The Pappy Boyington Field Museum is dedicated to telling the story of both World War II hero Greg “Pappy” Boyington, as well as the stories of local veterans through the use of personal effects and historical artifacts. Located just to the east of the Coeur d’Alene Airport/Pappy Boyington Field, the museum collects and accepts military memorabilia which it utilizes to better tell the unique stories of local members of the Greatest Generation.
Boyington, born in Coeur d’Alene and raised in St. Maries and Tacoma, was a US
Marine Corps fighter ace. He was a member
of both the “Flying Tigers” of the China/Burma/India theater, and the
celebrated “Black Sheep” Squadron of the Pacific theater. He was shot down over Rabaul in early 1944
and was held captive as a Japanese POW for 20 months. He was subsequently awarded the Navy Cross
and Medal of Honor by President Harry Truman.
square foot museum, named in Boyington’s honor, offers a unique view into the
lives of local veterans of World War II through the staff’s efforts to
locate historic and personal artifacts at thrift stores, dank basements, and
musty attics, among other places. They
then display these artifacts and use them to tell the very poignant and
powerful stories of their previous
owners. These displays include weapons,
uniforms, letters, medals, maps, and photos, many of which have been donated to
the museum by veteran’s family members.
nearby is an eight foot bronze statue of Boyington that was erected in 2013 and
further immortalizes this extraordinary man. The Coeur d’Alene Airport was
renamed in his honor in 2007.