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January 11: On this Day in Aviation History

January 11: On this Day in Aviation History

1988 – The death of Gregory “Pappy” Boyington.

Born on December 4, 1912 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Boyington began his military flying career as an aviation cadet in the US Marine Corps Reserve before resigning his commission to fly with the American Volunteer Group , better known as the Flying Tigers, fighting for Nationalist China against the Japanese. Returning to the USMC in 1942 at the rank of major, Boyington became famous as the commander of VMF-214, AKA, the Black Sheep, a squadron flying the F4U Corsair in the Pacific. In January 1944, Boyington tied the record of famed WWI ace Eddie Rickenbacker with 26 victories, but was then shot down and ended the war as a POW. Following the war, Boyington received the Navy Cross and the Congressional Medal of Honor.

(US Navy photo)

Updated: January 10, 2019 — 3:05 PM

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