On the evening of September 13, 1943, twenty-eight young men gathered in a tent located somewhere in the Pacific. One of those men was Gregory Boyington. The other twenty-seven were all freelance pilots that had never been attached to a squadron and had never been given a proper chance to show off their talents. “Pappy” Boyington had hand picked each one. Together, they were a group of misfits and drunks hell bent on a making difference in the world.
Their task on this evening was to come up with a squadron name. After hours of drinking and arguing, they decided on “Boyington’s Bastards” and relayed their choice to the local Marine Corps public information officer. The idea was instantly shot down as being too crude and the squad was labeled as the “Black Sheep.” The name stuck.
The Black Sheep went on to gather a number of ill-prepared and flat broken F4U Corsairs to use as their killing machines. They tuned to them to perfection and went to war for 84 days. After the smoke had cleared, the Bastards had piled up a record of 203 enemy planes destroyed or damaged, produced eight aces with 97 confirmed air-to-air kills, sank several troop transports and supply ships, destroyed many installations, in addition to numerous other victories. For their actions, the original 27 were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism in action. Legend goes, most of the men were too busy drinking to accept the award in person.
Looking back at such a story gives a person a certain feeling of grit. Those men took what they had, made it better… made it the best… and then went into combat with an air of attitude that can’t be explained. Consequence wasn’t a factor.
Take all of that and bottle it up. That’s DOGFIGHT Magazine.
DOGFIGHT Magazine is a part of the Atomic Network of communities where editorial is not for sale. We focus on speed and power with little to no regard for history or precedence.