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Archives at The Museum of Flight

O. Keith Williams VMF-214 "Black Sheep Squadron" Photographs

 Collection — Box: Small Collections Oversize Materials 2000-2005, oversize: folder
Identifier: 2002-04-18
The O. Keith Williams VMF-214 "Black Sheep Squadron" Photographs is a collection of photographs from World War II showing VMF-214, known as "Black Sheep Squadron," during their time in the South Pacific and Hawaii.

The collection consists of 15 black-and-white reprinted photographs, 14 8x10" and one 8x14". The photographs have attached annotations describing the scenes and people featured. The photos are all set in the South Pacific or Hawaii. Some of the annotations share biographical information about the subjects. In addition to photographs of soldiers, there are also pictures of the aircraft flown by the squadron and scenes from around the base. The aircraft pictured include the Grumman F4F “Geisha Girl,” which is shown with battle damage, and a Corsair. The planes are pictured in flight, at bases, and on aircraft carriers between missions. In addition, there is a panoramic photographic reproduction of one NACI COMSOPAC Patrol map showing San Cristobal Island to Buka Island.


  • 1943


Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


0.02 Cubic Feet (1 oversize folder)


Photographs showing members of the “Black Sheep Squadron” while they were stationed in the South Pacific during World War II.

Historical Note: 214th Marine Fighter Squadron

Marine Fighter Squadron 214 was originally formed on July 1, 1942. They participated in the Solomon Islands campaign, flying out of Henderson Field on Guadalcanal Island. Called “the Black Sheep,” the Squadron’s achievements include 203 planes destroyed or damaged, nine fighter aces with 97 confirmed air-to-air kills, and numerous other victories. They were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism in action. The Squadron was disbanded and then reformed in January of 1944. On March 9, 1944 while stationed aboard the USS Franklin, members of the Squadron were killed during a Japanese bombing. That attack ended the Squadron’s involvement in World War II, though they later flew operations during the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the War on Terror.
Biographical Note: O. Keith Williams Otto Keith Williams was born on December 10, 1918 in Tacoma, Washington. He grew up in Ellensburg, Washington and attended Central Washington College of Education. In 1941 he joined the Marines as an aviator. He completed two tours in the Pacific Theater, where he served with the "Black Sheep Squadron." He achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonol before his retirment from the military in 1951.

In 1948 he married Marnie Cooper. The two lived in Ellensburg, and they had two sons and one daughter. After his military service, Williams took over his uncle's business and began expanding the Pautzke Salmon Egg business (later known as Pautzke Bait Co.) selling salmon eggs for fishing bait. Williams' children took over the business and he retired in 1982.

Williams passed away on December 11, 2007.

Biographical note derived from donor information and online sources.

Custodial History

It is currently unknown how the donor came to possess these materials, whether he took the photographs himself or collected them from another source.


No further accruals are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Materials from this collection have been digitized and are available at The Museum of Flight Digital Collections.

Separated Materials

The following materials have been separated from the archival component and are kept in the Library:
  • The Black Sheep: The Definitive Account of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in World War II by Bruce Gamble
  • Fighter Aces of the USA, by Raymond F. Toliver and Trevor J. Constable
  • Black Sheep One: The Life of Gregory "Pappy" Boyington by Bruce Gamble

Four military patches have been separated and sent to objects storage.
Guide to the O. Keith Williams VMF-214 "Black Sheep Squadron" Photographs
Completed - Level 2
H. Kolesar
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
1st Edition

Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
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