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‘Pappy’ Boyington honored with airport statue

A statue of Medal of Honor winner Gregory “Pappy” Boyington was erected at Pappy Boyington Field in Hayden on Friday. Boyington was credited with destroying 28 Japanese planes during World War II. He was born in Coeur d’Alene and his famous squadron was called the “Black Sheep.” (Kathy Plonka)
A statue of Medal of Honor winner Gregory “Pappy” Boyington was erected at Pappy Boyington Field in Hayden on Friday. Boyington was credited with destroying 28 Japanese planes during World War II. He was born in Coeur d’Alene and his famous squadron was called the “Black Sheep.” (Kathy Plonka)

A bronze statue of Maj. Gregory “Pappy” Boyington was installed Friday at the North Idaho airfield named in his honor.

Sculptor Bryan Ross created the 8-foot statue, a project undertaken in conjunction with Richard Le Francis and funded by donations.

The aim was to honor Boyington, the famed World War II fighter pilot who led the Black Sheep Squadron. He was born in Coeur d’Alene and grew up in St. Maries and Tacoma, graduating from the University of Washington with an aeronautical engineering degree in 1934.

UW’s student senate rejected a campus memorial to Boyington in 2006, saying he wasn’t the right kind of person to represent the school, published reports at the time said.

Le Francis said in an email that the rejection by UW sparked the idea to honor Boyington in Coeur d’Alene.

The Coeur d’Alene Airport was renamed in his honor in 2007.

The statue is located at Resort Aviation, on the west end of Wyoming Avenue, Le Francis said.



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