To Tell the Truth -- Greg "Pappy" Boyington

BlackSheep

Senior Airman
436
445
May 31, 2018
Love that old show, lol.

As a young aspiring “Ace”, I had the pleasure of speaking with Pappy at the old Champlin Fighter Muesum in Mesa, Az.

At the time of the meet and greet , the museum had a P-40, a mid-war F4U and an F2G-1 Super Corsair with Pappy in front of the P-40. He was kept busy telling stories and answering questions.
An interesting character, he was present at several interesting points of the war in the Pacific, including his time with the Flying Tigers, commanding the Black Sheep Squadron, had a POW’s view of the USN attack on Truk, was in the same POW camp as Louis.Zamperini “Unbroken”, and last but not least and probably appropriately was in Time magazine’s first picture that depicted people drinking alcohol.

My biggest regret from my all too brief meeting with him is that I wasn’t informed enough, at the time, to wonder about and ask his opinion of the F2G-1 sitting near us, 😆. As the kind of pilot that comes to mind when you think of Aces, I’d be willing to bet he would have said had he flown a Super Corsair, his score would have doubled. RIP
BTW, don’t forget Medal of Honor recipient when you think of him.

Edit: Just because I find it interesting…. Doug Champlin, owner of the museum, acquired the Super Corsair from the Marine Museum at Quantico. The marines traded the Super Corsair AND a Skyraider (my two fav single prop planes) to him in exchange for his Dauntless SBD dive bomber. While I like and have deep respect for the Dauntless, I’ve got to say Is take that trade any day, 😂.
 
Last edited:

PBPICS

Airman
72
74
Aug 17, 2022
BlackSheep BlackSheep I was a mere pup, 6 years young, when this episode aired in 1955. My parents and I watched the show religiously. I don’t remember this particular show but I do know who Pappy Boyington was and I also know of Zamperini.

You’ve awakened some memories of WW2 vets I’ve known over the years. My career working for a major tv broadcast network in New York as a cameraman gave me opportunities to meet people with “the Right Stuff”, like CMH recipient, Chuck Yeager. It was an honor to not only “film” his interview but to, like you, have a personal conversation. That ranks way up on my list of amazing people that I was privileged to meet.

I had a different sort of experience learning that a personal friend had been a rear seat gunner on a dive bomber in the Pacific. He asked me if I knew where he could get some gun camera footage transferred to video. I asked him what the footage depicted? Charles was one of the most humble of people so he just kinda glossed over what the significance of the footage was. He told me it was “just some flyover film”. I had to drag the info out of him…flyover of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay during the Japanese surrender ceremony. It was at that point that I asked him who shot the film and he admitted that he did. The logical leap for a tv news guy…so…you were a? … rear seat gunner? OMG! You’re a freaking hero! Charles responded with his typical humbling approach..”no I’m not a hero, I just did what everyone else did.”

Two experiences linked through history and aviation.
 

special ed

Senior Master Sergeant
3,404
7,040
May 13, 2018
I was fortunate to meet Greg Boyington, George Gay and Paul Tibbets at airshows. While in the USAF, I met Greg Boyington, Jr. and Claire Channault's son. When I was young, I met lots of WW2 vets, including some who had done notable things, and so it appeared normal. I did not take pictures because the film was for the airplanes. I do have a picture of the new F-105B that Maj. Channault landed in 1960.
 

BlackSheep

Senior Airman
436
445
May 31, 2018
I was fortunate to meet Greg Boyington, George Gay and Paul Tibbets at airshows. While in the USAF, I met Greg Boyington, Jr. and Claire Channault's son. When I was young, I met lots of WW2 vets, including some who had done notable things, and so it appeared normal. I did not take pictures because the film was for the airplanes. I do have a picture of the new F-105B that Maj. Channault landed in 1960.
BlackSheep BlackSheep I was a mere pup, 6 years young, when this episode aired in 1955. My parents and I watched the show religiously. I don’t remember this particular show but I do know who Pappy Boyington was and I also know of Zamperini.

You’ve awakened some memories of WW2 vets I’ve known over the years. My career working for a major tv broadcast network in New York as a cameraman gave me opportunities to meet people with “the Right Stuff”, like CMH recipient, Chuck Yeager. It was an honor to not only “film” his interview but to, like you, have a personal conversation. That ranks way up on my list of amazing people that I was privileged to meet.

I had a different sort of experience learning that a personal friend had been a rear seat gunner on a dive bomber in the Pacific. He asked me if I knew where he could get some gun camera footage transferred to video. I asked him what the footage depicted? Charles was one of the most humble of people so he just kinda glossed over what the significance of the footage was. He told me it was “just some flyover film”. I had to drag the info out of him…flyover of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay during the Japanese surrender ceremony. It was at that point that I asked him who shot the film and he admitted that he did. The logical leap for a tv news guy…so…you were a? … rear seat gunner? OMG! You’re a freaking hero! Charles responded with his typical humbling approach..”no I’m not a hero, I just did what everyone else did.”

Two experiences linked through history and aviation.
Truly awesome! Can you imagine how he felt flying over with the other hundreds of planes, just completely crushing Japanese spirit.

JNAF General: How many J2Ms did you make this month?
Factory: 16 of our glorious fighters, sir!

American Carrier Captain: I need a couple Hellcats to replace losses..

Plane depot: No can do, Sir, only send them out 12 at a time!
 

Users who are viewing this thread