Main Page Early Life

Military Career

Death and Legacy

After his military career, Bong went on to become a test pilot for Lockheed's Burbank California division. Here he studied jet propulsion and studied the engineering details of the P-80 fighter jet for two months before getting to fly one himself. After being checked out in the P-80 he flew the aircraft 11 times that summer.

On August 6th 1945, while across the world, the Enola Gay dropped the first Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Major Bong flew for the last time. Shortly after takeoff the primary fuel pump on the P-80 malfunctioned and he either forgot to switch to the auxilary fuel pump or for some reason was unable to do so. Bong cleared the aircraft but his chute did not have enough time to deploy and he died upon impact with the ground. His death made frontline news across the country alongside the news of the Atomic Bomb.

On August 8th 1945, Richard Bong's funeral was held at Concordia Lutheran the very same church where he and Marge had been married February 10th 1945. Richard Bong's body is currently buried at Poplar cemetery in Poplar Wisconsin and there is a Verterans Historical Center located in Superior Wisconsin.

 

 

Bong was killed flying a P-80 similar to the one pictured above.

 

An image of the Crash Site of Bong's final flight.

 

 

Site created by Rob Jorden, May 2018.