the nation's gun show

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Undoubtedly the most colorful and well known Marine Corps' ace was Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, commanding officer of VMF-214.
Stories of Pappy Boyington are legend, many founded in fact, including how he led the legendary Black Sheep squadron, and how he served in China as a member of the American Volunteer Group, the famed Flying Tigers.  He spent a year and a half as a Japanese POW, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, was recognized as the Marine Corps top ace (more on that below). Always hard-drinking and hard-living, Pappy's post-war life was as turbulent as his wartime experiences.

Gregory "Pappy" Boyington (December 4, 1912 –   January 11, 1988) was an American combat pilot who was a United States Marine Corps fighter ace during World War II. He received both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.Boyington was initially a US Marine Corps aviator with the Pacific fleet before being recruited by the legendary "Flying Tigers" (1st American Volunteer Group) in the Republic of China Air Force in Burma at the end of 1941 and part of 1942, during the military conflict between China and Japan, and the beginning of World War II.

In September 1942, he rejoined the Marine Corps. In early 1943, he deployed to the South Pacific and began flying combat missions as a Marine F4U Corsair fighter pilot. In September 1943, he took command of Marine fighter squadron VMF-214 ("Black Sheep"). In January 1944, Boyington, outnumbered by Japanese "Zero"planes, was shot down into the Pacific Ocean after downing one of the enemy planes. He was captured by a Japanese submarine crew and was held as a prisoner of war for more than a year and a half. He was released shortly after the surrender of Japan, and a few days before the official surrender documents were signed.

The television series Baa Baa Black Sheep was inspired by Boyington and his men in the "Black Sheep" squadron. It ran for two seasons in the late 1970s.

"Just name a hero, and I'll prove he's a bum." - Pappy's self-assessment.

On display at The Nation's Gun Show

June 8, 9 & 10, 2018 at the

 NRA National Firearms Museum Display

This revolver was presented on his graduation from the US Naval Academy to Joseph H. Wesson, a descendant of founder Daniel Wesson.  The young officer served on destroyers in the Atlantic during WWII.   

​​​​NRA National Firearms Museum

Guns That Were There

NRA’s National Firearms Museum will be bringing out some interesting pieces of history to the Nation's Gun Show in Chantilly,VA at the Dulles Expo Center on June 8, 9 & 10, 2018.  If you’ve ever wondered what special stories guns could tell – we’re bringing “Guns That Were There.”

We’ll display great guns that were there at D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, pieces that belonged to famous WWII heroes including Medal of Honor recipient Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, and even pistols associated with Nazi saboteurs and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.  This one-time exhibition will feature many significant pieces that have never traveled outside the National Firearms Museum before, and these intriguing guns will reveal captivating tales from World War II, stories of war trophies brought back and exploits from Europe and the Pacific.

If you can’t get enough guns at the Showmasters June Nation's Gun Show, plan to also visit the National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters at 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax VA.  Just six miles away, our galleries are open daily, free of charge.  The museum store offers a host of souvenirs and great reading material for budding collectors.  Call (703) 267-1600, e-mail, or just check out our website at for more information.​

NRA headquarters also has a great indoor range and NRA is a great resource for training.

Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington

J. Edgar Hoover basically created the FBI and led the FBI for nearly a half-century, from 1924 until 1972. Harlan Fiske Stone appointed the 29-year-old Hoover acting director of the Bureau, one of his guns will be on display at the Nation's Gun Show.


6 Miles From the Nation's Gun Show

NRA National Firearms Museum

11250 Waples Mill Rd

Fairfax, VA22030