President George Herbert Walker Bush
First Military Flyer To Become President Of The United States, 1988
Inducted in 1994
George Bush was the first rated military combat pilot to be elected President of the United States. Bush enlisted in the United States Navy on June 12, 1942, his 18th birthday. He became the youngest pilot in the Navy when he received his wings and a commission in June 1943.
While on active duty during World War II, Bush flew torpedo bombers from the aircraft carrier USS San Jacinto in the pacific campaign. His Grumman TBF "Avenger" torpedo plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire and shot down in September 1944 over the Bonin Island of Chichi Jima, 600 miles south of Japan. Bush was sole survivor of the three-man crew and was rescued by the Navy submarine USS Finback. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross plus three Air Medals for his courageous service.
Bush was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1966 after a successful career in the oil industry. He was later appointed Ambassador to the United Nations, first post-war Ambassador to China and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He served as Vice President for two terms under President Ronald Reagan and was elected 41st President in 1988.