America's 41st President lived a life of service, starting at a young age with his time in the U.S. Navy.

At just 18 years old, George H.W. Bush served as one of the youngest Navy pilots in World War II. Not long after he joined, he had to fight for his life.

A U.S. Navy animation explains how Bush survived after completing a mission, attacking the Japanese in 1944. After parachuting out of the plane Bush swam to a life raft. Four hours later, a United States submarine rose from the waters of the Pacific Ocean and rescued the 20-year-old.

He went on to fly a total of 58 combat missions in 1944.

Today, thousands of sailors proudly serve on the aircraft carrier named after Bush. A life-size statue stands inside the ship's museum, where his story lives on. Everywhere you look there are reminders of the ship's namesake and his legacy, including this quote inspiring future generations, who will work on this ship for decades to come.

"Let future generations understand the burden and the blessings of freedom. Let them say we stood where duty required us to stand."

 -President Bush January 29, 1991

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