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Black Sheep Squadron

Discussion in 'Air War in the Pacific' started by CAC, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    This may have already been posted, but does anyone remember the 1970s tv show Blacksheep squadron? (Was that what it was called?) - It started from memory with the crew singing "We are poor little lambs, who have lost our way, bah bah bah....then an air raid sound would start off then the inevitable snare drum...Followed Pappy Boyington in VMF-214 black sheep squadron. Showed awesome shots of corsairs diving, contrails at low atitude as it swoops down on a zero or straffing the ground. Does anyone actually rememnber this show? Did you thikn it was awesome? (One of the things that got me into WW2 and aircraft).
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    I do remember the show. It was called Baa Baa Black Sheep originally, then became Black Sheep Squadron when it went into syndication. I don't think I ever really watched it as I was already a family man with two young kids and not much TV time. Here's a link to the episodes. Black Sheep Squadron (TV Series 1976–1978) - IMDb
     
  3. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Wow...all those faces coming back to me...thanks mate.
     
  4. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Most of it is available on DVD now. They call them "Black Sheep Squadron", "Part 1" and "Part 2". I think its worthwhile purchasing. From what I gather, sales weren't that good so they canned the dvd set released before the last part ("Part 3") was made available. Still, they make for some good entertainment.
     
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    The first season was pretty good, the producers actually seemed to try to pay some lipservice to accuracy. By the second year, it wallowed in 70s beefcake & T&A and was downright pathetic. Even as a 14 yo, I had quit watching it by then.
     
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  6. SymphonicPoet

    SymphonicPoet Member

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    I don't remember it well, but I watched it for a little while and my father talked about Boyington. It did help introduce me to the F4U. As did airshows my grandfather took me to. He's quite fond of F4Us and also P-38s, oddly. I think he saw a fair number of both. (Note: His affinity for P-38s surprises me only because he is such a die hard marine.)
     
  7. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    The successor to the Marine squadron depicted, VMF-214, was on the Franklin (CV-13) when she was hit by one or two Japanese bombs in March of 1945, 50 miles off the coast of Japan. Most of the aircrew from VMF-214 perished in the attack or subsequent fires.

    VMF-214 had been disbanded and restablished between the fighting in Solomons and the later years of the war.
     
  8. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Thanks Slipdigit...I think........Thats bad bloody news! Boyington was captured wasn't he?
    Oh and a 14 year old boy turning off the T&A? WTF?
     
  9. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    The less than flattering way the television show portrayed the men of the Black Sheep Squadron - as a bunch of drunken, brawling fugitives from courts-martial - inspired former VMF 214 intelligence officer Frank Walton to write the book "Once They Were Eagles". The second half of the book gives a 'forty years later' look at many of the members of the squadron, who had gone on to become successful in a variety of professions - a far cry from the bums and misfits label placed on them by the TV show.
     
  10. Lady Prime

    Lady Prime Member

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    This is one of my favorite shows on TV when I was very young however in my opinion the show was Hollywood-ized. Robert Conrad and John Laroquette were in the show-the one thing I loved most about the show myself was the Corsairs that were flown. They were a sight to see..and there was one show that showed Boyington himself as a general or something (Boyington was an advisor I think in the credits). Although I loved the show immensely, Hollywood probably put their exaggeratory touch on the situation instead of telling the true story like they should have.
     
  11. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    The aircraft were the only reason I watched the show. They were beautiful indeed.
     
  12. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Yes, he was shot down, captured and awarded the MoH posthumously. That was revised as a living award after he was discovered to be alive in a POW camp. Boyington was a "bad boy", but he was the exception in the real Black Sheep Squadron, not the rule. The most of them were outstanding personalities, but not so "Pappy". He always seemed to be about one step ahead of an arrest, in or out of the military.
     
  13. ResearcherAtLarge

    ResearcherAtLarge Member

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    A similar thing happened with Tommy Blackburn's VF-17 Jolly Rogers, except they reformed as VF-84 (many of the same members as the original VF-17) and were on Bunker Hill when she was hit: VF-84 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Like Boyington, VF-17's CO was hard charging and had problems with alcoholism that hurt his career, at least according to what he alluded to in his book.
    Tom Blackburn - C.O. of Jolly Rogers, Fighting Squadron 17 (VF-17) in WW2
     
  14. vudakota

    vudakota recruit

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    The description of the inferno on CV-13 that killed so many of the aircrew is harrowing to read. I went to Archives II to find out why my dad was somewhere where he could jump into the sea, instead of being below with the others. In the course of that investigation I found his name on the list of survivors picked up by a destroyer. I was able to track down the other Marines picked up with him. Their answers to why they were topside were fascinating. One had ducked in a doorway to have a smoke before going below. Another had been delayed because a pilot had trouble getting his Corsair launched. Most of the unit's planes were flying air patrol that morning. Some pilots, not scheduled or not able to fly were in the ready room and suffered injuries but none fatal. Survivors were taken back to the states. The uninjured ones had a formal photo taken when they got to El Centro. It is my understanding that the pilots were absorbed into other units and the air crewmen were retrained. One of the survivors was killed in the infamous Lost Patrol of the Bermuda Triangle. This third reconstitution of the Black Sheep did not see much combat since the Franklin left SF with them on board in early Feb 1945, stopped for a bit in Hawaii and was hit on 19 March 1945.
     
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  15. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Strangely enough, I loved the show. I will always love the language used to depict certain enemy pilots like--Rice ball, Washing-Machine Charlie. One thing I loved most about it was that Pappy himself was in a couple of episodes. I always did like Simon Oakland and the others--ESPECIALLY that "Seegar-chewin'-College-boy-hatin-Sergeant Micklin". Red West was great as the Sarge.

    PS, does anyone know if the pilot for the series: The Flying Misfits, was included in the DvD set????? If so? im buying the series.
     
  16. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    it was the most expensive tv series of the 70s. couldn't have lasted long.
     
  17. ResearcherAtLarge

    ResearcherAtLarge Member

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    I posted a damage report for CV-13 published after the war. It discusses the bombing here, and the damage throughout the report. Damage plates 2 and 3 show the position of the TYPE of aircraft, albeit not which squadron, so it's only a guess as to where precisely VMF-214's planes were, at least from that report. Other sources may list it.
     
  18. Lippert

    Lippert Member

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  19. Melkc

    Melkc Member

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    I loved that show. I think a friend and I even wrote letters to the network when they said it was going to be canceled. Hey, I was a kid and, evidently, quite a geek! :eh:
     
  20. mcalvert

    mcalvert recruit

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    As a child who was infatuated with WWII, the series appealed to me greatly.

    It does take a lot of liberties with historical accuracy.

    BTW... my uncle knew Pappy. My uncle was an Air Force veteran who attended the airshow at Oshkosh, WI just about every year from the early 70's until the 90's when he was unable to make the trip any longer. He met Pappy there early on, before the series came out, and they always got together and talked whenever they were both there.

    My uncle later built a radio controlled F4U, painted it up like Lulubelle and put the #86 on it. He showed it to Pappy and asked him if he wanted to give a try at flying it. He declined and made some remark about how he'd hate to crash such a nice looking aircraft.
     

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