Carrier Pilot

USS Hornet CV-12 1944

by Billy Bush



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 3/3/2011

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 8.25x11
Page Count : 200
ISBN : 9781450286688

About the Book

It was June 20, 1944, 1900 hours (7:00 PM), in a tropical sky, 450 nautical miles northwest of Guam. We were at 16,000 feet. In the cockpit, the sun was still shining brilliantly. On the surface, daylight was turning to dusk, and the large Japanese carrier, Zuikaku, was maneuvering frantically at flank speed in anticipation of the forthcoming attack. We would have preferred to be at 18,000 feet or higher to reduce further the danger of the intense antiaircraft fire we were encountering, but we were at the absolute maximum limit of our aircraft’s range. If we were to return to our ship, USS Hornet CV-12, after the attack, it was necessary to conserve fuel by approaching and attacking our target from the lesser altitude. In a moment, we would be rolling into our dives, and attacking the most important target we would ever encounter.

Every Navy dive bomber pilot dreamed of this moment. It was the moment I had visualized, and anticipated since I was sworn in as an Aviation Cadet on that March day in 1942.

About the Author

Billy Bush was born in 1920 and raised in a small sawmill town in Northern Idaho. As he was approaching adulthood during the Great Depression, the U.S. economy was experiencing extreme stress and permanent employment for young, unmarried adults did not exist. He saw this as an opportunity to attend the local Junior College and further his education. During that time, 1939-41, he was able to take courses in the primary and secondary Civilian Pilot Training program, flying J-3 Piper Cubs and Waco UPF-7s.

Completion of two years of college qualified him for military flight training in either the US Army Air Corp or the Navy. After the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on December 7, 1941 he was, with a strong feeling of patriotism, determined to enter the service and “fight the war” as an aviator. He did “fight the war” as a Navy dive bomber pilot. He flew from the USS Hornet CV-12 during this dramatic period of combat in the Pacific—observing firsthand the stark, grim realities of war, he writes of his extraordinary experiences . He served four years during World War II and was recalled to active duty during the Korean War, serving an additional 19 months.

After World War II, with a bride of almost a year, he returned to college and earned a Masters degree in organic chemistry. He worked 32 years in the chemical industry. He and his wife have celebrated more than 65 years of a truly successful marriage. They have two sons and four young adult grandchildren.