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This index card has been personally autographed by the leader of the Black Sheep Squadron, Pappy Boyington.  The 'Black Sheep' squadron was commissioned as Marine Fighter Squadron 214 in 1942, at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Initially called the 'Swashbucklers,' the squadron was moved to Turtle Bay Airfield on Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides in August 1942. There, Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington (Medal of Honor, Navy Cross) took command of the 27 pilots that became the original 'Black Sheep' of VMF-214. From Espiritu Santo the squadron was moved forward to Guadalcanal and Henderson Airfield in the Solomon Islands. From Guadalcanal they would be moved to Munda and Vella Lavella.

The Black Sheep squadron fought for 84 days. They met the Japanese over their own fields and territory, piled up a record of 203 planes destroyed or damaged, produced nine fighter aces with 97 confirmed air-to-air kills, sank several troop transports and supply ships, destroyed many installations, and notched numerous other victories. The original Black Sheep were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism in action. After their first combat tour, 26 pilots from the squadron left the airfield at Munda for a week of rest and relaxation in Sydney, Australia, where they holed up in the Australia Hotel.

The Black Sheep ended their second combat tour on 8 January 1944, five days after Major Boyington was shot down and captured by the Japanese. The original Black Sheep were disbanded and the pilots were placed in the pilot pool in Marine Aircraft Group 11. Exploits of this incarnation of the unit were loosely fictionalized in the 1970s television series Baa Baa Black Sheep, later renamed Black Sheep Squadron, starring Robert Conrad as Boyington.

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