William Bishop

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"I had to get through the worst, to prove I was the best."
― William Bishop

Lieutenant Colonel William Bishop (ウィリアム·ビショップ) is the leader of the United States Air Force Warwolf Squadron. He is a flight veteran with many years of experience in various conflicts.

Bishop is the main player character in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, leading Task Force 108 through the game's events.


William Bishop was born in California in the United States.[1][2] Nothing else is known about his early years.

Early combat and testing

As a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force, Bishop saw his first combat in the Bosnian War as a rookie under callsign Wolf 4 in Wolf Squadron. He later served as a squadron commander in unspecified conflicts in Iraq and Libya.[4]

By the 2010s, Bishop had earned the Lieutenant Colonel rank. He was assigned to be a test pilot for Righteous, a modified F-22A Raptor in development to be a UAV.[4]

SRN insurgency

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Bishop "dying" in his dream

While testing Righteous, Bishop was offered the role of squadron commander in Task Force 108, which was fighting the SRN insurgency in West Africa. Frustrated with the lack of combat in being a test pilot, Bishop accepted. [4]

One night soon after arriving in the conflict zone, Bishop suffered a nightmare where he and Warwolf Squadron were defending Miami from an attack led by a fighter pilot with a shark on the aircraft's nose. Bishop was shot down in the nightmare, and when the shark-nosed aircraft attempted to hit him head-on, he abruptly woke up in a sweat before he is being told by Guts that they need to scramble. Upon awakening, he witnessed several Nomad helicopter squadrons going on a mission, with D-Ray aiding them. [6]

Walking through the base, Guts then confronted him on his nightmare before having found out that D-Ray took a hit on their recent mission. Encountering a few people who playfully conversed with them, such as Janice Rehl and Sergei Illich, Bishop and Guts walked through the base to get a sitrep from La Pointe. Bishop was then ordered by La Pointe that with enemy aircraft being all over the target area, he will need to gather everything that the task force has with Trinity having been found by helicopter forces a while ago. La Pointe later ordered Bishop to give the information to the intelligence officer before he went on for his mission.

Shortly thereafter, Bishop and the rest of the Warwolf Squadron, along with the Red Moon and Lion Squadrons were scrambled to defend Hamada from an air attack. Whilst taxiing, a KC-10 Extender nearly ran over them after it was shot down by enemy aircraft. All remaining squadrons, including Bishop, took off quickly, were they engaged several SRN MiG-21bis Fishbed aircraft attacking the base, with Bishop luring a few of them to the base where they are shot down by allied ground units. However, the base's communications were knocked offline and Warwolf continued defending the base from further damage. Later, Bishop and the rest of the squadron engaged more SRN forces attacking a nearby oil facility. In the ensuing firefight whilst pursuing retreating fighters, Red Moon 1's aircraft was heavily damaged and soon ejected. Bishop then destroyed the retreating fighters to clear the way for Nomad Squadron to rescue Illich but was captured before he can be rescued. Nevertheless, the mission is still a success and NATO later authorized a mission to rescue Illich.

After Illich was successfully rescued, Bishop and the rest of Warwolf Squadron were later deployed to assist Spooky 01 and a Delta team in raiding an SRN hideout in Mogadiyu. As the mission began, Warwolf began clearing SAM sites, allowing Spooky 01 and the Nomad Squadron to begin their assault. Bishop and the rest of Warwolf squadron later broke off to engage SRN fighters that were chasing a civilian aircraft. Following the mission, Bishop and the squadron attempted to land back to base, only to find out that the city of Carruth was under attack by rebel forces just as Stagleishov and Big Bear Squadron abruptly took off. While Big Bear headed up east, the Warwolf and Lion squadrons engaged several MiG-21 aircraft. However, as Stagleishov and the rest of Big Bear Squadron returned, they began to open fire on the NATO aircraft. Bishop then informed the rest of Warwolf squadron and Lion squadron that all Russian aircraft are hostile and to be taken down. As they engaged the enemy, Stagleishov informed Bishop that his betrayal was his own deeds without any external intervention. In the midst of the firefight, Bishop saw the same shark-nosed Su-35 from his nightmare joining the fray as it began attacking Guts' aircraft. Bishop then engaged the Su-35 and saved Guts in the process, but not before the pilot began to damage Bishop's aircraft, causing it to suffer external damage. Before the pilot can finish him off, Stagleishov informs him to stand down as they are low on fuel, even mentioning the pilot's name, Markov. Markov then taunted Bishop that he isn't "good enough" too take him on before leaving. With the aircraft suffering from low oil pressure, Bishop began an emergency landing, being informed by La Pointe that his men were found dead at the tower and it was Big Bear being involved and not the ground force, while Illich has recovered and taken command of the loyalist pilots. Just as Bishop soon landed, the aircraft's landing gear began to malfunction and his plane began crashing on the runway. Weakened, Bishop emerged from the damaged aircraft, and witnessed Carruth being destroyed.

NRF uprising

Task Force 108 shifts its operations away from East Africa to Dubai once it is revealed that Stagleishov has chosen to ally himself with the Russian crime syndicate known as Blatnoi, which has threated to destroy the city of Dubai with the WMD known as Trinity. Bishop and Warwolf Squadron engage the enemy fighters between the skyscrapers while preventing a squadron of Tu-95 Bears from dropping bombs over populated areas. Bishop shoots down the sixth and final bomber.

It is revealed that none of the bombers in Dubai were carrying Trinity, as the battle was a distraction for Trinity attacks on several military bases in Russia. The New Russian Federation takes control over Moscow, Task Force 108 is redeployed to perform joint operations with loyal Russian forces in order to liberate the areas held by the NRF. Warwolf Squadron assists Loyalist units Tyuleni and Molot Squadron, who are attempting a landing operation in Derbent. Guts initiates a solo attack run, and Bishop assists him. After the city is liberated, Markov appears in the distance and fires a large missile carrying a Trinity warhead at Tyuleni. Bishop pursues the missile and shoots it down, causing to harmlessly detonate above the Russian allies.

Transport flight "Sova Squadron" attempts to provide Belyi Base with doctors and medicine for their wounded, but are unable to land due to NRF air and ground assaults on the base. Bishop and Guts engage the enemy forces with the assistance of Molot Squadron while Warwolf 3 and Warwolf 4 head back to refuel. After a quick refueling, the two pilots prevent a second wave of attackers from taking out the transport planes.

Warwolf Squadron is tasked with sinking enemy ships so that Navy SEALS and Spetsnaz can launch a joint operation to rescue the Russian Prime Minister, who is being held hostage on a yacht in the Black Sea. The operation is successful due to the cover provided by Molot Squadron and Varona Squadron.

Warwolf Squadron and Red Moon Squadron assists Razor 1 (consisting of Janice Rehl and her co-pilot, Finn) by providing cover so that they can destroy ICBM missiles before they can be launched. Illich reports mechanical problems and disengages from his squadron. A previously concealed ICM truck fires its missile, and with little time remaining, Bishop purses the missile from below in order to destroy it before it reaches and altitude of 50,000 feet. His aircraft is badly damaged by the exhaust, but the attack is successful.

Bishop and Warwolf Squadron return to Moscow after refueling in the aftermath of a Trinity missile attack, where they intercept several cruise missiles before they can reach the city. After destroying several waves of Tu-160 Blackjack bombers, Guts notes that the bombers have been flying in formations of six, prompting Bishop to ask Magic about the presence of a sixth bomber. Shortly after, a sixth Blackjack appears, escorted by a formation of MiG-29s led by Markov. Prioritizing the danger presented by the Blackjack, Bishop weathers Markov's attacks and successfully destroys the Blackjack before it can release its payload. Turning his attention to Markov, Bishop engages the enemy ace in a lengthy and fierce dogfight, in which Markov taunts Bishop on his fears and nightmares. Bishop emerges victorious, and Markov's plane crashes into the ground. Magic speaks with a Russian commander who explains that Stagleishov is requesting political immunity in exchange for the last Trinity warhead. Guts complains about the deal, but Bishop reminds him that it's not their concern. As Warwolf returns to their base at Volgograd, Bishop quietly wonders if his nightmare is truly over.

Markov's Coup D'état

Markov is revealed to have survived his crash, and he murders Stagleishov with a pistol in order to steal Trinity for his own purposes. With the assistance of Illich, Markov states a full-scale assault on Florida, prompting Warwolf Squadron to assist by rejoining the United States Air Force. As Warwolf engages enemy aircraft above Miami, Bishop finds himself relieving the events of his nightmare. Markov makes his appearance once more. Markov fires a missile at Bishop, but Guts shields Bishop with his F-22A, preventing Bishop's nightmare from becoming a reality. Guts repeatedly attempts to eject, but his plane is heavily damaged. Inspired by a very similar situation from his past [4], Bishop orders Guts to invert and stay in an invert. Guts is understandably confused, but Bishop tells Guts to trust him. Guts complies, and Bishop shoots the canopy off with his machine gun, allowing Guts to bail out. Seeing that Guts's parachute is working properly. Bishop engages Markov in a joust which damages the launching mechanisms of Trinity. Markov flies north toward Washington D.C., Bishop is forced to refuel before pursuing Markov.

After refueling via tanker aircraft, Bishop and Warwolf Squadron purse Markov up the Florida coastline, dealing with several Sukhoi aircraft in order to catch up to Markvov and Illich. Markov disappears from radar, and Illich covers his escape by engaging Bishop in a dogfight. As the two exchange words, Bishop questions Illich on his defection, but Illich remains cheerful even as he taunts Bishop for trusting him for so long. Bishop eventually shoots down Illich. Magic attempts to track Markov through Warwolf's flight data, and informs Bishop that Markov's destination is highly likely to be Washington, D.C.

Finally reaching the capital, Warwolf Squadron engages enemy forces over the Potomac river. Bishop attempts to stop the rebel pilots from crashing their planes into allied forces, but is unable to prevent the destruction of AEGIS cruiser USS Anzio. Five bombers approach Washington D.C. at high altitude. Bishop shoots down the bombers with the assistance of Jericho 1 and 2. He successfully destroys the sixth bomber, but it crashes into the Woodrow Wilson bridge, taking out the last of the remaining anti-air defenses. Markov attempt to drop Trinity on the White House, and after a final, harrowing dogfight, Bishop destroys Markov's plane, killing the opposing pilot. However, Bishop then realizes that Markov managed to lob-toss the Trinity missile at White House. Desperately pursing the missile, Bishop manages to inflict enough damage to cause the missile to veer into the nearby Tide Basin where it harmlessly detonates, causing a large splash of water. The shockwave sends Bishop's plane into a spiral and he has a flashback to his nightmare, but he snaps himself out of it and regains control. Bishop contacts the local air traffic control and lands at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

As Bishop steps out of his F-22A Raptor, Janice Rehl pushes through the crowd and congratulates him with a hug. Bishop tells her about what happened to Guts, but Rehl informs him that Guts's emergency beacon has been detected. Bishop breaths out a huge sigh of relief. Bishop then raises his fist in triumph, muses on how he conquered his nightmares, and takes comfort in the fact that everything turned out fine, in the end.



Concept Art


Early image of Bishop with facial hair
  • In initial promotional media for Assault Horizon, Bishop (and his wingman, Guts) was depicted with some facial hair. However, USAF policies do not permit facial hair, so this was removed later in the game's development.
  • Bishop is the first player character in the Ace Combat series whose face has been unambiguously revealed. All prior player characters were never seen from the front, or had their faces obscured.
  • Bishop is the second player character in the Ace Combat series to have voiced lines, the first being Phoenix in Ace Combat 2 landing sequences. (Ace from Ace Combat Advance was also a speaking player character, but he did not have any voiced lines.)
  • Bishop is the highest-ranking player character in the Ace Combat series. Other player characters either did not have their ranks revealed, were no higher than Captain, or their ranks were dependent on gameplay.
    • Despite his rank of Lieutenant Colonel, other characters repeatedly refer to him as "Colonel" in shorthand. This is also commonplace in the real world.[7]
  • Bishop's age is a subject of confusion. Official media confirms that Bishop is 37 years old at the start of the game's events,[1][2] which means his year of birth is either 1978 or 1979. However, he took part in the Bosnian War,[4] which ended in 1995, when he would have been 17 years old at most.
  • Jim DeFelice based Bishop's characterization on an F-105 Vietnam War veteran he personally knew.[5] He also drew inspiration from Lieutenant A.K. Waters (played by Bruce Willis) in Tears of the Sun.[5][8]
  • Bishop's name is likely based on Canadian ace William "Billy" Bishop.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Characters. Ace Combat Assault Horizon Official website.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 キャラクター紹介. エースコンバット アサルト・ホライゾン | バンダイナムコゲームズ公式サイト<.
  3. Assault Horizon. Jim DeFelice's website. Retrieved from the Web Archive version as of October 30, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 The Last Ace.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Assault Horizon People. Jim DeFelice's website. Retrieved from the Web Archive version as of October 31, 2011.
  6. Nightmare, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.
  7. LTC Keith E. Bonn, Army Officer's Guide, 50th Edition, p. 14. Mechanicsville, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 2005.
  8. https://youtu.be/Vq9M9xO4K6k