Cdr. Frank J. Bush (USN-RET) passed away on January 27, 2023, at the age of 76. Born to Frank, Sr. and Barbara Bush in Berkeley, CA on 30 June 1946, he graduated from San Francisco State College in 1969. He joined the U.S. Navy in October 1969 and reported for Aviation Officer Candidate School and basic aviation training in Pensacola, Fl.
Frank had met the love of his life, Laura Mahan, when they were teenagers and they were later married as he transferred from Pensacola, Fl. to Corpus Christi, Tx. to complete his basic aviation training.
Upon designation as a Naval Aviator in May 1971, his initial fleet assignment was to VAW 111 in San Diego, CA. flying the E-1B “Willy Fudd”. Frank completed two Vietnam combat cruises on the USS Oriskany.
Following assignment as a Recruiting Officer in San Diego February 1975 through June 1977, he completed transition to the E-2B “Hawkeye” at RVAW 110 in San Diego. Subsequently assigned to VAW 117 from January 1978 to August 1980, he completed two more combat cruises on the USS Ranger. He was then selected and served as an instructor pilot in RVAW 110, the E-2 Hawkeye aircrew training squadron, until January 1983. From February 1983 to February 1984, he served in VAW 116 for his department head tour, completing one cruise aboard USS Kitty Hawk during which he was selected for Command at Sea.
Frank attended various preparatory courses for his upcoming Commanding Officer responsibilities. In June 1984, he reported to VAW 113 as Executive Officer, then completed the tour as Commanding Officer in June 1987 having completed 2 cruises on the USS Constellation. Frank’s final U.S. Navy assignment was to the USS Constellation as assistant, then head of the Air Department until his retirement in August 1989. His military decorations include Meritorious Service Medal (2), Air Medal (3), Air Gallantry Cross, Meritorious Unit Commendation (2), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (4), and the National Defense Service Medal.
In 1990, Frank became a commercial pilot for Northwest Airlines and flew the Boeing 727, DC-9 and 757 until his retirement in 2006. He returned to his home in Fieldbrook, CA. where he and Laura maintained a collection of horses, goats, chickens, ducks, dogs, and a large garden. He continued to feed his passion for aviation by building an experimental Vans RV-9A aircraft – a hobby project he started in November 2008 and completed in August 2013.
Frank was a very active volunteer with the Fieldbrook Fire Department and was very active in the local trap and skeet club. He also enjoyed camper road trips around the southwest with Laura. Cdr. Bush is survived by his loving wife, Laura, and cherished daughter, Jessica Bush.
CDR Gregory Scott Basta (Callsign Klondike) passed away on January 11, 2023, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. He was 38 years young living with his family in Leonardtown, MD.
He is survived by his wife of 13 years, Jenn; his two boys Max and Nate; his father Ted Basta and step mother Olga Frias-Basta of Brookfield, IL; his brother Mitch Basta of Bolingbrook, IL; his brother- and sister-in-laws Josh Hager (Madison) of Lisle, IL and Jon Hager (Toni) of Greensboro, NC; and his in-laws, John and Dawn Hager of Salem, SC. He is preceded in death by his mother Susan Basta.
Greg was born on April 17, 1984, in Proviso Township, IL to Thaddeus Mark Basta and the late Susan Ann (Encher) Basta. At an early age, Greg fell in love with airplanes and wanted nothing more than to be a Naval Aviator. He most certainly had the attitude and demeanor for this role in life as he was never short of self-confidence, swagger, and Old Spice Pomade (if you know, you know). Greg pursued his dream of flying by attending the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign under the Navy ROTC program, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Human Factors, and formally commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy in 2006. Following graduation, he flew (yup, pun intended) through the Navy flight syllabus and was eventually assigned to the carrier-based E-2 Hawkeye. It was no F-14 Tomcat, Greg's favorite aircraft, but nevertheless he excelled at piloting the E-2C while assigned to the VAW-120 Greyhawks and VAW-126 Seahawks and eventually the E-2D while assigned to the VX Pioneers. He wrapped his active-duty time in 2017 and proceeded to take on a new, completely foreign job that of an E-2D pilot for the government contractor KBR. Greg also transitioned to the Naval Reserves and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander during this time.
In his private life, Greg was an avid Chicago Bears fan even when they stunk, which was pretty much all the time, and he absolutely loved watching the Chicago Blackhawks play, having grown up during their formidable Stanley Cup years. He was strong with the Catholic force, which he loved to employ to teach his Catholic convert (formally heathen) wife and share his love of faith with his two boys. Greg placed a large emphasis on family. He loved Jenn dearly and enjoyed making her laugh at all his ridiculous movie quotes and terrible dad jokes. His son's, Max and Nate, were his pride and joy and he loved nothing more than playing video games (and no he never let them win), helping them build model airplanes and ships, and talking shop with them about all things flying. Greg and Max could routinely be found discussing historical events as well as everything hockey. He loved cheering Max on as played hockey games and especially enjoyed Max's fierce desire to protect his teammates as a defenseman. Greg and Nate constantly enjoyed philosophical discussions about the meaning of life, Bubble Guppies, and whatever random thought rolled through Nate's head that second. He loved Nate's inquisitive spirit and his compassionate personality. Both boys were deeply loved by their father.
The family will receive friends on Monday, January 23, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with Prayers officiated by Father Drew Royals at 7:00 p.m. at Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, MD 20650. There will be Mass of Christian Burial celebrated by Reverend Ryan Braam at 10:00 a.m. at St. John Francis Regis Catholic Church, 43972 St. John's Road, Hollywood, MD 20636.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Mary's Hospice, P.O. Box 628, Leonardtown, MD 20650.
Condolences to the family may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com.