The story behind President George H.W. Bush’s long-lost service revolver
Before he was President, George H.W. Bush was a Navy pilot in WWII and carried a S&W revolver in case he had to bail out. After he managed to keep the .38 with him when he ditched his flaming Avenger in the Pacific and even in his time in the drink before a passing submarine picked him up, he parted ways with the gun in 1944 and didn’t see it again until 2007.
You see Bush, one of several downed aviators picked up by the crew of the Gato-class fleet sub USS Finback, “hot bunked” with one of the boat’s junior officers– Lt. (JG) Albert Brostrom– until she completed her 10th War Patrol.
As a gesture of thanks for splitting the precious real estate with him, Bush passed on his .38 once Finback made it to port.
Brostrom held on to it until his death in 1983 but his son, Ron, who knew the story and the Bush-tie-in, presented it to the 41st President at Philadelphia’s Constitution Center.
And the gun, a S&W “Victory” Model, still looked great.