The Bong Eagles are a free flight model airplane club based in south-eastern Wisconsin. The name comes from their favorite flying field, Bong Recreational Area near Burlington, Wisconsin, where they hold outdoor free flight contests. Bong Recreational Area in turn is named after 40 plane Ace of the Pacific Theater in WWII MAJ Richard Ira Bong. Besides areas that the Bong Eagles reserve for contests, this never completed B-47 base also is home to an R/C field. https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/parks/richardbong
During the winter months (without a pandemic) indoor contests and fun flying take place in Racine Memorial Hall in Racine, Wisconsin. The club flies AMA, FAC and FAI (international) events. See the Indoor and Events pages for updates.
There does not appear to be written history of the Bong Eagles club.
Jack Boone offered the following:
I joined the club in 1989 after moving back to Wisconsin. In the mid-90’s, I was club president for three years. It was during this time that we enrolled in the Flying Aces and got our squadron numbers.
In the beginning, there was only one indoor contest, in November. Joe Adams, the former newsletter editor and club treasurer, was the CD for it. I started the second indoor contest in March of 1997 in Racine Memorial Hall. The contests have been there ever since, along with the monthly flying sessions. The events are the same in fall and spring mostly from sheer laziness. After Joe passed, the fall contest was named for him.
During the Outdoor season we had three contests. The first is the Old Timers contest – Otto Curth, a long time Chicago Aeronuts member, ran it for years. Tony Telford ran it after Otto fell ill. For a while it was called the Otto Curth memorial Old Timer contest. I’m not sure when that stopped. The CD now is Jeff Annis.
The second contest is in August and runs newer events. Jeff Annis is also the CD.
The third ‘contest’ had been a fun fly run by Jack Schnobrich. There are only three events, all are mass launch events.
Tony Italiano was a very important early member of the club. Once the Bong Eagles were invited to come to Bong to fly their planes for the governor. Tony was the front man, Jack Boone brought some R/C models to fly. Gov. Thompson seemed delighted. Afterwards he asked how they like Bong. They admitted they did but it could always be improved. How, he asked. Runways, Tony answered.
The next year Bong had a budget line item to add runways to the flying field.
Update: Tony Italiano’s biography is in the AMA Hall of Fame. He passed away in 2013 at the age of 90. https://www.modelaircraft.org/sites/default/files/files/ItalianoAnthonyAJTony.pdf
Jack Boone passed away in 2015, aged 83. His obituary in the Racine Journal/Times mentioned his membership in the Bong Eagles. Joe B. remembers his kindness to beginners as CD for Indoor Contests at Racine. https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/journaltimes/name/jack-boone-obituary?pid=174178728