Main Page Early Life

Military Career

Death and Legacy

Richard Bong was born in Superior, Wisconsin to Swedish immigrant Carl Bong and Dora Bryce who was of Scottish and English descent respectively. Bong grew up on a farm in Poplar, Wisconsin and became fascinated by aircraft at an early age watching planes fly over the farm carrying mail to President Coolidge's summer White House.

He graduated from Central High School in Superior in the year of 1938. Bong began studying to become a teacher at Superior State Teachers College. While studying at Superior State he enrolled in the Civilian Pilot Training Program and also started taking private flying lessons.

In 1941 deciding that he no longer wanted to be a teacher he enlisted in the Army Air Corps Cadet Program. Bong did his primary flight training at Rankin Aeronautical Academy and completed his basic training at Gardner Field. He then went on to Luke Field for Advanced Training in single-engine planes. While Flying T-6 Texans at Luke Field one of Bong's instuctors was Captain Barry Goldwater.

Bong as a young man standing next to a couple of bucks that he and his uncle shot.
Site created by Rob Jorden, May 2018.