Segments in this Video

George McGovern: Introduction (01:19)


McGovern, the son of a preacher, grew up in South Dakota and volunteered for pilot training; he flew dangerous missions during WWII. After the war, he became a U.S. senator, and in 1972, was the Democratic Party presidential nominee.

McGovern's Early Years (04:08)

McGovern was born in 1922 in South Dakota; he recalls being poor and admiring Charles Lindbergh. A comment by McGovern's gym teacher nurtured a fear that he was a coward and McGovern joined a pilot training program to prove otherwise.

Military Start (03:50)

McGovern recalls learning about the attack on Pearl Harbor and enlisting in the Army Air Corps. He got engaged to Eleanor Stegeberg while waiting for his call to duty and married at the end of primary training.

Bomber Pilot (03:01)

McGovern earned his pilot wings and decided to fly B-24s; Tara Engel discusses his approach to flying. McGovern arrived in Italy in 1944 and flew his first combat mission as a co-pilot. He had to complete 35 missions as a pilot before returning home.

Combat Missions (03:26)

McGovern reunited with his crew and embarked on his first mission as pilot to Austria; his father died a week later. McGovern recalls his seventh mission and focusing on winning.

Significant Missions (04:25)

On a mission to Czechoslovakia, a 500lb bomb lodged in the bay of McGovern's plane and broke free over an Austrian farm; his daughter was born the same day. Engel and his crew reached the 35 mission benchmark; it was the worst mission for the men.

Post-war Career (02:37)

McGovern returned to college with the G.I. Bill and entered politics. His daughter, a staunch supporter of her father, died of alcoholism. McGovern eventually shared the story of the lodged bomb on German television and how much it tormented him.

Credits: Legends of Air Power: George McGovern (00:29)

Credits: Legends of Air Power: George McGovern

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Legends of Air Power: George McGovern

Part of the Series : Legends of Air Power
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $69.95
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3-Year Streaming Price: $69.95



George McGovern has spent a large portion of his life in the political arena, holding office as U.S. Congressman for South Dakota for 22 years, as well as running as the Democratic presidential nominee in 1972. However, it is his outstanding military career that makes him a true Legend of Air Power. McGovern flew 35 combat missions as a B-24 bomber pilot. As the subject of historian Stephen Ambrose’ book The Wild Blue, it is apparent just how much responsibility was heaped on such a young man. His bravery in WWII earned him the Distinguish Service Cross. Ambrose once remarked that “McGovern is one of the greatest patriots I know.”

Length: 24 minutes

Item#: BVL129038

ISBN: 978-1-64023-487-1

Copyright date: ©2003

Closed Captioned

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