‘Fair Winds and Following Seas’: US Navy Honors Loss of WWII’s Youngest Aviator, George H.W. Bush

Kevin Lamarque/George Bush Presidential Library and Museum/Reuters

The U.S. Navy sent a farewell message to one of its former service members, George H.W. Bush, who happened to be the youngest aviator during World War II.

The 41st president of the United States died at 10:10 p.m. local time on Friday at his home in Houston, just eight months after his wife.

Stringer/Reuters

“Fair winds and following seas, Sir. We have the watch,” the U.S. Navy posted on Twitter along with a photo of Bush in his Navy attire.

As The Washington Post noted, Bush’s death comes just a week before the 77th anniversary of the attack at Pearl Harbor, a day that changed Bush’s life. He was a senior in high school when the attack occurred, which made in him want to join the military immediately.

Bush graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, on June 12, 1942, and was shortly after sworn into the Navy. A year later, Bush “became an officer of the United States Naval Reserve and earned his wings as a naval aviator,” the Post reported.

In 2007, Bush shared his wartime experiences in the Navy during World War II.

Watch the video below:

Many prominent leaders have paid their respects to the “humble” former president, including former President Barack Obama, who wrote:

America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush. While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude.

President Donald Trump reflected on Bush’s “unflappable leadership”:

“President Bush inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service — to be, in his words, ‘a thousand points of light’ illuminating the greatness, hope, and opportunity of America to the world.”

The date of Bush’s funeral is unknown. However, the White House told IJR in a statement that the funeral will be held in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., — and December 5 is designated as the National Day of Mourning.

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