World War II was a time of great horror for the world and its many nations as they fought. Millions were subjected to horrific fates spurred on by hate and political aggravation.
During that time, death was plentiful and came in different ways. Dying honorably on the battlefield was not the most frequent way the brave soldiers lost their lives.
Most people were killed in the backlines, where there was no fighting. They died to torture, execution, and the dark intrigue of human experimentation.
But there were two fronts to this war. The European grounds were only one place where the evils of the world were in full displace.
On the other side of the planet, in the Pacific Ocean, where East meets West, America fought Japan in a brutal display of naval fortitude and flying prowess.
One man flew into battle and survived not only to tell the tale but lead the country many years later. But he almost didn’t make it.
10 Herbert Walker
George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, was a veteran of World War II. He rose into the US Army and Air Force ranks and flew a deadly mission when he was just 20 years old back in 1944.
The target was an island 700 miles south of Imperial Tokyo known as Chichi Jima. His squadron of airmen ran a bombing mission and was met with flak fire from the ground, which downed their planes.
9 In The Water
The eight airmen evacuated their planes as they fell and washed ashore of the island, which was under Japanese control. They were defenseless and made as prisoners.
They were taken far up onto the shore into a base camp where they were tied up and held for future uses. George H.W. Bush, however, fell far enough away from the beach that he didn’t wash up.
He kept to his inflatable raft and got out to sea far sufficient that Japanese ships couldn’t reach him.
Allied forces swarmed the skies and sustained the battle long enough for the future President to get picked up by the submarine, the USS Finback.