Tough Lit Guys

Photo Credit: San Diego Historical Society
  • Photo Credit: San Diego Historical Society

Author Max Miller (left) and Colonel Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, a Marine fighter ace who shot down 26 planes.

In this 1952 photo, Miller prepares for the annual La Jolla Rough Water Swim with what appears to be an oil (suntan? to aid in keeping him warm?) and a cigarette. Boyington (“a tough, hard-living character who was known for being unorthodox,” according to Wikipedia) had retired from the Marines about five years earlier.

Boyington became an author as well, producing an autobiography that became the basis for the ’70s TV show Baa Baa Black Sheep. The program’s intro read: “In World War II Marine Corps Major Greg ‘Pappy’ Boyington commanded a squadron of fighter pilots. They were a collection of misfits and screwballs who became the terrors of the South Pacific. They were known as the Black Sheep.”

To order this photo please contact the San Diego Historical Society at [email protected]

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