CALIFORNIA: Born to Fight

A year ago this week, tough, tobacco-chomping Major Gregory Boyington, U.S.M.C. was a happy man. Pale and skinny from Jap prison rations, he sprawled on a bunk aboard the destroyer escort Reeves anchored in Tokyo Bay. Hero Boyington (26 confirmed planes) had just heard that he had won the Congressional Medal of Honor. He had also eaten his first American food in 20 months—eight eggs, two orders of ham, two helpings of mashed potatoes. He patted his stomach, said, "This is okay. I like it."

But last week, after a year of being hauled across the nation's front pages, as hero,...

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