"Pappy Boyington Field - A Campaign to Honor a Hero" is about a controversy that arose when some Coeur d'Alene, Idaho residents tried to pay tribute to a local war hero by renaming the city airport in his honor. The hero is World War II Marine fighter ace, Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, who's alleged hard drinking, brawling and womanizing sometimes overshadowed his stellar accomplishments as a military pilot-hence the dispute about the airport name-change. The screening is on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 10 and 11 at 2 p.m. in the William M. Allen Theater, and is free with Museum admission. The film's director, Kevin Gonzalez, will be present at both screenings to field questions from the audience
The film provides personal insights into Boyington's life provided by his son Greg Boyington Jr., and actor Robert Conrad, who portrayed Boyington in the 1970s television series based upon the Black Sheep Squadron, "Baa Baa Black Sheep." The film also features members of the Marine Corps League Pappy Boyington Detachment, local representatives of the Disabled American Veterans and The Distinguished Flying Cross Society.
In 1941 he began flying combat missions for the famous American Volunteer Group, "Flying Tigers." Boyington later commanded the VMF-214 "Black Sheep Squadron" in the Pacific during WWII. His 22+ aerial victories made him one of the highest-scoring American aces in history. Boyington was held by the Japanese as prisoner of war, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his wartime service.
Boyington has strong ties to the Pacific Northwest. Following graduation from the University of Washington with a bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering, Boyington worked as a draftsman and engineer for the Boeing Company. Born in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, he grew up in the Idaho panhandle and later moved with his mother to Tacoma, Wash., where he graduated from Lincoln High School. Boyington died in 1988.
The Museum features a display on the Black Sheep Squadron in the Personal Courage Wing's World War II exhibit, where visitors can also see several aircraft that relate to Boyington's military flying-a P-40 Warhawk painted in Flying Tigers colors, and the type of plane he used to score most of his aerial victories, the F4U Corsair.
The non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest independent air and space museums in the world. The Museum's collection includes more than 150 historically significant air and spacecraft, as well as the Red Barn®--the original manufacturing facility of the Boeing Co. The Museum's aeronautical library and archival holdings are the largest on the West Coast. More than 140,000 students are served annually by the Museum's on-site and outreach educational programs - the most extensive museum-based youth aviation and space education program in the country. The Museum is the only aviation and space museum in Washington State that is both nationally accredited with the American Association of Museums and a Smithsonian affiliate.
The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $13 for seniors 65 and older, $7.50 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit www.museumofflight.org.