Week 27 Monday Motivation

Piute County School District,

Last year for President’s Day I told a couple stories about President #26 Theodore Roosevelt. This year I would like to provide a couple stories about another favorite, #41 President George Herbert Walker Bush.

In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the 17-year-old George Bush decided to join the Navy. He had to wait six months for his 18th birthday in June 1942 to officially sign on. George trained to be a Navy bomber pilot and quickly became one of the youngest officers in the war. WWII pilots did not have an impressive survival rate. Most of the pilots that trained with George would not survive the war.

In September 1944, George was given orders to drop bombs on a Japanese radio tower on an island south of Japan. Several other bombers went with George on the mission. George and the other two men in his plane took off from an aircraft carrier to make their way to the island. They encountered heavy resistance from the Japanese and George’s plane was hit early in the engagement. His engine began smoking and making visibility difficult. Despite the problems with visablilty George dropped the bombs and turned the plane out over the ocean. 

Shortly after the drop it became clear that George would not be able to get the plane back to the carrier. He told his two crewmen they would have to get out of the plane. George pulled the parachute cord too early and parts of his parachute were ripped by the tail of the plane. As George left the plane his head collided with the tail. His head bleeding and his parachute ripped, he fell to the ocean below very quickly. As soon as he hit the water he swallowed a lot of sea water and was ambushed by jellyfish. Stung, bleeding, and nauseous, he swam to a small raft. Both of his crewmen perished in the crash.

A wind was blowing his raft right to the island still controlled by the Japanese. Captured pilots were frequently subject to a worse fate than dying in a plane crash. Despite pain, fatigue, and vomiting, he paddled as hard as he could for hours to get further away from the island. Another American plane spotted him and radioed an American submarine to rescue him. He spent a month on that submarine and survived it’s dangerous underwater mission. He continued fighting in the war thereafter. He won three medals for his heroism at war, flying an unprecedented 58 combat missions.

As tough and as brave as President Bush was, he was also a very tender heart. In 1953 he lost his 3 year old daughter, Robin, to leukemia. During the 6 month battle with the disease, his wife told him he was not to cry in front of Robin. If he began feeling emotional he would tell Robin he needed to go to the bathroom and then step into the hospital hallway to regain his composure. He did this so frequently as to make his daughter concerned that there was something wrong with him. When he was running for President, an interviewer wanted to know if someone like George Bush, who had always lived comfortably, could really relate to everyday Americans. The interviewer asked if he had ever faced hardship. George responded clearly that no worldly comfort could remove the pain of losing a child.

President Bush was a family man. President Bush was both fearless and compassionate. He celebrated his 75th, 80th, 85th, and 90th birthdays by going skydiving. The last dive was completed despite being confined to a wheelchair. I hoped you enjoyed those few facts and stories about President Bush as much as I did. Thank you for your fearless efforts and your compassionate care in our classrooms. 

Be fearless in week 27,


There are many books about President Bush, but I chose the one written by the younger President Bush. 41: A Portrait of my Father. https://www.amazon.com/41-Portrait-Father-George-Bush-audiobook/dp/B00MAOOC9O/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3KFB4GYOIH0Z1&keywords=george+h+w+bush+41&qid=1645218644&sprefix=george+h+w+bush+41%2Caps%2C123&sr=8-2


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Piute County School District
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Junction, Utah 84740-0069
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