NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The National WWII Museum in New Orleans has dedicated a gallery of aircraft to former President George H. W. Bush’s aviator, who was forced to bail out his bomber during the war when it was hit by Japanese anti-aircraft fire.
The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported that Bush was remembered at the dedication ceremony Tuesday at the museum where the gallery featuring aircraft that flew during the war was named the George HW Bush Aviation Gallery. Overhead was the same type of plane flown by Bush during the war – a blue light bomber called the Avenger.
The future president was attempting to take out a Japanese radio tower in 1944 when his plane was hit and he bailed out; a submarine rescued him but the other two men on the plane died. At the dedication ceremony, his grandson Pierce Bush said the elder Bush thought about other men who weren’t constantly.
“In a way,” Bush’s grandson said, “it impacted the way he lived.”
The former president, who died in 2018, was an early supporter of the museum which was first called the D-Day Museum and then the National WWII Museum. The Aviation Gallery named in his honor features six vintage aircraft, including the Avenger.
Governor John Bel Edwards also spoke at the ceremony and called the late president a “war hero and accomplished public servant.” The governor, who is also a former military man, also noted the current military conflict in which Europe is engaged, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and lamented that the world is apparently “not smart enough” to learn previous generations who have experienced war. .