Bush, Ralph H.

Ralph Howe Bush, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)
October 14, 1932 – August 4, 2007

Ralph H. Bush, 74, Osprey, died Aug. 4, 2007.

Services will be at 9 a.m. Thursday at Anchin Pavilion in Sarasota.

Survivors include his wife, Mildred; a brother, William; a sister, Gaile; a son, Philip; a daughter-in-law, Anna; and a granddaughter, Cory.

Born in Plant City in 1932, Ralph served for 22 years in the Air Force, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He was a rescue pilot, serving in Vietnam in 1966-67, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism. He also served as an exchange officer with the Royal Air Force in London. Other assignments included detachment commands in Texas, Germany and Florida.

He came to Sarasota in 1973, and was in real estate for many years. He was an active walker at the Sarasota Mall in later years. Ralph is to be cremated and his ashes scattered across Sarasota Bay.

Published in Herald Tribune on Aug. 8, 2007





Major Ralph H. Bush distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as HH-43 Rescue Crew Commander near Nha Trang, Republic of Vietnam on 3 July 1966. On that date, Major Bush was scrambled to rescue two critically ill Republic of Vietnam soldiers located in an unfriendly area. Racing against darkness, Major Bush located the two soldiers in a small clearing surrounded by trees. He was forced to hover with the rotor blades just clearing the treetops so the hoist would reach the ground. Gusty surface winds, approaching darkness, and the ever-present danger of hostile fire further complicated the recovery. This rescue was successfully accomplished only through the outstanding airmanship and determination of Major Bush. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Major Bush reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

1966 – July 03; A HH-43B from Det. 12, 38th ARRS, crewed by Maj. Ralph H. Bush (P), unkn (CP), unkn (FE) and unkn (PJ), rescued two wounded ARVN troops in contact in RVN.

Integrity, Honor, and Respect
Some of the best things cannot be bought, they must be earned

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