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 WWII Ace Richard Ira Bong. During the winter months indoor contests and fun flying take place in Racine Memorial Hall in Racine, Wisconsin. They fly AMA, FAC and FAI (international) events.
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.
The Outdoor season we have 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’ is 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.