Swashbucklers and Black Sheep: A Pictorial History of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in World War II

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Swashbucklers and Black Sheep: A Pictorial History of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in World War II. Bruce Gamble. Minneapolis, Minn.: Zenith Press, 2012. Maps. Tables. Diagrams. Illustrations. Photographs. Notes. Appendix. Bibliography. Index. Pp 216. $40.00 ISBN: 978-0-7603-4250-3

Bruce Gamble is the authority on the Black Sheep. He has written four books about World War II in the South Pacific, two of them specifically about VMF-214: The Black Sheep, the Definitive Account of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in World War II, and Black Sheep One: the Life of Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, 214's most famous commander. As he notes in the introduction of this pictorial history, his research into the above books uncovered far more pictures than could be included in the standard scholarly texts.

This volume is mostly a collection of those photographs. To place them in context, Gamble has included a fantastic summary of the Black Sheep's history. The narrative begins with the squadron's birth a few months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and carries it in some detail through its three wartime deployments. Also included are sufficient maps to place the action within the theater and in the larger Pacific war. …