Talk:Richard Bong

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Aircraft name -- Marge[edit]

All of Bong's victories were while he was flying a P-38 named "Marge" after his wife....
February 15 [1944] | 1 | Tony off Cape Hoskins, New Britain, first vistory in 'Marge''

Obviously, these can't both be right. The most reasonable explanation I can think of that would sort of satisfy both statements is if he had more than one aircraft named 'Marge', but that would still leave both those statements sounding rather odd. Unfortunately, I've no idea which one is nearer to the truth, but maybe someone'll take notice. --John Owens (talk) 14:53, 2005 August 8 (UTC)

Sorry, I am unfamiliar with Wikipedia markup. Feel free to delete this note. Bong's wife, Marge Vattendahl, under the professional name of "Kris Dahl," was editor of a dog magazine, the Boxer Review, for about 20 years. After her second husband passed away, she then revealed in an issue of the magazine that she was the wife of Bong. There was a model airplane based on the P38 planes that Bong flew, that included a sticker for "Marge." ``` — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:31, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

WP:MILHIST Assessment[edit]

A very nice article. You've even included a picture and a list of his kills. Awesome. If you can find a copy of his Medal of Honor citation, that might be nice to include, as many other Medal recipients have their citations quoted in full on their articles. LordAmeth 09:59, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Huh? Seems more like a stub or Start Class to me. There are no details of his units/bases, no description of specific kills, and no attempt to explain what made him the highest scoring U.S. ace of the war. But we have a whole section devoted to his wife, whose main claim to fame seems to have been her husband. Grant65 | Talk 01:51, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

==It looks as though someone is playing mischief here by changing his last name from BONG to DANKNESS!!! I'm too new to Wikipedia to know how to fix this, but someone really needs to fix this very major mistake.== —Preceding unsigned comment added by Douginduluth (talkcontribs) 06:25, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Ace of Aces?[edit]

He was not the allied "ace of aces", that claim could be made by Ivan Kozhedub, who had 62 kills to Bong's 40 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jibba-jabbaman (talkcontribs) 14:39, 21 March 2007 (UTC).

It does not say "Allied Ace of Aces"-- he was the American Ace of Aces, however, and so the term would be appropriate here.--Buckboard 13:32, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Birth and Death[edit]

The article header, as well as the article itself, apparently states different birth and death dates than the info box... Or am I mis-reading this? Iansmcl 15:38, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

The info box is wrong. --Panoptik (talk) 23:20, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

In the "Death" section, it reads "Bong either forgot to switch to the auxiliary fuel pump, or for some reason was unable to do so", and "Bong cleared away from the aircraft, but was too low for his parachute to deploy", and cites Chuck Yeager's "Yeager: An Autobiography" as its source. I have "Yeager" in my lap right now (which is what brought me to this page), and it says nothing of the sort. It says, on page 180: "Arrogance got more pilots in trouble than faulty equipment. That's what killed Dick Bong, our top war ace in the Pacific, who became a test pilot. Dick wasn't interested in homework. He crashed on takeoff when his main fuel pump sheared. He had neglected to turn on his auxiliary pump because he hadn't read the pilot's handbook, so he flamed out only fifty feet up. He had no ejection seat, but stood up in the cockpit, popped the canopy and then his chute. The air stream wrapped him around the ship's tail, and he went in with his airplane." [1] Cowcharge (talk) 02:26, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Number of kills?[edit]

The initial paragraph indicates Bong had 40 kills; the table shows only 38. One or the other should be updated... Byoolin (talk) 14:17, 6 August 2008 (UTC)byoolin

July 7 1942[edit]

We have a conflict that needs to be resolved. Dear Mom has an appendix that lists Bong's flights and it shows Bong not to have flown for weeks during late June and most of July. The Chronicle of Aviation says otherwise. Which one is right? Was the flight unauthorized and not listed in Bong's flightbook? Was the daredevil pilot somebody else? Is the date wrong? Binksternet (talk) 19:13, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Quoting from Dear Mom-So We Have a War: "...Dick and three of his classmates were cited for infractions of the flying rules at Hamilton Field on the 12th of June. Dick was cited for the buzz job over San Anselmo when he buzzed a pilot who had recently been married...(Dick was home for the Deer Season in the fall of 1943. At that time he confided that he thought that he would have been court-martialled out of the Air Corps had it not been for the fact that on the same day, three other pilots flew under the Golden Gate Bridge)." Page 139.

Again quoting: "Because of the status of being grounded, Dick's name was withdrawn from the roster of the 49th Pursuit Squadron. As a result Dick was left behind when the 14th Gp. shipped out to the East Coast on their way to England and on to Africa." page 140.

Last quote: "The story is told by General Kenney, Commander of the Fourth Air Corps at the time, that he had reports on his desk relating to a 2nd Lt. Richard Bong for flying a loop around the Golden Gate Bridge, among other things. However, when Dick was home on leave in November (1943), he told his family that he did not fly under the bridge, but was turned in for buzzing the house of one of his fellow pilots that had just been married."

Appendix B from "Dear Mom" is not a transcription, but rather shows the original flight logs as copied for the book.

I would doubt that Bong made any unauthorized flights during the time he was grounded. That would have been one sure way to permanently lose his wings. The incident was serious enough that when Bong's mother and sister Nelda traveled to the West Coast to visit him during this time (having decided on the trip when it looked like he would go overseas to Europe), only his Mother was allowed a very brief visit, Nelda never seeing her brother after traveling from Northern Wisconsin to Hamilton Field. (talk) 15:33, 26 August 2008 (UTC)Bob Fuhrman —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rfuhrman (talkcontribs) 22:02, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Even though Bong might have had reason to tell his family he buzzed a friend's house rather than flying under the GGB, he's the closest authority on the subject; far closer than Kenney. Unless we get new information, it appears that we'll need to keep the bridge story out of the article, or mention it for purposes of debunking. Binksternet (talk) 17:24, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Aerial Victory chart[edit]

The notation for Bong's November 11th victories (2) indicates that this was when he was recommended for the CMH. Something is strange here-his CMH citation reads that it is for his actions between October 10 and November 15, when, "His aggressiveness and daring resulted in his shooting down 8 enemy airplanes during this period." Besides the dates not jiving, the chart shows only 6 victories in that period of his 3rd combat tour (and 38 total instead of his 40 confirmed). Bong claimed 2 victories on October 10, 1944-an Irving and an Oscar during a mission to Balikpapan (mission no. 384-the combat report for the 7 hour mission is dated Oct. 11). the report states that Capt Baker and Col. Walker witnessed these victories.-"Dear Mom", page 393.

The chart of Bong's victories at ( shows the October 10th victories missing on the Wikipedia chart and notes he was recommended for the CMH on/or after the November 15 mission. I am not sure how to edit the chart in the entry to reflect this correction. Besides the entry, "Dear Mom"'s "Combat Record of Enemy Aircraft Destroyed" (epilogue, pages 557-560) supports the October 10 victory claims.Rfuhrman (talk) 19:12, 26 August 2008 (UTC)Bob Fuhrman

Use American Terminology About an American Military Officer![edit]

That business about the "South West Pacific Theatre" is British Crap. Americans named it the Southwest Pacific Theater - and Bong was an American. Avoid using British terminology in all cases! Don't be insulting to Americans! (talk) 09:38, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

I don't see it as such a big deal; everyone can understand the concept either way. Bong would not have given it a thought, I imagine. Binksternet (talk) 10:14, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
An epic effort to be insulted for the Red White and Blue, complete with an actual intended insult. (Southwest / South West) Pacific Theater is a simple geographical descriptor. I hate validated stereotypes. (talk) 01:07, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Seems like you're matching hypersensitivity with hypersensitivity to me.-- (talk) 03:45, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Richard Bong/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Why are there only 38 kills listed? Were two left off or were the two unconfirmed kills added? If your list is correct Bong and McGuire would be tied at 38.

Last edited at 21:46, 4 September 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 04:19, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

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  1. ^ "Yeager: An Autobiography", Page 180

Recent bold edit[edit]

Preserving here by providing this link; pls see edit summary for rationale. K.e.coffman (talk) 19:44, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Philippine Independence Medal questioned[edit]

Bong does not appear to be entitled to the Philippine Independence medal due to the fact it is awarded for having both the Philippine Defense Medal and Philippine Liberation Medal; the Defense medal is for the period of Dec. 8, 41 to Jun 15, 42 - which Bong does not qualify for. YahwehSaves (talk) 22:16, 12 October 2017 (UTC)