The Greatest Fighter Pilot In American History Was Named Dick Bong

By | October 12, 2019

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Pacific Ace Hits the Bell - 27 Japanese Planes Down. Southwest Pacific: Captain Richard I. Bong was proclaimed America's ace of aces. Source: (

Names tend to follow people throughout their lives, especially when they make people giggle. Dick Trickle, Harry Baals, and Tokyo Sexwale were all real people with incredibly unfortunate names. However, the man with perhaps the most unfortunate name, which unfortunately overshadows his incredible feats in life, was Major Dick Bong.

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Major Dick Bong and His Beloved P-38. Source: (warhistoryonline)

Dick Bong Found His Calling Early

Born Richard Ira Bong, the eldest of nine children, he grew up in Superior, Wisconsin. He found his calling at an early age when President Calvin Coolidge spent his summer in America's Dairyland.

"The President's mail plane flew right over my house,” Bong remembered. "I knew then I wanted to be a pilot." It's a good thing the President decided to summer in Wisconsin. As it would turn out, Major Dick Bong was born to fly.