George McGovern Flew B-24 Combat Missions. The U.S. senator and democratic presidential candidate flew 35 missions, and received numerous combat awards. McGovern and his bomber crew encountered a multitude of dangers. On one mission, a bomb became stuck in the bay of the B-24; McGovern’s bombardier went back and kicked it loose from its shackle. On another mission, a piece of shrapnel from flak ripped through the windshield and missed striking McGovern in the face by only a few inches. It would surely have killed him. When McGovern, 90, died of a combination of ailments in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Oct. 21, the nation lost a cool-mannered, good-natured public figure who believed World War II was just and the Vietnam War wasn’t. Unlike politicians who stray from their roots, often to become permanent fixtures in on the Washington scene, McGovern remained close to his home in Mitchell, S.D. Length 35:00.