The United States Navy honored late President George H.W. Bush with a stunning flyover formation before he was laid to rest.
Twenty-one U.S. Navy fighter jets flew over the Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, conducting the "missing man formation" before he was buried in a private ceremony.
According to ABC News, the missing man formation is an aerial salute performed for funerals and memorial events. A twenty-one gun salute, a military honor typically reserved for future, former and current U.S. presidents inspired the U.S. Navy to organize the 21 F-18 Hornets and Super Hornets for this flight.
21 U.S. Navy fighter jets conduct a flyover in the "missing man formation" in honor of Pres. George H.W. Bush as the 41st president arrives at his final resting place at College Station, Texas. //t.co/qBbsE6Iw2c pic.twitter.com/QJgzdVGN6y— ABC News (@ABC) December 6, 2018
The outlet writes Bush joined the Navy at the age of 18 — soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The late president's plane was shot down in 1944 during an operation to attack Japanese installations in the Pacific, but he completed 58 combat missions in total during his military career and receive the Distinguished Flying Cross, and other honors.
"Being selected to participate in this memorial is one of the highest honors a Naval Aviator can receive," Rear Adm. Roy Kelley, commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, said in a statement released by the publication. "In addition to being our president, [Bush] was also one of our brothers, flying combat missions off aircraft carriers during World War II. His service to our Navy and nation merits a tribute of this magnitude."
Navy Capt. Kevin (call sign "Proton") McLaughlin, led the memorial flyover. The left front side of McLaughlin' jet read "President George H.W. Bush" and "41". The plane also had the words "Barbara Firs Lady outside of the second seat in honor of late First Lady Barbara Bush.
Bush passed away on Nov. 30 at the age of 94.
"George Herbert Walker Bush, World War II naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st President of the United States of America, died on November 30, 2018," spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement.
"He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two siblings. He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara; his second child Pauline Robinson 'Robin' Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or 'Bucky' Bush," he added.
His son, former president George W. Bush issued a statement as well.0comments
"Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died. George H. W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for," he wrote.
"The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for 41’s life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens," he added.