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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Marine Corps Reserve

Gregory "Pappy" Boyington

  • Rank: Major (Highest Rank: Colonel Ret.)
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Marine Squadron 214, Marine Air Group 11,
    1st Marine Air Wing
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: September 12, 1943 - January 3, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Central Solomons area

For extraordinary heroism and valiant devotion to duty as commanding officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in action against enemy Japanese forces in the central Solomons area from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944. Consistently outnumbered throughout successive hazardous flights over heavily defended hostile territory, Maj. 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, Maj. Boyington led a formation of 24 fighters over Kahili on 17 October and, persistently circling the airdrome where 60 hostile aircraft were grounded, boldly challenged the Japanese to send up planes. Under his brilliant command, our fighters shot down 20 enemy craft in the ensuing action without the loss of a single ship. A superb airman and determined fighter against overwhelming odds, Maj. 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.

Medal of Honor Recipient Gregory "pappy". Boyington
Medal of Honor Recipient Gregory "pappy". Boyington
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: October 5, 1945

    The White House, by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt to his Mother; presented by Pres. Harry S. Truman in 1945 to him

  • Born: December 4, 1912, Coeur D'Alene, Kootenai County, ID, United States
  • Died: January 11, 1988, Fresno, CA, United States
  • Buried: Arlington National Cemetery (MH) (7A-150), Arlington, VA, United States
  • Location of Medal: Marine Memorial Club, San Francisco, CA

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