Black Sheep Squadron

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NBC (ended 1978)

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Black Sheep Squadron Fan Reviews (6)

8.2
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177 votes
  • Read the books...

    7.0
    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.
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