Bong, Richard

Bong, Richard (Ira)

(1920–45) aviator; born in Superior, Wis. The greatest American fighter ace of World War II, he shot down 40 Japanese aircraft in three combat tours in the Southwest Pacific (1942–44). He was killed in the crash of an experimental P-80 jet near Los Angeles on August 6, 1945.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.