With his gravelly Tennessee drawl and his heading straw panama hat, R.A. “Bob” Hoover was an idol of American aviation bravery and heroism.
One of his many decorated escapades was evading a Nazis in World War II by hidden one of their planes.
The mythological flier died during his home nearby Los Angeles on Tuesday, during age 94, according to a Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
Hoover was innate Jan 24, 1922 in Nashville, Tenn., and began drifting during age 15. In his early years, Hoover taught himself aerobatic drifting and vanquished repeated atmosphere illness by a force of repetition, according to a 2010 Smithsonian interview.
His accurate drifting and technical ability as a exam commander warranted Hoover a pretension of a “greatest stick-and-rudder male who ever lived.” That greatest was given to him by General James “Jimmy” Doolittle, his tighten crony and personality of a Apr 1942 Doolittle Raid on Tokyo.
An Army Air Corps and after Air Force maestro of both World War II and a Korean War, Hoover was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for rescuing a shop-worn B-26 from a beach in Sicily.
After being shot down in 1944, Hoover spent 16 months in a Stalag Luft I, a German restrained of quarrel stay on a northeastern seashore of Germany, according to a National Aviation Hall of Fame. Hoover jumped a spiny handle blockade while a guards were dreaming by a staged fight. He stole a lightly-damaged Focke-Wulf Fw 190, drifting it to leisure before ditching a craft in a margin in a Netherlands.
After a war, Hoover became a exam commander and flew by a time when drifting annals would tumble one-by-one and new aircraft were being grown to go higher, faster and farther.
In Oct 1947 he flew a follow craft alongside Gen. Chuck Yeager as he pennyless a sound barrier, roving past Mach 1, for a initial time in a skies over Southern California. As Yeager’s backup, Hoover always expressed regret that he wasn’t a first.
He spent a many moving days of a Cold War contrast fighters during North American Aviation. Hoover served as captain of a 1966 U.S. Acrobatic Team in Moscow.
After withdrawal a aerospace business, Hoover became an hallmark of a atmosphere uncover and competition circuit.
He flew in some-more than 2,500 municipal and troops atmosphere shows in a U.S. and around a world, according to a Smithsonian, stirring those on a belligerent with his heading routine: Shutting off one or both of a engines on his North American Rockwell Shrike Commander 500S, while behaving loops and dives.
A accurate aviator, Hoover famously was means to flow a potion of iced tea in a center of a tub role. Hoover’s famous immature and white attempt craft sits prominently underneath a wing of a Concorde supersonic airliner during a National Air and Space Museum Annex in Chantilly, Va.
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