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G.H.W. Bush


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#1 Doc Raider

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 03:06 PM

From www.history.navy.mil

Upon hearing of the Pearl Harbor attack, while a student at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., George Bush decided he wanted to join the Navy to become an aviator. Six months later, after graduation, he enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday and began preflight training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After completing the 10-month course, he was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve on 9 June 1943, several days before his 19th birthday; making him the youngest naval aviator then.


After finishing flight training, he was assigned to Torpedo Squadron (VT-51) as photographic officer in September 1943. As part of Air Group 51, his squadron was based on USS San Jacinto in the spring of 1944. San Jacinto was part of Task Force 58 that participated in operations against Marcus and Wake Islands in May, and then in the Marianas during June. On 19 June, the task force triumphed in one of the largest air battles of the war. During the return of his aircraft from the mission, Ensign Bush's aircraft made a forced water landing. The destroyer, USS Clarence K. Bronson, rescued the crew, but the plane was lost. On 25 July, Ensign Bush and another pilot received credit for sinking a small cargo ship.


After Bush was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade on 1 August, San Jacinto commenced operations against the Japanese in the Bonin Islands. On 2 September 1944, Bush piloted one of four aircraft from VT-51 that attacked the Japanese installations on Chi Chi Jima. For this mission his crew included Radioman Second Class John Delaney, and Lieutenant Junior Grade William White, USNR, who substituted for Bush's regular gunner. During their attack, four TBM Avengers from VT-51 encountered intense antiaircraft fire. While starting the attack, Bush's aircraft was hit and his engine caught on fire. He completed his attack and released the bombs over his target scoring several damaging hits. With his engine on fire, Bush flew several miles from the island, where he and one other crew member on the TBM Avenger bailed out of the aircraft. However, the other man's chute did not open and he fell to his death. It was never determined which man bailed out with Bush. Both Delaney and White were killed in action. While Bush anxiously waited four hours in his inflated raft, several fighters circled protectively overhead until he was rescued by the lifeguard submarine, USS Finback. For this action, Bush received the Distinguished Flying Cross. During the month he remained on Finback, Bush participated in the rescue of other pilots.


Subsequently, Bush returned to San Jacinto in November 1944 and participated in operations in the Philippines. When San Jacinto returned to Guam, the squadron, which had suffered 50 percent casualties of its pilots, was replaced and sent to the United States. Throughout 1944, he had flown 58 combat missions for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation awarded San Jacinto.


Because of his valuable combat experience, Bush was reassigned to Norfolk and put in a training wing for new torpedo pilots. Later, he was assigned as a naval aviator in a new torpedo squadron, VT-153. With the surrender of Japan, he was honorably discharged in September 1945 and then entered Yale University.


Former Lieutenant George Herbert Walker Bush, U.S. Naval Reserve
Transcript Of Naval Service

12 JUN 1924 Born in Milton, Massachusetts
13 JUN 1942 Enlisted in U.S. Naval Reserve
5 AUG 1942 Reported for Active Duty
8 JUN 1943 Honorably Discharged
9 JUN 1943 Ensign, U.S. Naval Reserve and continued on Active Duty
1 AUG 1944 Lieutenant (junior grade)
18 SEP 1945 Released from Active Duty under honorable conditions
16 NOV 1948 Lieutenant
24 OCT 1955 Resignation accepted under honorable conditions

SHIPS AND STATIONS

U.S. Naval Air Station, June 1943-Aug. 1943
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (Instrn)

Naval Air Operational Aug. 1943-Aug. 1943
Training Command
Carrier Qualification Training Unit
U.S. Naval Air Station, Glenview, Ill. (Instrn)

Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Aug. 1943-Sept. 1943
U.S. Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Va. (Instrn)

Carrier Aircraft Service 21 Sept. 1943-Sept. 1943
(Instrn)

Torpedo Squadron 51 (Naval Aviator) Sept. 1943-Dec. 1943

Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Dec. 1944-Feb. 1945
U.S.Naval
Air Station, Norfolk, Va.

Torpedo Squadron 97 Feb. 1945-March 1945

Torpedo Squadron 153(Naval Aviator) March 1945-Sept. 1945

Headquarters, FIFTH Naval District Sept. 1945-Sept. 1945

PERSONAL DECORATIONS
Distinguished Flying Cross.
Air Medal with two gold stars in lieu of subsequent awards
Presidential Unit Citation awarded USS San Jacinto (CVL-30)

RESERVE AFFILIATION
NONE (Resigned 24 Oct 1955)

Other documents related to LTJG Bush at the Naval Historical Center:

Torpedo Squadron FIFTY-ONE's Aircraft Action Report of 2 September 1944,World War II Reports, Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center
Extracts from USS Finback's Tenth War Patrol Report on rescue of LTJG Bush, Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center
Carrier Air Group TWENTY's Aircraft Action Report of 2 September 1944, World War II Reports, Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center

#2 C.Evans

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 04:39 PM

Good to know stuff about our ex-C-i-C. Thanks Doc. smile.gif
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#3 TA152

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 10:41 AM

If he was discharged in 1945, then what is the 16 NOV 1948 Lieutenant entry all about? Also the resignation in 1955? I am not familar with how the navy works. :confused:
I need a bailout of only $500,000

#4 David Barton (DB) Mathis

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 04:29 PM

Yeah, thanks doc!
I've heard about this but didn't have that much info.

#5 1ST Chutes

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 03:02 PM

If he was discharged in 1945, then what is the 16 NOV 1948 Lieutenant entry all about? Also the resignation in 1955? I am not familar with how the navy works. :confused:


Transferred from Active Duty to Fleet Reserve in 1945

Promoted to Lt. while in Fleet Reserve 1948

Resigned Commission in 1955- no further committment.

Bush was a Naval Reserve Officer when he was no longer on needed on active duty he was transferred to the Fleet Reserve and continued to be a Reserve Officer and was promoted as such, until his resignation in 1955.
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"If we have to run this ship aground to take out those guns we will do it."
Capt. USS McCook DD-496. 06 June,1944 off Omaha Beach.

#6 Carronade

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 03:17 PM

James Bradley interviewed Bush for his book Flyboys which includes Bush's mission to Chi Chi Jima. Almost sixty years later, Bush still hoped he had done all he could to give his crewmen time to bail out.

#7 namvet

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 01:59 AM

he came very close to being captured. the Japanese saw him and sent out a boat to pick him up. the OIC on Chi Chi Jima was later arrested and executed for cannibalism. he and his officers were eating the livers of US pilots.
"There are no great men, there are only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet."- ADM William F. Halsey

#8 1ST Chutes

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 04:41 PM

G.H.W Bush being taken aboard USS Finback SS-230:

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"If we have to run this ship aground to take out those guns we will do it."
Capt. USS McCook DD-496. 06 June,1944 off Omaha Beach.

#9 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:38 PM

There's some interesting reading here:

LTJG George Bush in World War II

Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


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#10 Fred Wilson

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 12:53 AM

George Bush's comrades eaten by their Japanese PoW guards - Telegraph

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#11 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 04:21 AM

George Bush's comrades eaten by their Japanese PoW guards - Telegraph


That article makes it pretty clear that it was not out of desperation that cannibalism was practiced, at least by this particular group of Japanese. The former President came very close to a very ugly, brutal end.

Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


halvorsonpto129ir37id3.jpg

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#12 Clementine

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:44 PM

James Bradley interviewed Bush for his book Flyboys which includes Bush's mission to Chi Chi Jima. Almost sixty years later, Bush still hoped he had done all he could to give his crewmen time to bail out.


I was very touched by this. When Bush was interviewed by Bradley he asked him if he knew what happened to his crewmates, Ted White and John Delaney, and Bradley did not know. He said Bush told him that he thought about those boys all of the time. I think all of our veterans live with questions like this.

I am currently reading Bradley's book, "Flyboys," and I was very surprised about the incidences of cannabalism among the Japense troops. I've never heard this before. It's stomach churning.

Proud Daughter of a WWII Veteran, 608 Engineer Light Equipment Company  

 

 


#13 belasar

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:50 PM

I had read of similar acts in New Guinea with the comment from a Japanese soldier that the Australian's who were eaten tasted 'like chicken'. The account made it clear that in this case it was a matter of extream hunger on the part of the Japanese troops.
Wars are rarely fought in black and white, but in infinite shades of grey

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