Post by George H.W. Bush
I had nothing to do with the JFK assassination!
At the time, I was in Annapolis, basking in the glow of my still-
recollected heroism in World War Two.
You might recall from your history book that, in 1945, when I was
commanding a naval bomber, it was hit by flak, and I ordered my men to
bail out. They did, into the shark infested water.
But my pilot and I stayed on the plane and coasted safely onto the
surface, where we were picked up safely by a PT boat. Many of my crew
went missing, I'm sorry to say. But I got a fistful of medals and
awards and, as the story goes, the rest is history.
Now, what was the question again?
I was the pilot, I think, and it was a submarine that picked me
up..Iv'e told so many lies that even I have trouble remembering..
: I wonder why the shoot didn't open for other guys? Why me? Why am I
blessed? God bless those boy. I wake up at night and think about it
sometimes. Could I have done something different?
I'm not haunted by anything other than the fact I feel a
responsibility still for the lives of the two people that were
killed. I wonder if I could have done something different? I wonder
who got out of the plane? I wonder -- wonder why the chute didn't open
for the other guy? Why me? Why am I blessed? Why am I still alive?
That has plagued me.
I think when you see an aircraft fire; these angry, black puffs of
smoke, knowing that one of them could kill you that you -- you-- you
understand the seriousness of the mission. And you understand your own
I was standing on the deck of San Jacinto one day, and my plane
having landed, another plane came in, spun in, went in upside- down
and cut a petty officer in thirds. The guy was lying there, one leg
here, the rest of his torso There. And I was about as far away as that
table over there. So it was an exposure to the realities and horrors
of war. So I'd seen that and felt it. Ugh! God, it was horrible.
I hope my own children never have to fight a war. Friends
disappearing, lives being extinguished. It's just not right. The glory
of being a carrier pilot has certainly worn off.
Suddenly, you see a periscope and then you see a submarine. And the
only thought I had was well, God, I hope it's one of ours. And sure
enough, it was the USS Finback. They pulled me aboard and I walked up
dazed. I kind of, mean still scared, I guess; and walked up to the
plotting tower. And then the bells rang and down we went.
My life was spared. A lot of other people's lives weren't spared in
that war. But I have now, getting older and much, much, much, much
older, and I'm at this stage, I look at all of this as a blessing. I
look at all of this as having made me a better man. Little kid made
into a man, by a series of circumstances over which he had no
I don't spend a lot of time thinking about...: I'm pretty darn sure I
was right. There is no point living out the anxieties of the past.
What was the question ? Something about being in Dallas when Kennedy
got hit? I just don't remember where I was. I will ask Barb and get
back to ya...