Born in Poplar, Wisconsin.
Bong is credited with a total of forty victories, making him the United States highest scoring ace from World War II.
On December 12, 1944,U. S. Army General MacArthur presented the Congressional Medal of Honor to Bong at Tacloban Airfield. He tossed away his written remarks and said, "Major Richard Ira Bong, who has ruled the air from New Guinea to the Philippines, I now induct you into the society of the bravest of the brave, the wearers of the Congressional Medal of Honor of the United States."