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Major Richard Ira Bong
U.S. Army Air Force, P-38 Lightning Pilot

Born in Poplar, Wisconsin.

Wartime History
Joined the U. S. Army service number O-433784. Assinged to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 9th Fighter Squadron. In total, Bong is credited with forty victories, making him the United States highest scoring ace from World War II.

Click For EnlargementOn 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."

CitationMedal of Honor Citation ( October 10 - November 15, 1944)
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty in the Southwest Pacific area from 10 October to 15 November 1944. Though assigned to duty as gunnery instructor and neither required nor expected to perform combat duty, Maj. Bong voluntarily and at his own urgent request engaged in repeated combat missions, including unusually hazardous sorties over Balikpapan, Borneo, and in the Leyte area of the Philippines. His aggressiveness and daring resulted in his shooting down 8 enemy airplanes during this period."

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Last Updated
August 7, 2015


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