COLLEGE STATION, Tx. (KXAS/WAVY) — The Navy honored naval aviator and former President George H.W. Bush with a 21-aircraft missing man formation Thursday.
F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets were flown to Fort Worth from Naval Air Station Oceana to participate in the ceremony. The planes flew over the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station.
“This is unprecedented and takes a lot of coordination to get this many airplanes and so many people on board, but to us it’s a blessing to be able to do this,” said Capt. Kevin McLaughlin, the commander of Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic.
McLaughlin flew the lead plane in the formation, which was inscribed with “President George H.W. Bush ’41′” on one side, and “Barbara ‘First Lady'” on the other.
“This is an honor. He is the true definition of humble servant leader,” McLaughlin said.
Navy officials said 30 jets made the trip to JRB Fort Worth — nine of which served as backups to ensure the flyover’s success. Five of those backups were airborne, while the other four were on the ground ready to support.
Bush’s funeral service was held at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston. Following the service, a train carried his casket from Houston to College Station, where the flyover took place.