Synopses & Reviews
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.
2009 Finalist in the Young Adult Non-fiction Category from Midwest Independent Publishers Association Book Awards
2010 Finalist in the Children's Non-fiction Category from National Indie Excellence Awards
2010 Finalist in the Children's Non-fiction Category from USA National Best Book Awards
Wisconsin-born Richard Bong was the highest-rated flying ace in World War II, famous for having shot down 40 Japanese planes during a 3 year career as a fighter pilot. The recipient of a Silver Star and a Congressional Medal of Honor, Bong was killed after the war in a flying accident just months after marrying the love of his life, Marge Vattendahl. Badger Biographies is a series intended to integrate reading and Wisconsin history for 4th through 8th grade students or for ELL/ESL high school students.
About the Author
Pete Barnes is a National Board certified teacher who teaches fifth grade social studies, science, and math in New Albany, Ohio. He has written articles for youth audiences in the American history magazine Cobblestone, for educators in the magazine Instructor, and for fellow teachers in the magazine Teaching K-8. Pete has a bachelor's degree from The College of William and Mary and a Masters degree in education from The Ohio State University. This is his second book in the Badger Biographies series.