tv American History TV CSPAN December 1, 2018 1:01pm-1:32pm EST
we are like today from new orleans for the international conference on world war ii, hosted by the national world war ii museum, live coverage will continue in just 45 minutes. former president george h.w. bush has passed away. up next, from or a real america series, three short programs on the 41st president, covering his world war ii service, his farewell speech as former director of the cia, and a cia tribute video. you are watching american history tv on c-span3. next, on real america, from june , vice president george h.w. bush discusses his world war ii navy career with press secretary marlin fitzwater. he flew 50 a combat missions in pilot.ater as a he was shot down and rescue by a
1944 and received the distinguished flying -- flying cross. to usterview comes courtesy of the ronald reagan presidential library. >> at the time, you were the end is naval aviator in world war ii . how did you come to join yucca -- join? signed up on my 18th birthday. i waited until i graduated from boarding school. i was determined to become a pilot. and at that time they changed the regulation. we did not have to go through college. engaged,ry was involved six months before with pearl harbor. on june of 42 rolled around, and
i became 18, everyone in this country wanted to roll -- go out and fighting -- and fight against the nazis. took, a decision that i and the country moved together. >> why an aviator? >> i don't know. i think the excitement of it, i have never flown -- had never flown. there was a certain excitement to it. i always had great respect for being on i remember board a destroyer when it came at 1945. i was intrigued by naval aviation. and from the very young i aspired to be a carrier-based navy pilot. >> where was your training? hill, that was the
pre-flight school stage. the first time i flew was in ebay's -- e in the base. flow -- fluid those two nts's.nts is -- training invanced corpus crispy some outlying airbases. , and somechristi outlying bases. >> was that your first ship? >> my first and only ship. i was assigned to the 43 with a 44. and i forgot my commission. i went to torpedo bomber training, and then we did other training.
i took the ship down to trinidad and commanded a submarine that there, and then we went on to the panama kamal -- canal. could you describe your day-to-day missions? ia looked over some letters i had sent home for today. -- i looked over some letters i had sent home for today. each of us was assigned to a certain sector, and each repeat pilott -- each torpedo had cover, we would go out in search for submarines or military action of any part on the side of the japanese. missions werebat
blindside, they were over a 35 degree angle. and we had 400 or 500 pound bombs. and most of the combat missions were on that nature. >> was that the kind of mission you are on? yes, my target was a radio island.near an my mission was to take out a radio station we went up to over0 feet, and pushed with wingman and various groups falling down. the air was very black and ominous. it seems surrealistic. i had been shot up before.
but never quite as intense. i was -- i will never forget it. i could not hear it but i could feel the pulse of black smoke around you. with antiaircraft coming up from the ground. >> what about when you are in the water? , i wasw minutes later and the plane was on fire. it filled up with smoke. there were does komen in the men in the plane -- two the back of the plane. it was not fast by today's bomb,rds, i release the and the airplane was not pliable. the wings of a torpedo armor -- bomber fold.
and the gas tank is over there. ready toing tanks were go and i could hardly see the instruments with the smoke. proceduresemergency so the people in the back could get out. of themhem did, one didn't. one of the ones who did was killed on the way back. we made the radio call to our skipper. we landed in the pacific, fairly close to japanese held island. i broke the record for the hundred yard swimming -- as i swam for my life -- swimming dash as i swam for my life. it was a very important part of and i also had the crew
members depending on me for their life. >> what was the hope that went through your mind when you are in the water? the pacific fleet was going to turn in, we were briefed on the fact that this was the last a that are carrier was going to be in the northern pacific waters. we were then to set sail for a general area of the philippines. and i knew someone had to pick me up that day, or i would be picked up by the japanese. i had hope that i would be , they checked in at the station and i knew there was a submarine on patrol. we had a special code to call if
we got into distress. and that's what i did. the problem is they never knew when the summering got the message. i was apprehensive -- the submarine got the message. i was apprehensive. the ice -- i saw the submarine & got it turned out to be ours. >> had you been on a summering? -- on a submarine? >> not before. i stayed on for 30 days. we went topside at night to see some of the most majestic night times i had ever seen in my life. a lot of times i would think about what i had been through, life, faith, that kind of thing.
an officer on it -- an officer on the summary was awarded the silver star while i was in there. it was more terrifying than flying. how long were you on the sub? >> 30 days. and they did not have any extra beds. so one guy was lying out of the bed. you could take a shower once a , and even then you only had 20 seconds worth of water. >> where did you go after that? tothe summering took me back and flewhen i got off on a navy airport transplant --
plane. i hitchhiked back to the fleet. at that time they were at the philippines. then we were released and we came back in time for christmas. we had our orders to go out overseas again, and the war ended. and you are an instructor? know, normal torpedo pilot bomber, training up new guys, flying our missions, doing our gunnery and all of that. >> as you look back on the naval , could you add something about its importance to your life? >> i think it was the single most maturing experience i had.
i went in there and 18-year-old i came out having nearly lost my life a couple of times. and after all that had happened a chieflight deck, petty officer had been cut in half right after i had landed my plane. to grab aat the man hose, and clean it up. on. went but this made an impression on a 19-year-old kid. it really formed my impressions
about the need for a strong military, for the country to be together when things were rough out there. combat is something i hope that mike -- my kids would not be involved with. but it gave me great respect for the military in the united , and those who laid their and i just think to sum it up it heightens my convictions about the rightness, and the greatness of the united states. and the position to keep this country strong. >> thank you mr. vice president.
could we ask about the aircraft itself? we would like to ask you a couple of questions about the flying?hat was it like the biggestable, single engine plane in either the air force or the navy, the army air corps or the navy -- and it was very stable. they had the tour it, and the tailgunner. the turn had -- i forget -- tour and theret, tailgunner. and the beautiful thing about the airplane was that it was landing on a tossing deck, the cdl carrier.
i think she tossed more than the big seabees. slow that airplane down and not worry as much as about spitting in. dependable, it i remembera hit, landing it in the water. my plan having been -- my plane having been disabled by engine trouble. i had to land in the water. death --e 500 pound depth charges, and two men. the plane floated for a while and gradually sank. but dependability.
seats.e were no ejection i would have to dive out onto the wing, and get on top of it. i was supposed to put the plane on the right-hand turn so that the others could get out. and then i would put it in a turn so i could get out. but i pulled the record too early and my head struck the tale of the plane. so much so that i thought that i had been wounded. -- luckily alots torpedo bomber had seen me and drop some medical supplies. they thought i was really hurt.
it did manage to take the whole side of that skin off but not really damaged at all. it was hard to get out of upside down because you had a bar on your head. george h.w. bush, the 41st president of the united states, has died at the age of 94. he served from 1989 to 1993. in the final days of his presidency, george h.w. bush visited cia headquarters in northern virginia, to say farewell to employees and thank them for their service. next on railamerica, -- real theca -- reel america, cia declassified the video. this is about 13 minutes.
president of the united states. [cheering] >> listen. thank you very much. [cheering] [applause] i know, anything to keep from having to go back to work. i know how it is. [laughter] >> but it's the other way around, i came out here to thank you all for a fantastic support for your country. in so many ways. and of course, i want to thank person,s, my right-hand and trusted advisor. job heim for the superb
has done a year. it's great to be back in langley. ,he last time i was out here was when bob gates was sworn in. back, this warm welcome wandering through the halls out there. and this, i can't get over it. i feel very welcome and i want to thank each and everyone of you. last november, when bob became director, i noted that the men and women of the intelligence mission inaced a new a dramatically different world. and i stated then i would like to repeat it now that we must not diminish our intelligence. world may be perceived be more peaceful, but in my view, the need for intelligence is as great as ever
, and you are doing a great job. and i will try to be a voice after i leave in a few more days for keeping this intelligence community the strongest and best in the entire world. which it is now. [applause] >> i do think there has been dramatic changes, i had a chance to visit with some of the analysts and operators upstairs. we talked about the visit barbara and i had to the soviet union, what used to be the soviet union. i have to learn to say russia now. of this agency, and the intelligence community, through the years, really, probably will never get credit, the credit it deserves for affecting these changes and your
out.in bringing them and having presidents hopefully make informed decisions. but we did manage to work out a treaty, thatize a many here contributed to. it provides great hope for a better and safer world. so i am happy that we were able to conclude that treaty before i go back to houston, texas, on january 20. but we cannot fool ourselves. us, weho would challenge are seeing it now as we try to decide what we should do over in iraq. those who would challenge freedoms gains are many. -- freedom's torch's are many. and we continue to take -- faced threats in terrorism, where a lot of good work has been in the antiterrorist work and the intelligence contributed to that
is fantastic. about weaponsrned proliferation. and i remain very concerned about that. ofad a briefing on a corner the world of narcotics .rafficking here in the agency the communities doing a superb foron the intelligence that. economic security, i salute those involved in the economics of our intelligence. all these things must continue. all of these things must be strongly serviced. i come back at the point that the threats we face are real. we need more intelligence, not less. if we are to meet the challenge. we have to have the best possible intelligence as we work for peace, and decency, and respect for the rule of law. i wish we all could have been on
this visit to somalia. it was moving, and we are doing the right thing. but when you say respect for the law, there isn't any. we have to conduct ourselves in such a way during the last days of artemis ration, and i'm sure the new president will feel the same way, to demonstrate america's lasting respect for law. and this agency and the people, all the people one way or another point out the fact that ,e must work for peace, decency and respect for the rule of law. time to claime victory and turn our backs to the intelligence needs of the future. turbulentface a more and unpredictable world, and as our military forces are being reduced, i don't think we ought significantplating reductions in the intelligence budget. i will convey that to those who
follow. done hasyou have always been hard. no question about that. it is true on the intelligence side, everything. the dangers we face as a country are real. i still get emotionally convinced of that when i see the stars out in the hall of this building. i think the nation is very fortunate to have the service of everyone here. you don't get to sit at the head table is much as i have in my last incarnation. you don't get saluted as much as others in different departments. but you deserve a great deal of credit. i came to say thank you. , i have one must matter that i want to do.
is becky out here? come on a. here.e on up i want to get the gates family appear. it gives me pleasure, particularly surrounded by people who have worked with bob, to honor him here as a distinguished public servant by awarding him the national security metal, this is the highest medal a president can give for national security. [applause] >> and i have a long list here,
that some very thorough speechwriter wrote out about bob gates's a- bob compliment. but i expect people here know this better than most. bob gates's accomplishments. but i expect people here know better than most. and i want to express how much i admire and respect him. [applause] this is the national security metal, if there has ever been as one that is as was deserved i present it with great pride to bob gates. [applause]
>> we are out of the, -- we are out of here, thank you all very much. ♪ [applause] george h.w. bush, the 41st president of the united states, has died at the age of 94. he served from 1989 to 1993. those george h.w. bush was director of the central intelligence agency for only a from january 1976 to january 1977, their headquarters building in northern virginia is named after him. next on reelamerica,