NORFOLK (NNS) -- A MH-60S Knight Hawk assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 26 transported a Sailor from a U.S. Navy submarine operating in the Atlantic Ocean to USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) for medical evaluation Dec. 16.
A Navy neurosurgeon, assigned to Naval Medical
Center Portsmouth, assessed the Sailor to be in stable condition and both have been transported to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C., for further evaluation and treatment as necessary.
"Mariners at sea take care of each other," said Vice Adm. Daniel P. Holloway, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet. "There is no better way to show our Sailors and their families the extent the Navy will go in order to take care of their own."
The Bush legacy of a rescue at sea goes back to Sept. 2, 1944, when former President George H.W. Bush, the namesake of the Navy's newest aircraft carrier Bush, piloted one of four Grumman TBM Avenger aircraft from Torpedo Squadron 51 that attacked the Japanese installations on Chichijima.
During the attack, the Avengers encountered intense anti-aircraft fire; Bush's aircraft was hit by flak and his engine caught on fire. Despite his plane being on fire, Bush completed his attack and released bombs over his target, scoring several damaging hits. With his
engine afire, Bush flew several miles from the island, where he bailed out of the aircraft. Bush waited for four hours in an inflated raft, while several fighters circled protectively overhead until he was rescued by the lifeguard submarine USS Finback (SS-230).
Sixty-six years later, the Navy's youngest carrier executes from the sea the same commitment to our Sailors as received by then Lt. j.g. Bush, the Navy's
youngest fighter pilot.
"The saying that we never leave a shipmate behind was proved today," said Capt. Chip Miller, George H.W. Bush commanding officer. "There was a Sailor out there who needed our help, and we were honored to receive the call. I am very proud of the professionals on board this ship and our families at home who provide constant support."
Bush was scheduled to return to its homeport of Norfolk Dec. 15 when the ship was tasked by Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet to return to sea.
George H.W. Bush with embarked assets from HSC 26, two C-2A Greyhounds from Fleet Logistic Squadron 40 and Mayport, Fla.-based USS Boone (FFG 28) with embarked assets from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 42 made best possible speed to the rendezvous point for the medical evacuation.
The SH-60B Sea Hawk from HSL 42 provided surface surveillance and search and rescue support during the medical evacuation.
This marks the second time the crew of George H.W. Bush was able to lend a helping hand in December 2010. The ship assisted a sailboat stranded 90 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., Dec. 3 by supplying them with fuel on their return to Norfolk.
"Being extended at sea is something we are always prepared for," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Caleb Haynie, a member of the George H.W. Bush's Medical Department. "If the roles were reversed, I would want the Navy to do anything and everything to save me. And I'm proud to be part of the medical team that helped this Sailor get home safely for Christmas."
For more news from U.S. 2nd Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c2f/.