Richard Bong: World War II Flying Ace
By Pete Barnes
128 pages, 66 b/w photos and 2 maps, 7 x 9"
Who would have imagined a farm boy from Wisconsin would be the greatest air hero of World War II? Richard Bong was an athletic and hard-working boy from northern Wisconsin who dreamed of flying from the first time a plane buzzed low over his family farm. When war broke out, he left behind a life of sports, deer hunting, and farm chores to fly the new P-38 Lightning for the Army Air Force. Stationed in New Guinea, Bong shot down a total of 40 Japanese flyers in under three years - beating the record of 26 set by Eddie Rickenbacker in World War I. His accomplishments won this modest pilot the title "Ace of Aces" and a Congressional Medal of Honor awarded by General MacArthur himself.
Follow Bong as he navigates his way through basic training, flight school, and life on an overseas army base. Watch as he takes to the skies in his P-38 fighter jet, outflying Japanese aircraft with barrel rolls, dives, and turns. Celebrate as he meets and marries the love of his life back home in Wisconsin, and mourn as his life comes to a swift and unexpected end during an ill-fated training flight in California.
"Richard Bong: World War II Flying Ace" is part of the Badger Biographies series for young readers. The engaging narrative is complemented by an accessible format that includes historic photographs, a glossary of terms, sidebars on life in the military, and suggestions for activities and discussion.
Fountas and Pinnell Level S