George Bush was born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Navy on June 12, 1942, and was commissioned an Ensign and designated a Naval Aviator on June 9, 1943. After completing additional training, Bush was assigned as a TBM Avenger pilot with Torpedo Squadron 51 in September 1943. He flew combat missions in the Pacific Theater from the light aircraft carrier USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) from the Spring of 1944 to December 1944, and then served as an instructor pilot at NAS Norfolk, Virginia, from December 1944 to February 1945. Bush was assigned to Torpedo Squadron 97 from February to March 1945, and then to Torpedo Squadron 153 from March to September 1945. He was released from active duty on September 18, 1945, and resigned from the Naval Reserve on October 24, 1955. After the war, Bush graduated from Yale University, became a businessman, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas from 1967 to 1971, served as Ambassador to the United Nations from 1971 to 1973, was Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office to the People's Republic of China from 1974 to 1975, served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1976 to 1977, served as Vice President of the United States from 1981 to 1989, and was elected the 41st President of the United States, serving from 1989 to 1993. His son, George W. Bush, served as the 43rd President of the United States.
His Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight as Pilot of a Torpedo Plane in Torpedo Squadron FIFTY ONE, attached to the U.S.S. San Jacinto, in action against enemy Japanese forces in the vicinity of the Bonin Islands, on September 2, 1944. Leading one section of a four-plane division in a strike against a radio station, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Bush pressed home an attack in the face of intense antiaircraft fire. Although his plane was hit and set afire at the beginning of his dive, he continued his plunge toward the target and succeeded in scoring damaging bomb hits before bailing out of the craft. His courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Reserve.