World War II Aces Memorabilia Lot Pertaining to Famed Marine Corps Ace Gregory "Pappy" Boyington and

Currency:USD Category:Firearms & Military Start Price:5,000.00 USD Estimated At:10,000.00 - 20,000.00 USD
World War II Aces Memorabilia Lot Pertaining to Famed Marine Corps Ace Gregory  Pappy  Boyington and
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World War II Aces Memorabilia Lot Pertaining to Famed Marine Corps Ace Gregory "Pappy" Boyington and the Japanese Ace Once Credited for Shooting Him Down

This is a unique offering of a World War II fighter pilot memorabilia connected to famed Marine Corps ace Gregory "Pappy" Boyington and the Japanese fighter pilot, Masajiro "Mike" Kawato, who claimed to have shot Pappy down during WWII. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington (December 4, 1912-January 11, 1988) was a U.S. Marine Corps fighter ace during World War II and a recipient of the Medal of Honor and Navy Cross. He initially flew combat missions with the famous American Volunteer Group--better known as the Flying Tigers--in the Republic of China Air Force prior to American involvement in WWII and would later go on to command the fighter squadron VMF-214 "the Black Sheep" during WWII. He is most famous for his exploits flying the Vought F4U Corsair in VMF-214 that would become "Hollywoodized" in the mid-1970s television show "Baa Baa Black Sheep" staring Robert Conrad as Boyington. Taking command of VMF-214 at the age of 31 made Boyington a decade older than most of his men in the squadron, which earned him the nickname "Gramps" and later "Pappy." Members of VMF-214 saw intensive combat in the Russell Islands-New Georgia and Bougainville-New Britain-New Ireland areas. Boyington quickly "racked up" the kills as CO of the squadron. He received his last aerial victory on January 3, 1944 but was also shot down on the same day and was captured by the Japanese. Boyington spent the rest of WWII as a prisoner of war. (There is a debate on the matter pertaining to the number of total kills that should be awarded to Boyington. Here, at RIAC we understand that the number has been 22, 26 and 28 and we will allow you to make the final determination, so please do not call or write giving us a dissertation on the "accurate" number.) Years later Masajiro "Mike" Kawato, a then 18 year old Japanese Navy A6M Zeke (Zero) ace, claimed that he shot Boyington down. Kawato achieved 19 aerial victories and was shot down 5 times, the last time ended with him being a POW. After the war Boyington and Kawato authored books about their combat experiences and participated in a number of public appearances together. (It should be noted that although Kawato was involved in Japanese action during the mission in which Boyington was shot down, Kawato's claim of shooting down Pappy has been disproved.) The first item is this lot is a VMF-214 squadron patch that once belonged to Gregory "Pappy" Boyington. The embroidered patch has the well defined lines of the Corsair frontal silhouette, black sheep and star pattern that has become one of the most recognizable squadron insignias of WWII. The included October 26, 1976 dated letter from the President Emeritus of the International Aerospace Hall of Fame confirms that the patch is that of VMF-214 and the patch was given to the IAHF by Mrs. Dolores Viski, Gregory Boyington's ex-wife. The second item in this lot is Pappy's autobiography, BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP, which is signed by the ace: "Dec 11, 1976/To David Marshall-/With best wishes,/Pappy Boyington." The hardback book is dated 1958 and is the 17th printing. The third item in this lot is Mike Kawato's autobiography, FLIGHT INTO CONQUEST, which he has signed: "May 28 1979./To David Marshall/[Japanese script]/Best wishes/Mike Kawato/[Japanese script]." The paperback book is dated 1978 and is the 2nd printing. The third item is a 19 1/2" x 23 1/2" print, "Greg "Pappy" Boyington's Last Flight." The print is signed like the book but with the date "Nov. 1979."

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The patch is very fine showing some speckling of discoloration at the top and bottom. The stitching remains tight with a well defined squadron logo. Both books are very fine showing below average wear for their age. The print is fine showing some speckling of discoloration. A unique opportunity to acquire memorabilia from two famous WWII aces involved on both sides of the conflict.