Ace of Aces  LbNA # 11246 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateSep 30 2004
LocationKansasville, WI
Found By LST
Last Found Aug 14 2005
Hike Distance?

BOX MISSING!! As of 7/2/06 the box is gone; replacement in the works.

Time: About 1 hour
Difficulty: Gently rolling terrain

The Ace of Aces Letterbox is located in Richard Bong State Recreation Area. The Rec Area is part of the Wisconsin State Park system and visitors are required to pay an admission fee to enter the park. The entrance to Richard Bong State Rec Area is located on Hwy. 142 about 1/2 mile west of the intersection with Hwy. 75.

This State Recreation Area is named in honor of Richard Ira Bong, America's "Ace of Aces" and most distinguished fighter pilot. The area is the site of an airfield (also to be named after Richard Bong) that was abandoned in 1959 just prior to completion of the runway. At the age of 22, after having trained in the P-38 aircraft which he loved, Richard Bong was sent to the Pacific in September of 1942 to became a member of the "Flying Knights". Here he began earning military honors for his bravery and skill as a fighter pilot. His successes earned him the Silver Star and the prestigious Medal of Honor. After serving for over 2 years in active combat, he was sent home in late 1944. He married his sweetheart, Marjorie Valtendahl, and went to work as a test pilot, helping to develop the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star. On August 6, 1945, as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Richard Ira Bong, the most successful US fighter pilot of World War II, was killed in a routine acceptance flight. This recreation area is a living, thriving tribute to the open spaces he loved.


To find out where in the park to begin your search, you'll have to solve this puzzle first. A park paper may come in handy. Fill in the answers to the clues below in the spaces given, one letter to each space.

Richard Bong's area of expertise _ (_) _ _ _ _ _ _

Name of campground at Bong's east end _ _ _ _ (_) _ _

Square miles of Bong Recreation Area (_) _ _ _ _

Event featuring trained dogs _ _ (_) _ _

Licensed seasonal activity _ _ _ (_) _ _ _

Richard Bong was born in this Wisconsin city _ (_) _ _ _ _

Number of enemy planes Richard Bong shot down _ _ (_) _ _

Name of campground at Bong's west end _ _ _ (_) _ _

Area in Bong featuring live animals and exhibits (2 wds)

_ _ _ _ _ _ - (_) _ _ _ _ _

May be ridden on 13 miles of trails at Bong _ _ _ _ (_) _

Abandoned area 12,500 ft. long by 4 ft. deep _ _ (_) _ _ _

Destructive pest that strips trees of leaves (2 wds) _ _ _ _ _ - _ _ (_) _

Platform used for viewing wildlife (2 wds)

_ _ _ (_) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - _ _ _ _

City where Richard Bong WWII Heritage Center is located _ _ _ _ (_) _ _ _

Beginning with the first answer, write the letter found in parentheses from each answer.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - _ _ _ _ _ _ = location in park to begin your search (2 wds)

Your Mission

You'll need to collect various pieces of top-secret information during your flight to accomplish your mission. Begin your reconnaissance of the park at the location determined above and travel through the park to collect your data. (Hopefully you filed a flight plan before leaving home.)

(A) Name of this building (top line of plaque on front of


(B) Highest number on the radio-control ("RC") flying field board (lot D):


(C) What type of birds run on top of the water to take flight? (Hint: they can

be observed from a special platform in the park): ________________.

(D) Highest numbered site at Sunset Campground: ___________.

Land your aircraft at the Beach Picnic Area. Locate the steps on the far end and make your way to the top. From here, take the trail at a compass bearing equal to (B) above. Continue on this trail until you reach a road. Cross it and continue on until you come to a limestone path. Cross this as well. Up and over the rise you'll cross the limestone path a second time.

Continuing on you'll pass by a bench dedicated to one with initials the same as the first and last letters of your answer for (C).

From the bench, continue to the next trail marker on your right. At this marker, take a compass bearing of your answer for (D) divided in half (rounding up).

Mentally measure the number of paces equal to the number of letters in your answer for (A). This will give you the distance to the landmark you are seeking, but find the least destructive way to get to it. Look beneath this landmark. Mission accomplished!

Please make sure you re-hide the box well. One can never tell when the enemy may be lurking about. Travel back to your aircraft the way you came in and have a safe flight home.