Black Sheep Squadron (1976–1978)
3 user
Maverick WW2 Marine aviator forms his own fighter squadron.


Russ Mayberry


Stephen J. Cannell (television story), Stephen J. Cannell (teleplay) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Conrad ... Maj. Greg 'Pappy' Boyington
Simon Oakland ... Brig. Gen. Thomas Moore
Dana Elcar ... Col. Thomas A. Lard
James Whitmore Jr. James Whitmore Jr. ... Capt. James 'Jim' Gutterman
Robert Ginty ... 1st Lt. Thomas Joseph 'T.J.' Wiley
Dirk Blocker ... 1st Lt. Jerome 'Jerry' Bragg
W.K. Stratton W.K. Stratton ... 2nd Lt. Lawrence 'Larry' Casey
John Larroquette ... 2nd Lt. Robert 'Bob' Anderson
Peter Donat ... Col. Mathis
Sharon Gless ... Nurse 1st Lt.
George Gaynes ... Maj. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault
Lance LeGault ... Lt. Huck (as W.L. LeGault)
Anthony Charnota Anthony Charnota ... Freddy
John Lawlor ... Dr. Jim Reese
James Murtaugh ... Medical Lieutenant


Former U.S. Marine pilot Greg "Pappy" Boyington is flying with the American Volunteer Group (the Flying Tigers) in China. After Pearl Harbor brings America into World War II, Greg leaves the AVG to rejoin the Marine Corps. He refuses to be relegated to a desk job and, against all military protocol, forms his own fighter squadron from a group of misfits and disciplinary cases. Written by yortsnave

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | War | Adventure | Drama


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English | Japanese

Release Date:

21 September 1976 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Flying Tigers were actually paid a bonus of $500 for every Japanese plane shot down. This is about $10,000 in 2018 dollars. However, payment was usually delayed until the end of the month due to the shortage of cash. See more »


The first dog fight Robert Conrad character goes up against two Japanese Zeros there are several brief cockpit views where the bandage on his left cheek moves to his right cheek and then back again to his left cheek. See more »


Follows Black Sheep Squadron (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

The Boyington's are Born
15 December 2001 | by tgreene_mspSee all my reviews

The Flying Misfits is the feature length opener to the Baa Baa Black Sheep/ Black Sheep Squadron television series which aired on NBC in the late 70's and currently can be seen (with limited commentary from star Robert Conrad and surviving members of the real squad) on the History Channel.

The movie covers the story (with a little Hollywood magic) of how Major Boyington left the Flying Tigers in China and arrived in the South Pacific. The scene where he bypasses red tape by getting Admiral Nimitz to clear the way for his rightful rank is both interesting and an excellent way to foreshadow the lengths Conrad's Boyington is willing to go to get what he wants. Simon Oakland and veteran actor Dana Elcar demonstrate with their characters the two sides of military brass that Boyington had to deal with.

A good "companion" piece to the series is co-star Larry Manetti's book on his time in Hollywood. He and Conrad became good friends on the show and Larry gives some great insights on his time with the series. Also. for those who thought John Larroquette started with "Night Court", this movie/series is a good chance to see some of his early work.

When the History Channel started airing the series around 1999, they aired the movie a few times. Since the movie made only extremely rare appearances on The Encore movie networks prior to this, this was a good chance for me to see what I missed, since I used to watch it when WOR-9 aired the syndicated repeats about ten years ago. The aerial scenes are great, as are some of the landing scenes, especially when you consider the island landing area was actually an airfield in Southern California.

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