Swashbucklers and Black Sheep: A Pictorial History of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in World War II

Swashbucklers and Black Sheep: A Pictorial History of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in World War II

by Bruce Gamble
     
 

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“A stunning portrait of incredibly courageous men and their awesome flying machines.”
—Alex Kershaw, author of The Few

Marine Fighting Squadron (VMF) 214 is the world’s most famous fighter squadron. Its second wartime squadron commander was the legendary Greg “Pappy” Boyington. Boyington and the squadron were the

Overview

“A stunning portrait of incredibly courageous men and their awesome flying machines.”
—Alex Kershaw, author of The Few

Marine Fighting Squadron (VMF) 214 is the world’s most famous fighter squadron. Its second wartime squadron commander was the legendary Greg “Pappy” Boyington. Boyington and the squadron were the loose inspiration for the late-seventies NBC television series Baa Baa Black Sheep, which was later syndicated under the name Black Sheep Squadron.

Swashbucklers and Black Sheep is a comprehensive illustrated history of the squadron from its formation and first two combat tours on Guadalcanal as the Swashbucklers, which included their transition to the iconic gull-winged Corsair, to the arrival of their second commander, Pappy Boyington, after which they became the Black Sheep. The squadron’s combat over Bougainville and Rabaul and the story of Boyington being shot down are covered, as are the squadron’s exploits in the latter part of the war (while Boyington was a POW), which culminated in the heavy losses suffered aboard the carrier USS Franklin. The squadron’s service in Korea, Vietnam, and the Global War on Terror complete the storied history of VMF 214.

In addition to a rich collection of historical photography, Swashbucklers and Black Sheep features combat aviation artwork from four of America’s top aviation artists: John Shaw, Jim Laurier, Craig Kodera, and Bob Rasmussen.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"... a comprehensive illustrated history of the squadron..." - Pacific Flyer

"This is an excellent book appropriately produced during the Marine Corps Aviation Centennial. The photographs and text pay tribute to a proud squadron, its history and to the men who served in it since 1942. This is a book Marine Corp fans will enjoy." - Tailhook Association Magazine The Hook

"When we're still learning things about the Civil War 150 years later, it should be little surprise to find new material from World War II. But Bruce Gamble's fabulous treatment of the Black Sheep sets a new standard for 'above and beyond' his previous definitive treatments of VMF-214. Combining insightful text with a fabulous collection of photos and high-quality art, this book raises the bar in a field that routinely sees new material and fresh interpretations. An absolute treasure." - Barrett Tillman, author of Enterprise:America’s Fightingest Ship and the Men Who Helped Win World War

"Overall the book is large and visually appealing. The tight, yet informative, prose weaves the pictures and artwork into a compelling story about one of the United States’ most famous squadrons. It is not an academic text, so the serious researcher will have to look to Gamble’s other books for period or squadron detail. It is, however, a great addition to any reader’s coffee table." - Air Power History

"...a magnificent account of the most famous U.S. Marine squadron of the second world war. It is a delight to own, to look at, and (best of all) to read. And since Gamble is first of all an author, the text isn’t just an afterthought, it’s a well-written history of VMF-214, both before and after the squadron became famous." - Smithsonian Air & Space magazine"

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780760342503
Publisher:
Zenith Press
Publication date:
09/15/2012
Edition description:
First
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
9.70(w) x 11.20(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"When we're still learning things about the Civil War 150 years later, it should be little surprise to find new material from World War II. But Bruce Gamble's fabulous treatment of the Black Sheep sets a new standard for 'above and beyond' his previous definitive treatments of VMF-214. Combining insightful text with a fabulous collection of photos and high-quality art, this book raises the bar in a field that routinely sees new material and fresh interpretations.  An absolute treasure." -  Barrett Tillman, author of Enterprise:America’s Fightingest Ship and the Men Who Helped Win World War

Meet the Author

Bruce Gamble is a retired naval flight officer and a former historian with the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. He is the author of several critically acclaimed books about the Pacific War: Swashbucklers and Black Sheep (2012), an illustrated combat history of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in the Pacific; Black Sheep One, the definitive biography of Greg "Pappy" Boyington; Invasion Rabaul, the first book of the Rabaul trilogy; and Fortress Rabaul, the second book of the Rabaul trilogy. Bruce lives near Panama City, Florida. For more, visit www.brucegamble.com

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