The Baa Baa Black Sheep TV show was about a group of Marine misfits, most on the verge of court-martial, who are assembled into a fighter squadron based on an island in the Pacific Ocean during World War II. The squadron leader is "Pappy Boyington" who was somewhat of a misfit himself, but has the advantage of 15 or so years more maturity than his men. They were constantly in trouble but it's usually overlooked due to their success as fighter pilots. The show was based on real-life characters who were not the bad boys we saw on the show. In fact, Gregory Boyington was actually an "Ace" several times over and a Medal Of Honor winner!
Baa Baa Black Sheep Cast
Robert Conrad .... Major Greg "Pappy" Boyington
Dirk Blocker .... Lieutenant Jerry Bragg
Robert Ginty .... Lieutenant T.J. Wiley
John Larroquette .... Lieutenant Bob Anderson
Jeff MacKay .... Lieutenant Don French
Larry Manetti .... Lieutenant Bob Boyle
W.K. Stratton .... Lieutenant Larry Casey
Jeb Stuart Adams .... Lieutenant Jeb Pruitt
Dana Elcar .... Colonel Thomas Lard
Joey Aresco .... Sergeant John David "Hutch" Hutchinson
Red West .... Mechanic Sergeant Andy Micklin
James Whitmore Jr. .... Captain James Gutterman
Simon Oakland .... General Thomas Moore
Steven Richmond .... Corporal Stan Richards
Baa Baa Black Sheep Trivia
This TV show was "loosely" based on the book, "Baa Baa Black Sheep", written by the real life "Pappy" Gregory Boyington. The real-life "Pappy" and the on screen character both got their nickname because they were much older than the young men under their command. The real-life Boyington used tough, no-nonsense techniques to keep his young crew in order just like his onscreen counterpart but he was more mature about it than the fictional Boyington.
If you'd like to see the real-life Boyington, he appears in the final episode of the series titled, "The Fastest Gun". He is the officer who pins a medal on Robert Conrad (as Boyington) in a newsreel. He also was in episode #15, "The Deadliest Enemy of All - Part 2" as General Harrison Kenlay but don't blink or you'll miss him!
Most of the aerial shots on Baa Baa Black Sheep were filmed just off the coast of Southern California. The Black Sheep's Island seen during both the opening and closing credits is actually Santa Barbara Island.
Larry Manetti and Robert Conrad are half-brothers! You may also remember Larry in his role as "Orville 'Rick' Wright" on the TV series, "Magnum P.I. (1980)".
The Black Sheep Squadron was an unofficial title. It was actually the 214th Fighter Squadron.
Baa Baa Black Sheep is also referred to as "The Black Sheep Squadron" which is actually this series' 2nd season title.
The Japanese bomber that woke the Black Sheep Squadron up at night was called "Washing Machine Charlie". It was directly based upon a real World War II Japanese bomber that would run its engine "out of sync" causing it to make a horrible noise similar to that of a 1940s washing machine. It would keep allied troups from getting a good nights sleep and, therefore, diminishing their fighting ability the next day. There was also a "Washing Machine Charlie" on the comedy series, "McHale's Navy" but on that show it simply kept shooting at McHale's PT103 attack boat and did not mess with his crew's sleep schedule.
The Japanese Zero fighters that fans saw on Baa Baa Black Sheep were "leftovers" from ones built for the 1970 movie, "Tora! Tora! Tora!". They weren't actual Zeros either as none were available at that time. They were U.S. AT-6 "Texan" trainers with comprehensive modifications to look like Zeroes.
Episodes List With Original Air Dates
Tv Pilot Movie
For the second season episode information and more trivia see: "Black Sheep Squadron"
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