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The Mission of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is to preserve and honor the memory of Major Bong and all veterans of World War II as well as subsequent conflicts and to provide educational resources for the Twin Ports area community and beyond.

Richard I Bong Veterans Historical Center

Our Story

For over 50 years, a memorial to Richard I. Bong was in place in Poplar, Wisconsin, about 15 miles east of the Twin Ports cities of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin. It honored Dick Bong of Poplar, America’s leading Ace of all time, who piloted a P-38 Lightning through more than 200 missions over the Southwest Pacific in World War II and destroyed 40 enemy planes – the most by any United States pilot before or since.

After Major Bong’s death a group of businessmen and residents of Poplar formed the Richard Ira Bong Memorial Foundation, Inc., with the goal of raising funds for a memorial which would include a Lockheed P-38 Lightning like those flown by Dick.

Memorial funds were raised with the help of the Veterans of Wisconsin and other interested groups and individuals; the Richard I. Bong American Legion Post #435 acquired a P-38 from the Air Force and donated it for the memorial.

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