His skill as a pilot is legendary.
His wartime acts of bravery became legend. And yet, this unassuming farm boy from Poplar, Wisconsin would never truly feel comfortable with the mantle of “hero” that was so rightfully attributed to him. Dick Bong was simply doing what was expected of him, to the best of his ability. He was the first and only American able to claim forty recorded victories against enemy aircraft. He flew over two hundred combat missions when most fighter pilots were routinely sent home after flying twenty-five. Bong was decorated twenty-six times during World War 2, including this country’s highest award, The Congressional Medal of Honor. Dick Bong was America’s Ace of Aces.
Today, few remember him, or his deeds of heroism. Few remember that in America, there once was a time of heroes, a time for Dick Bong, who believed in himself simply and believed in honor and duty completely.