Black Sheep Squadron

NBC (ended 1978)



User Score: 405

Black Sheep Squadron
out of 10
User Rating
180 votes

By Users

Show Summary

Loosely based on the memoirs of Major Greg "Pappy" Boyington who led one of the most famous Marine Corps fighter squadrons of World War 2: Fighting Squadron 214, nicknamed the "Black Sheep" squadron. Based in the South Pacific, the rag-tag Corsair flying misfits is led by "Pappy" Boyington. The opening credits read: In World War II Marine Corps Major Greg "Pappy" Boyington commanded a squadron of fighter pilots. They were a collection of misfits and screwballs who became the terrors of the South Pacific. They were known as the Black Sheep Squadron.

James Whitmore Jr.

James Whitmore Jr.

Capt. James "Jim" W. Gutterman

John Larroquette

John Larroquette

2nd Lt. Robert "Bob" Anderson

Red West

Red West

Sgt. Andy Micklin

Simon Oakland

Simon Oakland

Gen. Thomas Moore

Larry Manetti

Larry Manetti

Lt. Robert "Bobby" Boyle

Nancy Conrad

Nancy Conrad

Nurse Nancy Gilmore

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  • You are the trash JimC39

    Quote: This show was so FULL of crap it boggles the mind. Boyington was a drunk third rate pilot and an utter jackass. And any relation to the real military is completely forgotten in this lousy excuse for a tv show. Get out the Air Wick. P U - JimC39

    Greg Boyington is a Medal of Honor recipient. His citation read as follows,

    For extraordinary heroism above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of Marine Fighting Squadron TWO FOURTEEN in action against enemy Japanese forces in Central Solomons Area from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944. Consistently outnumbered throughout successive hazardous flights over heavily defended hostile territory, Major Boyington struck at the enemy with daring and courageous persistence, leading his squadron into combat with devastating results to Japanese shipping, shore installations and aerial forces. Resolute in his efforts to inflict crippling damage on the enemy, Major Boyington led a formation of twenty-four fighters over Kahili on 17 October and, persistently circling the airdrome where sixty hostile aircraft were grounded, boldly challenged the Japanese to send up planes. Under his brilliant command, our fighters shot down twenty enemy craft in the ensuing action without the loss of a single ship. A superb airman and determined fighter against overwhelming odds, Major Boyington personally destroyed 26 of the many Japanese planes shot down by his squadron and by his forceful leadership developed the combat readiness in his command which was a distinctive factor in the Allied aerial achievements in this vitally strategic area. - Harry S. Truman

    So I ask you JimC39, What have you done for your country, equal to in any manner, that permits you to speak ill of a Hero of every United States Marine, including this one.moreless
  • Trashmen, where are they when you really need them?

    This show was so FULL of crap it boggles the mind. Boyington was a drunk third rate pilot and an utter jackass. And any relation to the real military is completely forgotten in this lousy excuse for a tv show. Get out the Air Wick. P U
  • Read the books...

    For one, there is no "Congressional Medal of Honor," and it is not "Won," it is received- it's not a lottery, ladies.

    Given the context of the times (post-Vietnam, mid-1970s rabid hatred of and disrespect towards the military), at least the show is vaguely pro-American, but if you read the real story in books like "Once They Were Eagles" by VMF 214 veteran Frank Lawton, you see why the real Black Sheep were outraged that Boyington took Hollywood's money to trivialize their story.

    These men were serious professionals, but the show makes them out to be insubordinate drunkards. And if one actually speaks to a real live WW Two Pacific theater Veteran, the idea that they had beautiful nurses in skin tight polyester flight suits at their beck and call ("Pappy's Lambs"), is obscene.

    Boyington was not suave, tall and handsome like Robert Conrad, he was an angry, alcoholic bastard, short and stocky- actually the actor who plays "Lt French" looks more like him, short, pudgy, stocky. Boyington was hardly a smooth leading man type like Conrad, but he was a good leader and great pilot who welded men into a winning team.

    As a veteran, watching these Hollywood pretty boys in tailored polyester 1970s disco jumpsuits and ragged hair more appropriate to Woodstock, it's painful to watch- but when I suspend my disbelief and watch it like the 10-year-old kid I was back in 1979, it can be fun.

    I should cut it a break in that, given that most 1970s TV and movies portrayed service men and veterans as druggies, alcoholics, wife beaters, ticking bombs, this was, for the time- a semi-positive portrayal of the military.

    If you are interested in the true story, start with Walton's book, he was there.moreless
  • The story of Congressional Medal of Honor winner, Gregory "Pappy" Boyington sanitized for weekly television.

    Based on the true story of World War II hero Greg "Pappy" Boyington, and Marine fighter squadron VMF-214 aka "The Blacksheep" Black Sheep Squadron took quite a few liberties with the truth on its way to making an interesting show that the family could watch together.

    With Robert Conrad playing lead, the show featured an ensamble cast in its weekly fight against both the Japanese and the tightly run Marine hierarchy. Most episodes featured at least some combat filmed with the real live F4U Corsairs, the venerable WWII fighter the Japanese called "The Whisling Death" all filmed in glorious color. Just watching those planes fly a few minutes out of every hour is almost worth sitting through some of the silly stories.

    Overall, the series was good but aimed mostly at kids. It's too bad because Pappy Boyington's real story, his struggle with alcoholism and his time as a prisoner of war in Japanese hands, has far more real drama in it than series TV would allow. This is ripe for a serious re-make by HBO that could really take it to the next level.moreless
  • This was a pretty good television series about a group of fighter pilots.

    This was a pretty good television series. As is normal with good television shows, this one did not last long enough. This is a show that I would suggest watching if you get the chance. Check the bargain bins at Wal-Mart, the online movies sites ( and such) and all of the cable channels that run old shows. Nick at Nite and TV Land are great for theses kind of shows. They will even do a week long spot for shows that only had 6 or so episodes. Then you have your super stations. They run a bunch of old shows too. All in all a pretty good show that did not get a good enough chance. Sometimes it is a simple as the show it is up against. Look at Law & Order. It is one of the longest running shows on TV. They moved it to go up against Lost. After about 2 weeks of getting pounded in the ratings it was moved back to it's original time slot. Shows like this should be given more of an opportunity.moreless
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