Pappy” because of his age difference from his men, went on to have 28 aerial victories.
Gamble’s book goes in-depth into the personal life and career of Greg Boyington, including many details that Boyington himself did not cover in his autobiography Baa Baa Black Sheep. Although not quite like the television show by the same name (of which it is based) truth can sometimes be weirder than fiction. Gamble does a good job of covering useful and intriguing details that truly add to the overall narrative surrounding the legendary exploits of Boyington and his band of black sheep.
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