Hand signed and numbered by Jim Laurier|
Limited edition from a sold out publication.
Overall size: 23" x 31"
Image size: 20 1/2" x 25"
Includes the certificate of authenticity.
Major Greg Boyington was the enigmatic leader of Marine Squadron VMF-214 during World War Two. VMF-214 adopted the name "Black Sheep" squadron because it was originally comprised of unassigned pilots. Many Black Sheep pilots called Boyington "Gramps", but somehow the nickname "Pappy" was introduced, and once the press and American public heard it, the moniker stuck. When Pappy was "encouraged" to leave the Marine Corps early in his career, he joined the American Volunteer Group (A.V.G.) a.k.a. The Flying Tigers. After serving with that group in China briefly, he quit and returned to the U.S. to try to fly with the Marines again. Pappy was initially given command of Marine Squadron VMF-122 at Guadalcanal. Then, on Sept 7, 1943, under Pappy's command, VMF-214 officially began it's first combat tour at Munda, on the island of New Georgia. He led this squadron on two successful tours until he was shot down in January of 1944. Pappy Boyington was an aggressive and competitive individual and often liked to challenge others to a wrestling match or some other form of competition. He smoked a lot of cigarettes, and sometimes drank to excess and for a good part of his life he struggled with the consequences of these vices. Black Sheep pilots respected Pappy's natural ability as a fighter pilot and felt confident when they flew into combat with him. In the air he seemed to possess an uncanny sense of timing and his situational awareness gave him a great advantage in dogfights. He was officially credited with 26 aerial victories and was awarded the Medal Of Honor. He was shot down on January 3rd, 1944 in an uneven battle against numerous Mitsubishi Zero fighters and he spent the remainder of the war in a Japanese prison camp. After the war, his fortunes swung from high to low and back again, but he seemed to always land on his feet, ready for another fight. In 1976 Hollywood made a television series about Pappy and VMF-214 called "Black Sheep Squadron" which aired 36 episodes. He was loved by many, disliked by some, but respected by all who knew him, including his Japanese captors, who afforded him the privileges reserved for honorable warriors. He was an individualist, yet he cared deeply for the men who served with him. He was one of the most unconventional Marines in the Corps, a distinction that earned him yet another title - "Black Sheep One". Greg Boyington passed away on January 11, 1988 at the age of seventy-five. What makes him so memorable is not so much his 26 combat victories, but his character and his brash approach to life. He was daring, stubbornly independent, and beautifully defiant. He embodied many of the ideals that have made America's history so rich and unique. He is truly unforgettable.Signatures:Glen BOWERS