Naval Aviator in World War II
Bush enlisted in the U.S. Navy immediately after graduating from high school. At age 19, he was the youngest pilot for the U.S. Navy at that point.
In 1944, Bush’s aircraft was hit and his engine caught fire during an attack, but he completed his mission despite the fire. After he and another crew member bailed out of the plane, he waited four hours in an inflatable raft to be rescued.
The experience had a profound influence on Bush, especially since others involved in the attack had died, leading him to ask, “Why had I been spared and what did God have for me?”