Once They Were Eagles: The Men of the Black Sheep Squadron

Once They Were Eagles: The Men of the Black Sheep Squadron

by Frank Walton
     
 

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Marine Corps Fighter Squadron 214 was hastily organized in the field during World War II to meet the urgent need for another combat squadron in the South Pacific. The squadron, self-named the "Black Sheep," went on under the leadership of the swashbuckling "Pappy" Boyington to become the most famous in Marine Corps history. Now comes the true story of the Black

Overview

Marine Corps Fighter Squadron 214 was hastily organized in the field during World War II to meet the urgent need for another combat squadron in the South Pacific. The squadron, self-named the "Black Sheep," went on under the leadership of the swashbuckling "Pappy" Boyington to become the most famous in Marine Corps history. Now comes the true story of the Black Sheep Squadron and the men who wrote its record in the Pacific skies. Once They Were Eagles tells how and why the squadron was formed, provides brief sketches of every member, and creates a vivid picture of the exciting but deadly aerial sorties over the South Pacific. Frank E. Walton located the thirty-four survivors of the fifty-one original Black Sheep. In a unique series of interviews, former "Eagles" share their recollections of those days of high adventure and their experiences in the years to follow.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A study of immense value of how Marines battled the vaunted Japanese Zero and emerged victorious." — Leatherneck

"A fascinating study of the overnight development of a diverse group of American youth reacting with shock to the attack on Pearl Harbor." — Marine Corps Gazette

"A new and refreshing look at this truly remarkable fighter pilot — 'Pappy' Boyington — and his squadron." — Military History

Library Journal
For 84 days during World War II Marine Fighting Squadron 214 ranged over the South Pacific led by a hard-drinking but gifted pilot and tactician named Gregg ``Pappy'' Boyington. The ``Black Sheep,'' though well known at the time, have received only scant mention in military history (there was a highly fictional TV series in the 1970s). Walton was the 214's intelligence officer, knew all the principals personally, and recently contacted or interviewed the surviving 34 (out of 5l); vignettes of these make up the second half of the work. The first half, a unit history, is rather sketchy and anecdotal but vividly re-creates conditions under which the South Pacific war was fought; Walton's personal recollections and documents (in appendixes) are welcome. An enjoyable book, long overdue for World War II aviation buffs. Mel D. Lane, Sacramento, Cal.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813108759
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
12/28/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
232
Sales rank:
786,400
Product dimensions:
6.04(w) x 9.03(h) x 0.60(d)

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