On December 6th, 2018, the US Navy paid a tribute to the late George H.W. Bush with a memorial flyover which included the flyover from a massive 21 aircraft fleet. These aircraft flew over the President’s interment ceremony at the Georgia Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station.
Navy, on this flyover, said that this was one of a kind and special flyover as far as the services go. This type of the flyover is the largest in the recent history and was done in lieu of the traditional 21 Gun Salute which is used for the heads of state.
US Navy arranged this “strong naval aviation presence” at the Late George H.W. Bush’s memorial service because he was also a naval aviator who flew the Grumman TBM-1C Avenger torpedo bomber with Torpedo Squadron Fifty-One (VT-51) from the aircraft carrier USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) during WWII and also survive being shot down in the Pacific Ocean in 1944.
The plan was first to perform this ceremony in Washington D.C. but then it was changed to be held in Texas. The squadrons that took part in this memorial flyover service were as follows.
- Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31, the “Tomcatters”
- VFA 32, the “Swordsmen”
- VFA 83, the “Rampagers”
- VFA 87, the “Golden Warriors”
- VFA 103, the “Jolly Rogers”
- VFA 105, the “Gunslingers”
- VFA 131, the “Wildcats”
- VFA 143, the “Pukin’ Dogs”
The lead aircraft was piloted by Capt. McLaughlin of the VFA-103 “Jolly Rogers” who flew in an F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft with special markings across the following places of the plane read as follows.
- “President George H.W. Bush, 41” on the tail of the aircraft
- the pilot’s name on the canopy rail
- “Barbara, First Lady” on the systems operator’s position
The flyover service was met with some unforeseen problems like the Inclement Weather which saw Texas with low cloud ceiling, rain, and cold temperature during mid-day on Thursday.
You can watch one of the videos for this Memorial Flyover down below.