Magazine article Newsweek

A Young Hero's Anguish

Magazine article Newsweek

A Young Hero's Anguish

Article excerpt

CHICHI-JIMA, SEPT. 2, 1944: Lt. (j.g.) George Bush is shot down. Two crewmates were lost (one of whom, Bush later learned, was seen parachuting out of the plane). Bush completed the mission and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross. Here are excerpts from a letter the 20-year-old Bush wrote his parents after being rescued at sea.

Yesterday was a day which will long stand in my memory. I was on a bombing hop with [John] Delaney as my radioman and Lt. (jg) Ted White as my gunner. He did not usually fly, but I asked him if he would like to go with me and he wanted to. We had the usual joking around in the readyroom about having to bail out etc.-at that time it all seemed so friendly and innocent but now it seems awful and sinister ...

[W]e got hit. The cockpit filled with smoke and I told the boys in back to get their parachutes on. They didn't answer at all, but I looked around and couldn't see Ted in the turret so I assumed he had gone below to get his chute fastened on. I headed the plane out to sea and put on the throttle so as we could get away from the land as much as possible. I am not too clear about the next parts. I told them to bail out, and then I called up the skipper and told him I was bailing out. My crewmen never acknowledged either transmission, and yet the radio gear was working-at least mine was and unless they had been hit back there theirs should have been, since we had talked not long before ... I turned the plane up in an attitude so as to take pressure off the back hatch so the boys could get out. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.