This is the Naval Action Report for the mission in which the future President George HW Bush was shot down. The report states:Lt Bush was piloting the third plane over the target. Bush's plane was hit in the engine shortly after final push at 8,000 feet. In spite of this hit which caused his engine to smoke and catch on fir, Lt Bush continued in his dive, releasing his bombs on the radio station at 85.6-50.6 to score damaging hits. Ens. Moore, in the 4th plane likewise dropped his bombs on latter installations.after releasing his bombs, Lt Bush turned sharply to the east to clear the island of Chichi Jima, smoke and flames enveloping his engine and spreading aft as he did so, and his plane losing altitude ... At a point approximately 9 miles bearing 045 degrees from Minami Jima, Bush and one other person were seen to bail out from about 3,000 ft. Bush's chute opened and he landed safely in water, inflated his raft, and paddled farther away from Chichi Jima. ... (Bush has not yet been returned to squadron by rescue sub, so this information is incomplete). The rescue sub promptly affected rescue of Lt Bush who was unhurt, plans of VG-20 remaining over Bush's raft to protect him. It should be noted that VT-51 has established a doctrine, whenever wind and other conditions permit, to make bombing runs on targets near water so as to retire over the water. This puts pilot and crew in position for water rescue in event of forced landing suc as that described herein.
USN Torpedo Squadron 51
Action Report, U.S. Navy Torpedo Squadron 51 (VT-51), for Actions Occurring September 1-2, 1944. , 09/01/1944 - 09/02/1944
- Pacific Ocean
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