HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Former President George H.W. Bush will be honored with a special military flyover at his funeral service today.
Several F/A-18 jets departed the Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach Tuesday to take part in the 41st president’s funeral service, WTKR-TV reported.
They will perform an unprecedented 21-fighter flyover for the ceremony.
This is the jet which will lead an unprecedented 21-aircraft flyover honoring fellow Naval Aviator President George H. W. Bush. The jets will be over President and First Lady Bush in College Station at 1615 CST Thursday. CAPT Kevin "Proton" McLaughlin will fly it, in the lead. pic.twitter.com/cfsupC7v08— flynavy (@flynavy) December 4, 2018
The lead jet, flown by Capt. Kevin “Proton” McLaughlin, has “President George H.W. Bush ‘41’” and Barbara's name on the side.
“To be even a small part of this ceremony means a lot to me,” McLaughlin told WTKR, adding he joined the Navy when Bush was president.
The missing man flyover – a high honor bestowed by the military – “is a symbolic final farewell to a great man who left a tremendous legacy of selfless service to his nation and his family,” he told WVEC-TV.
Aviators also performed a Missing Man Flyover at the funeral of Senator John McCain earlier this year.
Former President George H.W. Bush will be buried after a funeral service at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, the church he attended for many years, and a special memorial train that will carry his casket.
The train is scheduled to arrive in College Station just before 3:30 p.m. CST.
The Bush family will be taken to the presidential library, where Navy planes will fly over in a "missing man" formation Thursday evening.
Bush was a Navy pilot who was shot down during World War II.
The Associated Press and Fox News contributed to this report.