The History of Fighting
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The Art of Fighting
Posted by on Saturday, February 10, 2024
Richard "Dick" Ira Bong (1920 – 1945) was a United States Army Air Forces major who won the Medal of Honour for his aviation exploits in World War Two. He was America’s top fighter pilot during the war, with forty confirmed Japanese aircraft down by his Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter.
Bong considered himself to be a poor shot so to compensate, he would get very close to his target, sometimes even flying through the debris of exploding planes. His exploits include:
He was once caught alone by nine Japanese zeros. He turned to face them, took out three and managed to send the rest into retreat.
When escorting a small boat over the pacific, he noticed a large crocodile following it. He promptly dropped down to sea level and blew the creature out of the water with his 20mm autocannon.
In 1942, he was temporarily grounded along with three other pilots for looping over the Golden Gate Bridge and flying so low down a street in San Francisco that he blew the clothes off a woman’s clothesline. When reprimanding him, his commanding officer General George C. Kenney said:
“If you didn't want to fly down Market Street, I wouldn't have you in my Air Force, but you are not to do it anymore and I mean what I say.” Kenney later wrote, “We needed kids like this lad.”
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