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Pappy Boyington and the Buffalo

By Pappy Boyington: Baa Baa Black Sheep, an autobiography of sorts; and Tonya, a fictional send-up of the Flying Tigers.

By Bruce Gamble: The Black Sheep: The Definitive Account of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in World War II; and Black Sheep One: The Life of Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, a superlative biography. (Click on the title to order)

(From a post on rec.aviation.military)

In October, 1977, I had the privilege and honor to have a few fairly lengthy conversations in a relativly private atmosphere with Greg Boyington. He seemed a hard, inwardly angry man. By this I mean, he never had it easy and this came through in his demeanor. His speech was rather gruff, he rarely spoke unless spoken to first and his answers to questions came quickly, brusquely and to the point. He had no qualms about his liking of alcohol, constantly nursing beers as we spoke. Coors, as I recall.

I remember asking him about the Brewster Buffalo (Then, Now and Always, my favorite aircraft). I had no sooner finished saying the word 'Buffalo', when he slammed his beer can down on the table, and practicaly snarled, "It was a DOG!" (His emphasis). Then he slowly leaned back in his chair and after a moment quietly said, "But the early models, before they weighed it all down with armorplate, radios and other shit, they were pretty sweet little ships. Not real fast, but the little fucks could turn and roll in a phonebooth. Oh yeah--sweet little ship; but some engineer went and fucked it up." With that he reached for his beer and was silent again. After that answer, I somehow had the feeling that I had just gotten a glimpse into Boyington's attitude towards life in general.

Just thought I'd mention it -- Rick West

Other files about Boyington:

Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford