Thursday, October 9, 2014
The U.S.S. George H. W. Bush
President Bush Sr., to his enormous credit, joined the U.S. Navy at the age of seventeen, right out of prep school and during a major war. With his family connections, he could easily have proceeded directly to Yale and missed the war entirely. He became a Navy pilot, albeit a TBF Avenger pilot, flying off of escort carriers. This was a very dangerous, unglamorous job. The Avenger was an ungainly plane that delivered bombs or torpedoes; the escort carriers were small and uncomfortable for everybody. The hipsters were flying Hellcats from Essex Class carriers. So his juice only got him so far.
He served with considerable competence and dedication.
There's a funny story about his arrival on the ship. Imagine the eighteen year old Bush coming on board and approaching a group of pilots to introduce himself. "Hello!" he says, "I'm George Herbert Walker Bush!"
So of course, for the rest of his time on the boat, the other pilots addressed him on all occasions as George Herbert Walker Bush. "Good morning George Herbert Walker Bush!"
So I believe that they should have named the new carrier in the same way, to honor the tradition, so to speak.
The new ship . . . isn't she a beauty?