Houston - A military honour guard loaded the body of former US President George H.W. Bush onto Air Force One on Monday for a final trip to Washington and the start of four days of mourning the man who led the nation as the Cold War ended.
Cannons fired in tribute at a Texas Air National Guard base outside Houston where the 41st president's flag-draped casket was loaded onto the presidential jet, called "Special Air Mission 41" for the flight to Joint Base Andrews outside of Washington.
His son, former President George W. Bush, was set to join family, friends and aides of the former executive for the flight.
The deceased Bush will lie in state at the US Capitol Rotunda from Monday through to Wednesday when a state funeral is scheduled at the National Cathedral.
Bush died at his Houston home on Friday night, seven months after his wife Barbara died. After services in Washington, there will be another funeral in Houston on Thursday followed by burial at the Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.