The fourth episode of Black Sheep Chronicles: VMF-214 in World War II is now on YouTube. Last year (HERE), Gamble unveiled an exciting new series of episodes focusing on the renowned Black Sheep Squadron (VMF-214). His debut book, “The Black Sheep,” published in 1998, offered a highly engaging narrative that not only expands but also corrects the historical account of VMF-214 and its legendary squadron leader, Greg “Pappy” Boyington. With four titles currently available, Bruce Gamble is widely acknowledged as a leading author of the Pacific Air War.

Col Greg Pappy Boyington
Probably on of the most famous photos Col Greg ‘Pappy’ Boyington (Photo by Mike Schneider Collection)

Led by their esteemed squadron leader, Greg “Pappy” Boyington, Marine Fighting Squadron (VMF) 214 gained renown as one of World War II’s most illustrious and dynamic combat units. Their fame was bolstered by the popular television series Baa Baa Black Sheep, though this overshadowed their truly remarkable wartime accomplishments. Bruce Gamble, a retired naval flight officer and former historian for the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, presents an accessible narrative that not only sets the record straight but also enhances the legacy of this exceptional fighting force. In this fourth installment, Gamble delves into Maj. Gregory Boyington’s inaugural combat tour. Maj. Boyington led his 28 pilots on their maiden combat mission as the newly christened Black Sheep, achieving extraordinary success in aerial engagements.

The call sign “Black Sheep” was chosen by the squadron to commemorate the unusual way in which the squadron had been formed. The pilots ranged from experienced combat veterans, with several air-to-air victories to their credit, to new replacement pilots from the United States. Major Boyington and Major Stan Bailey were permitted to form the unassigned pilots into a squadron, with the understanding that they would have less than four weeks to have them fully trained and ready for combat. They were very successful.

Black Sheep Chronicles will consist of 9 episodes created by author and historian Bruce Gamble. Featuring hundreds of archival photographs and rare film clips, this all-new documentary will provide viewers with an unrivaled glimpse into the experiences of America’s most famous fighter squadron.

Ep. 1 Wildcat Days

Ep. 2 Swashbucklers

Ep. 3 Boyington’s Bastards

Ep. 4 Slugfest

Ep. 5 The Franklin Disaster

Ep. 6 Will the Real Pappy Boyington Please Stand Up

Ep. 7 College Boys and Yamheads

Ep. 8 Thunder and Lightning: The Planes of VMF-214

Ep. 9 The Black Sheep go to Hollywood

Bruce’s goal is to use his new YouTube channel as a platform to both share his stories as a naval aviator and also his work as a naval aviation historian. In particular, viewers will be able to enjoy an inside view of his work about the war in the Pacific, especially the ‘Blacksheep’ of VMF-214 and its notorious leader, Gregory ‘Pappy’ Boyington. Visit his channel (HERE) and make sure to “follow” what is sure to be a fascinating ride!

Previous Episodes

Black Sheep Chronicles, Part 1: Wildcat Days

Black Sheep Chronicles, Part 2: Corsairs and Swashbucklers!

Black Sheep Chronicles, Part 3: The Origins of The Black Sheep