Bong, Richard Ira, MAJ

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
AAF MOS 1058-Pilot, Two-Engine Fighter
Last MOS Group
Aviation (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1945-1954, US Army Air Force (USAAF)
Service Years
1941 - 1945



Three Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SP 4 Steven Ryan (LoneWolf) to remember Bong, Richard Ira, MAJ.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Aug 06, 1945
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Congressional Medal Of Honor SocietyMedal of HonorWorld War II FallenWW II Memorial National Registry
Historical Soldiers
  1945, Congressional Medal Of Honor Society
  1945, Medal of Honor [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1945, World War II Fallen [Verified]
  1945, WW II Memorial National Registry
  1945, Historical Soldiers [Verified]

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

AAF Pilot Badge

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1941, Basic Training (Camp Blanding, FL), E
 Unit Assignments
Army Air CorpsChina-Burma-India (CBI)US Army Air Force (USAAF)
  1941-1941, Army Air Corps
  1942-1942, Army Air Corps
  1942-1943, Army Air Corps
  1943-1943, Army Air Corps
  1944-1944, 348th Airdrome Squadron
  1944-1945, Army Air Corps
  1945-1954, US Army Air Force (USAAF)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1942 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Philippine Islands Campaign (1941-42)
  1941-1945 World War II
  1943-1943 Northern Solomons Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of New Georgia
  1944-1944 Leyte Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of Leyte
  1945-1945 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Western Pacific Campaign (1944-45)
 Colleges Attended 
  1938-1941, Others/Not Listed
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Note:  His full completed profile can be found on the Air Force TWS site.

Richard Ira "Dick" Bong is the United States' highest-scoring air ace, having shot down at least 40 Japanese aircraft during World War II. Bong was a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Force,  U.S.  and was a recipient of the Medal of Honor.

Bong then became a test pilot for the US Army Air Force assigned to Lockheed's Burbank, California plant flying P-80 Shooting Star jet fighters at the Lockheed Air Terminal. On August 6, 1945, the primary fuel pump sheared during takeoff on the acceptance flight of P-80A 44-85048. Bong had forgotten or could not switch to the auxiliary fuel pump.  Bong successfully escaped the aircraft, but was too low for his parachute to successfully deploy and he fell to his death. His death was front-page news across the country, sharing space with the first news of the bombing of Hiroshima.

Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army Air Corps.

Place and date: Over Borneo and Leyte, 10 October to 15 November 1944. 
Entered service at: Poplar, Wis. Birth: Poplar, Wis. G.O. No.: 90, 8 December 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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