Skip to comments.Richard Bong America’s Top Ace of WWII and Wisconsin Deer Hunter
Posted on 10/13/2018 5:01:44 AM PDT by marktwain
Richard Bong was born on September 24th, 1920. My father was born on January 22, 1918, less than two years earlier. They grew up about 40 miles apart, on farms in northern Wisconsin. Richard in the town of Poplar. My father was raised in the town of Lenroot. Township. Townships in Wisconsin, are political units, six miles by six miles square.
Both were good deer hunters. Richard Bong, the famous World War II ace, was shown using a Savage 99 chambered in .300 Savage, while hunting deer in Northern Wisconsin. The picture was taken in 1943 during his first leave back to the U.S. It appears that Richard is wearing a military web belt. His father, Carl, was shown walking alongside him.
What struck me were the rifles. Richard's father, was carrying a Remington model 8 or 81, the first successful high powered semi-automatic rifle. It came on the market in 1906. I have one made in early 1907. Richard Bong's Savage model 99 was advanced for its time in a different way. It sported a rifle scope. It was probably a 3/4 inch tube Weaver 3-30, 3-29, or 4-40. Weaver converted to one inch tubes for their high powered rifle scopes after the war, in 1947.
The Savage 99 rifle Richard Bong used deer hunting has been donated to the Bong Center. It no longer sports a Weaver scope, but those scopes have long been obsolete.The serial number on the Bong .300 Savage model 99 rifle indicates it was manufactured in
(Excerpt) Read more at ammoland.com ...
The Bong Museum in Superior Wisconsin (sister city to Duluth, MN) is well worth visiting if you get up that way. A lovely P-38 is on inside display as well as lots of other hardware. And its lots of fun telling people youve been to the Bong Museum.
Some people had the knack for shooting at moving targets. Something extra that not many people possess. Then some people have even more. Another good example is Ted Williams(the baseball player). Fighter pilot in WWII then came back for Korea. John Glenn was his wingman as I understand it.
Take the Bong Bridge to the Bong Museum...
My cousin Steve is like that. When we were kids we'd take our pellet guns into the woods behind his house for chipmunk and squirrel safaris. On more than one occasion, I saw him shoot a starling out of the air with his Crosman 760.
Bong got in trouble with Gen. Kenny, IIRC, after buzzing Market St in San Francisco. In doing so he blew a lady’s laundry of the line. Said lady called the airbase and raised a high dungeon.
Kenny called Bong in and chewed him out and order Bong to go to the lady’s house, redo the laundry and any other chores she had as his punishment.
Bong died while performing an acceptance flight on a P-80A on August 6th, 1945. The primary fuel pump failed on takeoff and for whatever reason Bong did not switch on the back-up pump. Bong death was front page news nation wide along with the bombing of Hiroshima.
Bwaaa haaa haa ha
I did that once.Just a lucky shot though.
Wonder what a Deer hunting trip with Lamphier would have been like in say, 1948?
Williams never got into the fight in WW2. He did in Korea.
This is the first I’ve read about Richard Bong. My gosh 40 shoot-downs...
was shown using a Savage 99 chambered in .300 Savage,
Sadly I let one of those fine rifles slip through my hands. Still have a couple boxes of cartridges for it laying around somewhere.
In 1948, it would have been good deer hunting, I would think.
There was a big die-off of deer in Idaho in the winter of 1948.
I have been to the Bong museum.
I have been through Poplar Wisconsin many times, en route to the Brule river for steelhead fishing.
In an emergency situation, when one has to remember to do A, B, C, D, etc, some steps can be forgotten, or done out of sequence by a pilot not intimately familiar with the plane.
My guess is Bong wasn't intimately familiar with the P-80 and when the fuel pump went out, he either mid-diagnosed the problem, was too slow reacting, or forgot what to do.
The .308 Winchester/7.62x51 is a modified .300 Savage.
The Army thought the .300 would make a cartridge with near the power of the .30-06, in a more compact package.
In testing, they found the neck of the .300 Savage was too short for military use in semi-autos/full autos, so the increased the case length a bit and increased the neck length. Voila! the .308/7.62x51.
My understanding is the .223/5.56x45 is the result of similar experimentation with the .222 Remington magnum.
Flew a P38. Youtube still has the story on an old History Channel Doc.
On the way from Rockford Il to Madison Wis. you drive through the “Bong Recreation Area” state park.
Apparently I was mistaken that Williams was Glenn’s wingman, it was the other way around. Williams was Glenn’s wingman.
He did serve in WWII, however, as a Marine Aviator from 1942 until 1946.
From Yeager's book, Yeager. Bong reportedly had the ego sickness which many managers and fighter pilots have: Ego Sickness. Reportedly, after being pulled from combat, he was testing out the new P-80 fighter plane, and the factory technicians tried to explain the characteristics of the aircraft. He would not let them because he was Dick Bong, the Ace of Aces and didn't need to receive instruction from nerds... Crashed on takeoff. Killed.
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