Presidential High: More Than 50 Years after a Tragic Wartime Jump, George Bush Has a Happier Landing

By Seligmann, Jean | Newsweek, April 7, 1997 | Go to article overview

Presidential High: More Than 50 Years after a Tragic Wartime Jump, George Bush Has a Happier Landing


Seligmann, Jean, Newsweek


More than 50 years after a tragic wartime jump; George Bush has a happier landing

Free fall: Two guides held Bush before he pulled his rip cord and floated down to a desert reunion with his anxious wife

FOR SOME SEPTUAGENARIANS IT wouldn't be prudent, but George Bush was eager to get high. While the man who took the White House away from him was hobbling around on crutches last week, the 72-year-old former president was jumping out of a plane 12,500 feet above the Arizona desert.

The sky dive was an adventure Bush had promised himself in 1944 when, as a young U.S. Navy aviator, he bailed out of his torpedo bomber when it was shot down by Japanese gunners over the Pacific. His two fellow crew members were killed, and Bush sustained serious cuts and braises when he pulled his fip cord prematurely and banged his head on the burning plane's fuselage.

This time the old soldier was determined to jump without glitches. …

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