Air Force One Gets Temporarily Renamed For Transport Of Former President Bush

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Air Force One has been temporarily renamed “Special Air Mission 41” while the presidential plane is tasked to carry former President George H.W. Bush on his final journey.

Bush passed away on Friday at the age of 94, just seven months after the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years. His body was transported Monday to the nation’s capital for honors and funeral services. (RELATED: Here’s A Look Back At George H.W. Bush’s Life In Pictures)

Some of those honors were observed even as the former president’s body was moved from the hearse to Special Air Mission 41 at Houston’s Ellington Field.

The presidential plane is traditionally only called “Air Force One” when the president is onboard; since President Trump will not be flying this week, it was decided to temporarily rename the aircraft in honor of former President H. W. Bush. (RELATED: George H.W. Bush’s Service Dog Will Accompany His Body To D.C. — Then Will Go On To Help Vets)

Bush’s casket, according to longtime spokesman Jim McGrath, was carried to the waiting plane by honorary pallbearers, “members of the current @secretservice Bush Protective Division.

A funeral service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. EST, and the public will be allowed to pay their respects as he lies in state from Monday until Wednesday morning.

From there, Bush’s body will return to Texas for a second service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston and subsequent interment at the Bush Presidential Library & Museum in College Station, Texas.

Naturally, he will be wearing socks especially selected for the occasion.

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