by Carl Bong
A good share of the world knew him as Major Richard I. Bong. Back home in Poplar, Wisconsin, where he grew up, they called him “Dick” or “Pinky.” In the Southwest Pacific where he shot down a record 40 Japanese airplanes, there where those who referred to him as “Bing Bang Bong.”
Dick Bong entered the service as an aviation cadet on the 29th of May, 1941. He was half way through advanced training when Pearl Harbor was bombed. A week later he opened his letter to his mom with “So we have war.” A year later he was flying P-38s out of Port Moresby on his way to becoming America’s top flying ace with 40 Japanese airplanes to his credit.
Through his letters, combat reports, and statements from those that knew and flew with him, you will get to know Dick Bong. You will see his concern for his family back home and follow in his footsteps on his great adventure.