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.
Interesting book in that it was written in 1958... so Col Boyington's views are still fresh and also unencumbered by today's political correctness. He also writes as if we are very aware of his post war troubles with alcohol and the law, like he is giving his side of the story that we have all heard before. The last third of the book covers his battle with post war alcoholism, if you are looking for a aviation centered book or the hijinks the the TV Black Sheep got away with, this is not the book for you.
Here is the true story of America's wildest, most unconventional war hero, Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, Marine flying ace who took a bunch of screwballs and molded them into the terro of the Pacific ...the Black Sheep Squadron of W W II.
Here in his own words, is the true story of America's wildest, most
unconventional war hero, Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington. This hell
for leather Marine flying ace- who took a bunch of young pilots and
molded them into the terror of the pacific- the BLACK SHEEP SQUADRON
OF WORLD WAR 2.