The Life of George H.W. Bush
World War II Hero
Soon after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, an 18-year-old George H.W. Bush enlisted in the U.S. Navy and trained to fly combat missions in the Pacific theater. On September 2, 1944, he flew one of four Grumman TBM Avenger aircraft that attacked Japanese installations at Chichijima. Resistance was fierce, and Bush’s plane engine caught fire. He nonetheless completed the mission before parachuting into the ocean. He floated in a raft for hours before he was rescued by an American submarine. By the end of 1944, he’d flown 58 combat missions. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross “for heroism and extraordinary achievement.”
Beliefnet Contributing Editor G. Jeffrey MacDonald is a journalist, ordained minister and author of Thieves in the Temple: The Christian Church and the Selling of the American Soul
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