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General Characteristics Crew List Memorabilia USS George H. W. Bush's COs About the Ship's Coat of Arms Deployments of USS George H. W. Bush About the Ship's Name Image Gallery to end of page

USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77)

USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH is the 10th and final NIMITZ - class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the first ship in the Navy to bear the name. Although officially a NIMITZ - class carrier, the GEORGE H. W. BUSH differs significantly from the other ships in her class, even from the RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76).

General Characteristics:Awarded: January 26, 2001
Keel laid: May 19, 2003
Launched: October 9, 2006
Commissioned: January 10, 2009
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, Va.
Propulsion System: two nuclear reactors
Main Engines: four
Propellers: four
Blades on each Propeller: five
Aircraft elevators: four
Catapults: four
Arresting gear cables: three
Length, overall: 1,092 feet (332.85 meters)
Flight Deck Width: 257 feet (78.34 meters)
Area of flight deck: about 4,5 acres
Beam: 134 feet (40.84 meters)
Draft: 38,4 feet (11.7 meters)
Displacement: approx. 100,000 tons full load
Speed: 30+ knots
Planes: approx. 85
Crew: Ship: approx. 3,200    Air Wing: 2,480
Armament: two Mk 29 NATO Sea Sparrow launchers, two Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Systems
Homeport: Norfolk, Va.

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH's Commanding Officers:

precom - February 25, 2009Captain Kevin O'Flaherty, USN
February 25, 2009 - March 17, 2011Captain DeWolfe H. Miller III, USN
March 17, 2011 - June 20, 2013Captain Brian E. Luther, USN
June 20, 2013 - October 9, 2015Captain Andrew J. Loiselle, USN
October 9, 2015 - presentCaptain William C. Pennington, Jr., USN

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About the Ship's Coat of Arms:

Each element of the seal is significant for its relevance to the ship’s namesake, Naval Aviation, naval service, and the United States. There are six prominent features of the seal, beginning with the forty-one white stars.

These stars symbolize the namesake and the nation’s forty-first president, the Honorable George H.W. Bush. After taking the executive oath of office, with his hand on the same Bible George Washington used in 1789, President Bush inspired us to use power to help people.

Rays of light that appear on the seal’s horizon represent President Bush’s concept of a thousand points of light.

The graphic depiction of the aircraft carrier reflects the carrier as both a symbol and instrument of American strength as “a force for good.” Bridging the past, present, and future of Naval Aviation are the overhead profiles of the TBM Avenger torpedo bomber, the F-18 Hornet strike fighter, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Avenger was selected for its relevance to President Bush’s days as a Navy pilot.

The fouled anchors and shields, as seen centered on Naval Aviators wings, honor the namesake’s aviation history. The youngest pilot in the Navy when he earned his wings, he later flew an Avenger bomber during World War II. During one combat mission, his aircraft received heavy anti-aircraft fire. Although his plane was afire and severely damaged, he courageously completed his strafing run before heading out to sea, where he bailed out and was rescued by a Navy submarine, the USS FINBACK (SS 230).

Finally, the motto “Freedom at Work” is adapted from President Bush’s inaugural speech, during which he said, “We know what works: Freedom works. We know what’s right: Freedom is right.”

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The photos below were taken by me on November 10, 2008, and show the GEORGE H. W. BUSH at Newport News, Va., undergoing final construction prior to her delivery to the Navy.

Click here to view more photos.

The photos below were taken by me on October 29, 2010, and show the GEORGE H. W. BUSH passing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel on her way to Naval Base Norfolk, Va. The last photos were also taken by me and show the carrier a few hours later at the Naval Base.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the GEORGE H. W. BUSH undergoing a Planned Incremental Availability at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va., on October 6, 2015.

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