There’s Another ‘Lone Survivor’ Story You May Not Have Heard — But You Definitely Know His Name
Dec. 18, 2013 3:40pm Erica Ritz
Ahead of the release of “Lone Survivor” starring Mark Wahlberg on January 10, Glenn Beck told the remarkable story of yet another “lone survivor” from a previous generation — and it’s a man you’re certain to recognize.
“Bomber pilot. 20 years old,” Beck began. “After what he had seen by 1944, he felt like he was 80 years old. His target on the (mission was) two radio installations in the mountains. The tiny island north of Iwo Jima.”
Beck reminded that “in those days there was no such thing as a guided missile or smart bomb.” You had to fly straight into a hail of gunfire, through “everything that the enemy could throw at you,” only releasing your bombs a the “last critical second” when the target was in your “iron sights.”
“The minute the bombing (run) began, the enemy sent up a solid wall of anti-aircraft shells,” Beck said, with moving music playing in the background.He continued: “The other crew struggled to bail out of their planes as they were hit, spiraling down in flames. His plane suddenly lurched and shuttered … As the cockpit filled with smoke, the critical second came. On target, are we on target? He released the bombs. Direct hit. Only then did the pilot’s thoughts turn to the survival (of) himself and his crew. As the engine fire spread, the pilot managed to fly several miles over open water before finally giving the order for his crew to abandon the plane … He clawed his way out of the cockpit and fell onto the wing. Pulled the rip cord of his chute and smashed into the tail as he was torn free … The next thing he knew he was in the churning waters, dazed and pulling himself into survival raft. In the aftermath all of the other air men on the mission died at the hands of the enemy. Their treatment was so brutal that several of their captors were tried and hanged after the war was over.”
“But this pilot survived,” Beck said. “He returned to active duty. And when all was said and done, he had flown 58 combat missions. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals and the Presidential Unit Citation. When he returned home, he married his sweetheart, graduated college in two and a half years. He was the captain of his baseball team at his university…”
Have you guessed who it is?
Beck revealed that the man of whom he spoke was former U.S. President George H.W. Bush. Bush enlisted in the armed forces on his 18th birthday and was the youngest pilot in the Navy when he received his wings.
“Later, he excelled in business, then in politics,” Beck remarked. “Ultimately, this lone survivor did something that everybody knows…”
Beck said he was so moved by the story that he considered including it in his most recent book, “Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America,” but was ultimately forced to leave it on the “editing room floor.”
Watch Beck’s entire account, below: