Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army Air Corps

Richard Ira Bong

  • Rank: Major
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    49th Fighter Group, 5th Fighter Command,
    5th Air Force
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army Air Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: October 10 - November 15, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: over Borneo and Leyte, Philippine Islands

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty in the southwest Pacific area from 10 October to 15 November 1944. Though assigned to duty as gunnery instructor and neither required nor expected to perform combat duty, Maj. Bong voluntarily and at his own urgent request engaged in repeated combat missions, including unusually hazardous sorties over Balikpapan, Borneo, and in the Leyte area of the Philippines. His aggressiveness and daring resulted in his shooting down eight enemy airplanes during this period.

Medal of Honor Recipient Richard I. Bong
Medal of Honor Recipient Richard I. Bong
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Poplar, Douglas County, Wisconsin
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: December 12, 1944

    Tacloban air strip, Leyte, Philippine Islands, presented by Gen. Douglas MacArthur

  • Born: September 24, 1920, Superior, Douglas County, WI, United States
  • Died: August 6, 1945, Burbank, CA, United States
  • Buried: Poplar Cemetery (MH) (I-8-10-2), Poplar, WI, United States
  • Location of Medal: Richard I. Bong Veterans Heritage Center, Superior, WI

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