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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Fred Losch Black Sheep Squadron Collection

Identifier: 2004-04-01
The Fred Losch Black Sheep Squadron Collection contains photographic reproductions, ephemera, and DVDs related to the Black Sheep Squadron during World War II.

The collections consists of three (3) photographic reproductions, including two (2) group portraits of Black Sheep Squadron. Each photograph features squadron members posed in front of an aircraft, possibly a Vought F4U Corsair, with palm trees in the background and also includes a representation of the Black Sheep Squadron patch above "VMF-214 Black Sheep Squadron" on the front. Additionally, identifying information, including name or job (example: "unknown mechanic", "ground officer"), and ace status, represented by an asterisk (*) next to member name, is also included. The first image is from the "First Tour - 1943" and includes additional location information on the front caption, "World War II, September 1943 - U.S. Marine pilots at Turtle Bay fighter strip, Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides." The second image, which Losch is included in, is from the "Second Tour - 1943" and also includes location information on the front caption, "World War II, 1943 - U.S. Marine pilots at Vella Lavella." The image also includes the names of members not included in the photograph.

There is also an oversized copy print of the Joe Rosenthal photograph of the 1945 flag raising on Iwo Jima which has two inscriptions. The bottom inscription reads "To Major [George A.] Gililland and in appreciation of great fighting me at Iwo Jima - Joe Rosenthal, A.P. [Associated Press]." The top inscription reads "To Fred Losch, a great Marine Corps Corsair and a flag raise[r?] - 'Cotton' Gililland."

The collection also has two (2) pieces of ephemera, including a Black Sheep Squadron military patch and gold Naval Aviator Wings, which are both glued to the same piece of mat board.

At the end of the collection there are eight (8) DVDs:

  • "Marine Aviation WWII - Corsairs & SBDs"
  • "John Bolt"
  • "Black Sheep - Boyington - Slash E - Bolt & Mig Kills - Paul Harvey"
  • "Birds of a Feather - Military Channel - Boyington & Black Sheep"
  • "Black Sheep Reunion, New Orleans, 1993"
  • "Black Sheep Reunion, New Orleans, 2000"
  • "True Story of the Black Sheep Squadron, History Channel, " [2001]
  • "Fighter Aces 2003 - Oliver North's War Stories"
  • Dates

    • 1943-2003


    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.


    0.3 Cubic Feet (2 folders and 1 oversize folder)


    Fred Losch was a member of United States Marine Fighter Squadron 214 (VMF-214) known as "Black Sheep Squadron" during World War II. The collection contains photographic reproductions, ephemera, and DVDs related to the Black Sheep Squadron during World War II.

    Historical Note: Black Sheep Squadron

    In August 1943, a group of twenty-seven men under Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington joined together to form the original "Blacksheep" of VMF-214. Major Boyington had recently returned to the United States from China, where he served with the 1st American Volunteer Group (the Flying Tigers). His new squadron was not assigned any aircraft or ancillary personnel at first, and they flew their first missions to Guadalcanal and the Russell Islands in old, broken down, and borrowed planes.

    In September 1943, the men of VMF-214 decided that they needed a squadron nickname. They originally wanted to be called "Boyington's Bastards," after their new commander and because they had been a group of orphaned flyers who had to create their own squadron. The Marine Corps public information officer at the time refused to accept the nickname, however, because civilian newspapers would never print it. The information officer suggested the call sign "Black Sheep" because the expression meant essentially the same thing. They dropped the "Boyington's Bastards" idea but retained the black bar of bastardy across its shield.

    The first tour of the Black Sheep squadron lasted eighty-four days. They fought the Japanese to win over territory across the Pacific, and produced nine fighter aces in addition to sinking several troop transports and supply ships. For their actions, the original Black Sheep were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

    The second tour, during the fall and early winter of 1943, ended on January 8, 1944, five days after Major Boyington was shot down and captured by the Japanese. The original Black Sheep were disbanded and the pilots were placed in the pilot pool in Marine Aircraft Group 11. After the war, the actions of the unit were fictionalized in the 1970s television series Baa Baa Black Sheep, starring Robert Conrad as Boyington.

    Sources and Further Reading:

    Boyington, Gregory. Baa baa, Black Sheep. New York: Bantam Books, 1977.

    Gamble, Bruce D. The Black Sheep: the definitive account of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in World War II. Novato, California: Presidio, 2000.
    Biographical Note: Fred Losch Fred Losch was a member of United States Marine Fighter Squadron 214 (VMF-214) known as "Black Sheep Squadron" during World War II.

    No further information is known.


    Biography derived from collection materials.


    No further accruals are expected.

    Separated Materials

    The following items have been separated from this archival component and are kept in Objects storage:
    • Brown leather flight jacket
    • Black Sheep Squadron patch


    Guide to the Fred Losch Black Sheep Squadron Collection
    Completed - Level 3
    L. Zaborowski, J. Parent
    Description rules
    Language of description
    Edition statement
    2nd Edition

    Revision Statements

    • 2018: This finding aid has been revised to reflect updating DACS and Museum of Flight standards.
    • November 2018: Finding aid migrated to ArchivesSpace.

    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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