- The Washington Times - Monday, July 23, 2007

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Former President George H.W. Bush got his World War II service revolver back last week, 60 years after giving it to a Navy lieutenant aboard the submarine that rescued him when his plane was shot down over the Pacific Ocean.

Mr. Bush donated the revolver to the National Constitution Center the same day the son of late Lt. J.G. Albert Brostrom returned the .38-caliber Smith & Wesson and its holster to him.

Mr. Brostrom was the sonar man on the USS Finback, which rescued Mr. Bush, a Navy pilot, after he was shot down Sept. 2, 1944 by Japanese anti-aircraft fire. Mr. Brostrom brought the future president to the infirmary and later shared his bunk with him. Mr. Bush gave Mr. Brostrom the revolver in gratitude.

Ron Brostrom, 59, said his father never spoke to his family about the war, except for the kindness and sense of humor of the combat pilot who gave him the revolver.

“We only knew it was a 20-year-old lieutenant,” the son said.

The family did not realize who the pilot was until 1980 when Mr. Bush then a vice-presidential candidate announced he was looking for crew members from the submarine.