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Discover a little-known piece of President George H.W. Bush's past in Hawaii

HONOLULU (KHON2) - What you may not know is that there is a piece of George H.W. Bush's history at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum on Ford Island. 

Bush trained on one of the planes on display at the museum to become a pilot in the U.S. Navy.

"To actually know that he was in that cockpit and went up very bravely in solo flight....," said Rod Bengston, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum director. "This is an important piece of history. This is a gentleman who answered the call of Pearl Harbor across the United States. Roosevelt was saying remember Pearl Harbor, and as an 18 year old, he joined up." 

Bush trained a total of one and a half hours on the plane on his way to become the youngest naval aviator ensign. You can even see the logbook of his training hours that he signed.

"It was the first of someone at that age to be one of the two-thirds that made it through the school and then to move up in the training program, said Bengston.

Many visitors who came to the museum did not know that the plane was here, but they say it was a pleasant surprise to see.

"Actually going through here, I didn't want to take the time to take any photographs because I didn't want anything to come between me and the actual experience," said Robert Henthorne, a museum visitor. "But I did take one photograph with this aircraft, with George Bush's photograph in the right hand corner. I'm eager to talk to my grandkids about that."

"This is obviously a huge plus and made our trip here today more special," said Dave Kist, another visitor.

The museum set up a commemoration display with lei and photos of Bush during his piloting days.

But the tribute to Bush doesn't stop there.

The museum is currently restoring an avenger torpedo bomber, the same type Bush piloted in World War 2.

There's no word yet on when this plane will debut in the museum.


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