Read Baa Baa Black Sheep by Gregory Boyington Online


The World War II air war in the Pacific needed tough men like Colonel Pappy Boyington and his Black Sheep Squadron. The legendary Marine Corps officer and his bunch of misfits, outcasts, and daredevils gave new definition to "hell-raising" - on the ground and in the skies.Pappy himself was a living legend - he personally shot down 28 Japanese planes, and won the CongressioThe World War II air war in the Pacific needed tough men like Colonel Pappy Boyington and his Black Sheep Squadron. The legendary Marine Corps officer and his bunch of misfits, outcasts, and daredevils gave new definition to "hell-raising" - on the ground and in the skies.Pappy himself was a living legend - he personally shot down 28 Japanese planes, and won the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross. He broke every rule in the book in doing so, but when he fell into the hands of the vengeful Japanese his real ordeal began.Here, in his own words, is the true story of America's wildest flying hero, of his extraordinary heroism, and of his greatest battle of all - the fight to survive....

Title : Baa Baa Black Sheep
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780553263503
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Baa Baa Black Sheep Reviews

  • bup
    2019-04-30 08:29

    I've been told the TV show Baa, Baa Black Sheep was not very good. I don't know. When it was on, I was too busy enjoying it to notice.I think that may be the case here - one thing I can say for sure is that the book was not ghost written. God bless him, but the man was not a gifted writer. He was a gifted flyer and fighter. The book is probably not "good," but I enjoyed it too much to notice.And if you want to round out your vision of the myth with some facts, this book will help you. Flyers were in combat zones for short periods - 6 or 12 weeks or something. He did most of his flying in one half (the second half) of 1943, was shot down in the first days of 1944, and spent the rest of the war in a secret Japanese prison camp where they kept 'special prisoners' that they didn't tell the Red Cross about. Boyington was missing in action, presumed killed, until two weeks after the war ended.He also struggled with booze, and it's clear Alcoholics Anonymous philosophies directed his approach to life at the time he wrote the book.If you love Corsairs, and enjoyed the TV show, and thought it was so cool that the show had actual combat from the wing cameras, this book is pretty much a must-read. If you have an autographed picture of "Pappy" with his squadron because your uncle was in the Marines and served in the Pacific in WW II and knew him, then you already enjoyed this book. I have to bug my wife to let me hang up that picture.

  • Ryan Reece
    2019-04-22 06:24

    A fantastic tale from real person about war in the pacific--without the whitewash. Some embellishments maybe, who knows? I wasn't there but this book made me feel that i was. This book cannot be rated like other books, simply as a "good read" or whatever. More than that, this is one man's insight, raw and unedited, into the life of a true modern day hero. This book proves, like Pappy says and so admits about himself that all heroes are bums in some respect at least. Pappy was an alcoholic, who cares? Pappy lived most of his life in squalor thanks to the military, made almost no money for his selfless (or some might say selfish) work. In spite of his personal failures and in the nadir of mental anguish, he reached a zenith as a combat pilot and leader of men. Except for being shot down once, he was a preternatural pilot and feared by his opponents. When most people would have given up after so many set backs (physical, mental, spiritual, and political) and denials from his superiors, political intrigue, etc., he manged to find a way to rise to the top, cut the red tape and in a material way help win a war. He pretends to nothing. You can't questions his belief in what he was doing you can't help but respect him as an American.

  • Eric Birk
    2019-05-01 09:30

    This book didn’t grab me because of the writing ability of Gregory Boyington, but I was hooked from page one. There is no phony about this man and it is no wonder that he was a born leader. He pulls no punches and tells everything the way that he sees it. His personal accounts of the war and his opinions of the people he encountered there were mesmerizing. I read it as a boy in 1977 and he was instantly one of my heroes. His front page quote has stuck with me to this day, “Just name any hero… and I’ll prove he’s a bum.” Boyington saw the world differently than anyone around him and even though he was in the military, he pulled no punches about doing things ‘his’ way and the world be damned. His accounts about fighting his own demons, such as alcohol, were unbelievably honest and stark. Even though he was obviously a drunken braggart at times, I have no doubt that there is some truth in every single story he told and that to his death he would have fought anyone to defend the honor of his words. I’d recommend this book to anyone with interest in WWII or as an autobiography or a real man and a real American hero.

  • Jenny T
    2019-05-19 10:30

    I'm not normally a major reader of war memoirs, but Greg "Pappy" Boyington's story of his experiences as a fighter pilot during WWII (including commanding the famous Black Sheep Squadron) and his time spent in a Japanese POW camp was a fascinating read. Blunt, honest, and witty, with self-deprecating humor and understated heroics aplenty, this autobio left me with stars in my eyes, muttering "What a guy" in amazement at both his nerve (the man was a self-confessed troublemaker) and his bravery.

  • Darren
    2019-05-05 08:27

    "Show me a hero, and I'll prove he's a bum." -Greg BoyingtonThis book's is about the author's experiences as a WWII pilot in the Pacific. It is mostly a linear rant, but nonetheless very interesting. He meets many colorful characters and sees many strange things in China and the Solomon islands. He has some interesting insights into war and the human condition. He also talks a fair amount about the planes and missions he flew, but never deteriorates into geek-speak. As commander of the Black Sheep Squadron, Major Greg "Pappy" Boyington was the first American to shoot down 26 enemy planes, surpassing the record set in WWI. He was also a total drunk, and there are a few stories of his drunken escapes through the book. It follows his experiences at the beginning of the war with the Flying Tigers, through the end of the war, and for a few years after when he was paraded around as a "war hero". Thus he has some interesting insights into the whole military propaganda machine as well. In short, an interesting book, with lots of stories told in a very matter-of-fact manner. It was nice to see WWII through the eyes of someone who was actually there, and not through the Hollywood lens. Worth reading if you are interested in WWII or military aviation.

  • John
    2019-05-20 06:04

    This was an impulse buy. I saw the new Medal of Honor memorial at UW, which includes Boyington, and on my way past Magus Books saw the book in their window (along with several others that I bought).I watched the TV show "Baa Baa Black Sheep" as a kid and went through a phase where I read a lot about military aircraft. At age 9, I probably could rattle off the technical details of every WWII military plane, or close to it - American, Japanese, British, German, Italian. My favorite was the Vought F4 Corsair, featured in the book and the show. The gull-winged Corsair still is a favorite, with the P-38 and P-45 close behind.Boyington is more interesting in autobiography than he was on the television show. He comes across as a very flawed person who is aware of his flaws, and also someone who is aware of his strengths. I learned a number of new things about him, that weren't mentioned in the television show. The book is rough and vulgar and tough and determined and to the point, much like its author and subject, whose subject always has been himself. But he offers a little hope at the end, that he is, finally, changing for the better.

  • Jeff
    2019-05-09 08:10

    My whole prior knowledge of "Pappy" Boyington was derived from the old TV show so I wanted to get the full story by reading the book that the show was based on. It was an ok read even though he is tough to follow at times since his narrative is much like a stream of semi-random thoughts and stories, especially early on. I learned a few things - he was a five-time combat ace, he was a hidden POW (what the Japanese termed a "captive" and therefore not subject to Geneva Convention rules concerning treatment) for two years, and he was an alcoholic. The books gets more interesting after he is shot down until he returns home. The later part of a the book focuses on the alcoholism and his life after the war. As militry biographies go, all in all, the most value comes from the discussion of his life as a prisoner and how our guys were treated by the Japanese.

  • Bill
    2019-05-16 06:01

    Great story of the Flying Tigers & VMF-214, flying the great Chance-Vought Corsair. Plus a spiritual journey through a difficult life.

  • Jared Handwerg
    2019-05-20 14:14

    Very Gud

  • Ian Holmqvist
    2019-05-01 06:09

    Really good book! I think the only thing that I didn't really like was that Pappy didn't really know that much about writing books, but it was such a good book that doesn't matter. I was really sad when I finished it. Would recommend this book to almost anyone!

  • Scott Umphrey
    2019-05-22 10:12

    Very good book. Signed by the author.

  • John P Gildernew
    2019-05-05 14:17

    ExcellentReads like a conversation with Pappy, with all the thoughts and digressions that come and go during it. Readable, really enjoyable.

  • Ruediger Landmann
    2019-05-02 06:21

    Gregory “Pappy” Boyington is credited with destroying 28 Japanese aircraft during World War II, making him the top-scoring fighter ace for the USMC during the conflict (and tied in fourth place for American aces in any of the services). He commanded Marine Fighter Squadron 214, nicknamed “Black Sheep Squadron” because of its renegade, irregular exploits. He was held captive by Japanese forces for twenty months, albeit without official prisoner-of-war status. This book contains his memoirs, written twelve years after the war.I don’t think anybody would be surprised by the straight-talking, down-to-earth, tell-it-like-it-is tone of the book. I always had the impression that Boyington was sharing his opinions and thoughts very honestly. Of course, some of his thoughts on women or on the cultures that he encountered in South-East Asia are similarly unsurprising. However, there is no trace of racism in his description of the Japanese, and Boyington goes to some lengths to explain that there are good people and bad people to be found in every part of the world. I certainly hadn’t expected those views to come out:The years have taught me something I should have known in the beginning: never to generalize authoritatively about races or peoples. Even today some lecturers and some writers who should know better still do this sort of thing. They will imply such thoughts as: “All Russians are …” or “All Frenchmen are …” or “All Englishmen are …” or even “The Japanese are …” Whenever people ask me today about the Japanese, I rather suppose I am expected to hate them, all of them, and largely because of what was done to us captives there in the camp of Ofuna. I know I am expected to brand them as primitive and brutal and stupid. But we can find right here in the United States, almost in any city in the United States, almost in any city block in the United States, people who at heart are as primitive and as brutal and as stupid as those guards with all their baseball bats. All that this type person needs to assert himself is an opportunity. Maybe the opportunity of numbers, or maybe the opportunity of getting away with it. But such people are here, nevertheless. They are all around us.As an aviation enthusiast, I read Boyington’s memoirs primarily for his recollections of flying and of air combat. Actually, there’s precious little of that in the book. He doesn’t go into any great detail about the machines or how he flew them or fought in them; most of the book is more day-to-day than that. However, the relatively few descriptions of air conmbat are related vividly and enthusiastically. Tragically, Boyington’s battles with alcoholism during and after the war occupy more word count than his battles in the air.Nevertheless, even if he wasn’t telling the stories that I came to hear, I found myself charmed by Boyington. Even at his most dated, I found him like the stereotypical “embarrassing old uncle” and there certainly isn’t actual deliberate malice anywhere in here.

  • Stephen
    2019-04-27 07:06

    Pappy Boyington would not have gotten great marks for literary style or technique, but a reader delving into BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP probably wouldn't care very much. I certainly didn't. The insight into the man's life is often priceless--especially his takes on aerial combat, his experiences in the South Pacific (both before and after being shot down), and the Japanese people once the war was over. The lucid and colorful accounts of his days in the AVG as well as VMF 214 make all the superfluous sidetrips, self-deprecating ruminations, and endless proselytizing (even though he tells you time and again he's not doing that) worth the bumpy ride. There's a genuineness and immediacy about his story that would indicate that, while he may have necessarily had a heavy-handed editor, the words are basically his own. Boyington drives home the excitement and horror of his wartime experiences with great intensity, making this book a real thriller. Despite Boyington's endless flaws and rough edges (which he never ceases to remind you of), he comes across as a character to admire and to identify with--even if you often want to smack him a good one. Definitely recommended.

  • J.L. Day
    2019-05-09 13:17

    I LOVED this book! He kept it "real" and never took liberties or did any grandstanding or painted himself in a grandiose light as many authors tend to do when telling their own stories. Irreverent and true-blue off the cuff styling, this man is exactly what I was expecting after so many years of watching reruns of the old televisions shows.The only thing they couldn't show on TB was his sense of duty, his courage and honor, the call of duty that compelled him and his unparalleled talent to take those birds up into the air and splash enemies like no one else. He was also a master with Intel and putting the pieces together and knowing what needed to be done, when it needed to be done and DID it even at times when it jeopardized his career.It has been years since I read this, but I still recall the sense of awe that it instilled in me and the respect it gave me for him and the men he flew with.

  • Rebekah
    2019-04-28 13:28

    Yes, the way he writes isn't great although it does get better. Whether he improved at writing as he went along or I got used to him, I couldn't tell you.What more than makes up for the writing skill is the incredibly personal look at the life of an officer for the duration of the US involvement in WWⅡ.He has a lot to say about Madame Chiang (wife of Chiang Kai-shek) and Chennault, mentioned Admiral Halsey, and so on, and it's fascinating to see the cynical perspective on these overall great people. Objectively speaking, there was much to praise concerning the likes of Chennault and Chiang, but you can be a hero and still be hard to like in person. And that's what Boyington shows his readers here.I like the humor, too. He's not a funny writer but the stories are funny by their own merit.

  • Hanson Rosenquist
    2019-04-24 09:08

    Once again the war memoir reigns supreme. History is written by the victors and in order to seek truth one must read many books and find the common elements; and read war memoirs. Most of these old soldier/authors are writing to remember and acknowledge the past and their old comrades, not to glorify themselves. That though is a problem with this book. In maintianing such a high level of humility, Greg Boyington omits important events that occured in his life. I actually learned more from internet searches than from this book, but it is a great history of the war and his time in a Japanese POW camp. An interesting note: Boyington graduated from UW and was stationed shortly at Fort Warden in Port Townsend.

  • Tom Landry
    2019-05-11 13:00

    This book has been on my shelf for quite a while and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. I was partially familiar with his story from the TV series based on his time flying Corsairs in the Pacific. My first impression was that his writing wasn't as refined as what I was used to reading. After reading it I feel that the writing actually reflects his personality and made the book better because of it. I was left with the impression that he was not a hero, nor claimed to be, but a regular guy trying to get by the best he could. He covers more than just his time in WWII but I think anyone interested in that era would enjoy reading this book.

  • Robert Bennett
    2019-05-01 11:03

    If you like WW2 books and/or biographies this is a good one. Interesting take on "Pappy" Boyington since it is an autobiography. Pappy obviously used the book to work through his issues with alcohol and other matters.Another interesting point is that Pappy was in a Japanese POW camp with Louis Zamperini, the subject of the book and now Angelina Jolie directed movie Unbroken.The only negative thing about this book, and the reason it is 4 stars instead of 5, is the writing is a little dated.Overall, a very good book and if you're interested in the Flying Tigers, WW2, or POW camps it's well worth a read.

  • Katie
    2019-04-22 12:02

    Frank and witty, Boyington gives you an uncensored narrative of his years during the war. He tells it like it is, and doesn't gloss over others' or his own failures and mistakes. I like that through the course of the book, he gives little focus to bitterness or hatred, he does not linger on the horrific things that he undoubtedly experienced, but instead gives the majority of the attention to the people that he met and that had a great influence on him. I very much envy the outlook on life he has, though I know he learned and earned it the hard way.

  • Doug
    2019-04-27 12:14

    Pappy Boyinton is a stud! He writes this book in the language of a grunt. Which is exactly what he was. Boyington was a hero, a bum, and a troubled alcoholic. From his pre-war exploits with the Flying Tigers in China to his reforming of the VMF-214 and becoming America's top ace to his capture by the Japanese and subsequent treatment at the hands of the Japanese, this book tells it all. Boyington is a rough, gruff SOB in the vein of John Wayne. It was this gruffness that got him through his time as a POW. Pappy will always be one of my heroes.

  • Mike
    2019-05-14 14:18

    Oh....I loved this book. It was hard to read at first because Pappy Boyingtons' writing style was not very traditional. But, eventually I was up late at night reading chapter after chapter. This book went by really fast for me. It was over before I knew it. From Pappys' prewar exploits to his after war exploits, everything is covered. Even his battle with alcohol. His time as a prisoner of war in Japan was eye opening. I found a hardback edtion of this book at a used book store. It's an early editon so I value it even more so than a recent copy.

  • Aaron Giddings
    2019-05-21 06:12

    I've read better written books and memoirs, but this one is special. Boyington wrote an extremely honest portrayal of himself, of war, and of his feelings.The books really has four parts: his time with the Flying Tigers, time as a Marine Aviator, the two years he spent as a prisoner of the Japanese, and his postwar years. It's educational, not only to learn about him and his experiences, but also to realize that for all the weapons of war have changed in 70 years, people haven't.I highly recommend this book to everyone.

  • James Attwood
    2019-05-16 11:12

    A refreshingly fast-paced remembrance from a hero of WWII. Easily one of the most entertaining biographies/Autobiographies I have ever come across. The book recounts Boyington's life from the opening of WWII up through his years of drunken debauchery following the war. The anecdotes are both humorous and brutally honest, at least in so far as when he comes to pointing out his character flaws and some of the decisions he made throughout the years.

  • Eddie Taylor
    2019-04-25 11:20

    I originally read this book when I was a middle school and the show was popular. I loved Baa Baa Black sheep. I was very disappointed when I realized that the show did not follow the book. However, I still enjoyed the book. So much so that I read it again - the same paperback - about 15 years later, and just bought a first edition (1958) and read again. Great story. Pappy just kept pushing forward no matter how hard or tough life got.

  • Stuart Lutzenhiser
    2019-05-22 09:21

    The memoir of Pappy Boyington, the founder of the Black Sheep squadron of Marines in the Pacific in WWII . This is a good memoir that, to my eyes, doesn't seem really very dated at all.I didn't know he had also served in China as a Flying Tiger and has spent the last two years of the war in a Japanese prisoner camp.That he was an alcoholic I think I knew.... a good read for people into war memoirs of WWII

  • David Hill
    2019-05-09 07:29

    The TV series from a few decades back doesn't really try to tell Boyington's story. At best, it's a fictionalization of the middle part of the book, and even at that doesn't attempt to tell us anything about him.His book can be divided roughly into three parts - his time with the Flying Tigers, his flying with the Marines, and his captivity with the Japanese, with a bit of a denouement covering his struggle with alcoholism.

  • Wachlin007 Hotmail
    2019-04-22 10:07

    This book was written by Gregory Boyington, the Marine Corps' top World War II ace and medal of honor winner. The author portrays himself as he is, he doesn't try to make himself look like a hero. He points out his flaws and what he did well. He portrays his inner struggles throughout the book. I thought it was well-written and very honest.

  • Dpwarzyn
    2019-05-18 06:03

    A fun and quick read, Pappy's style could be read by a 6th grader. I loved the way he crossed paths with other figures of historical and military interest. His biography is honest and sincere as he chases the ghosts of his past and his nagging alcoholism across the arc of World War II. I liked it a lot.

  • Brian Howard
    2019-04-26 12:19

    It took a long time to finish this autobiography because I only read it while waiting for a bus. Now I am going to read all about "Wild Bill" Donovan. Probably take me a whole year to finish! Mysteries only when I'm at home.