President George H.W. Bush died on Friday just a week before the country marks the 77th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor — an event that would change his life.
A high school senior on Dec. 7, 1941, Bush wanted to enlist as soon as he heard the news that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. According to Bush biographer and presidential historian Jon Meacham, Bush wanted to serve immediately but he was not net 18 years old
After graduating from Andover, he left for Boston to be sworn into the Navy. Nearly one year later, Bush became an officer of the United States Naval Reserve and earned his wings as a naval aviator and the Navy’s second youngest flying officer just days shy of his 19th birthday. He was assigned to fly torpedo bombers off aircraft carriers in the Pacific theater.