George H. W. Bush Papers. 1942 - 2004. World War II Correspondence

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George H. W. Bush Papers. 1942 - 2004. World War II Correspondence

George H. W. Bush Papers. 1942 - 2004. World War II Correspondence

1942-1948

This series contains letters George H. W. Bush wrote to his mother Dorothy Walker Bush at the time of his service in the United States Navy during World War II. Scattered throughout the series are a few letters to his sister Nancy Bush, his father Prescott Bush, Sr., and his older brother Prescott Bush, Jr. During the period of his training, Bush described his instruction, daily activities, unusual occurrences while flying, relationship with Barbara Pierce, and visits with family friends while on leave. During his service in the Pacific aboard the San Jacinto, Bush described life aboard ship, his marriage plans, and his shore leave. Of particular interest are letters he wrote during September and October 1944 while aboard the submarine USS Finback which rescued him after being shot down. The letters conclude with George Bush writing his mother during his first few months of marriage while he was based at Detroit, Michigan. In these letters he discussed his life with Barbara and outlined plans for the future. Military censors edited portions of the letters mailed while aboard the San Jacinto. In addition to George H. W. Bush's correspondence with his family, there is correspondence between Prescott Bush Sr. and the family of Ted White, a crewmember with George H. W. Bush who perished when their plane was shot down on September 2, 1944. There are also a few letters between other Bush family members, principally Prescott Bush Jr. and Dorothy Walker Bush. Finally, there is a short story written by Lou Grab, a friend of George H. W. Bush on the San Jacinto and a fellow torpedo plane pilot. In his account, Grab details the activities of torpedo squadron VT-51 of which both he and George H. W. Bush were members. The account provides an overview of the activities of VT-51 and context to Bush's letters, especially those written while Bush served aboard the San Jacinto between January and September 1944.

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