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Robert A. Hoover
Bob Hoover July 2011 (cropped).jpg
Hoover in 2011
Birth name Robert Anderson Hoover
Nickname(s) "Bob"
Born (1922-01-24)January 24, 1922
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Died October 25, 2016(2016-10-25) (aged 94)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg United States Army Air Forces
Seal of the US Air Force.svg United States Air Force
Years of service 1940–1950
Rank US-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant
Unit 52d Fighter Group
Flight Evaluation Group
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross
Soldier's Medal for Valor
Air Medal with Clusters
Purple Heart
Croix de guerre
Colleen Hoover
(m. 1948; her death 2016)
Other work Test pilot, flight instructor and air show pilot (1948–1999)

Robert Anderson "Bob" Hoover (January 24, 1922 – October 25, 2016) was an American fighter pilot, test pilot, flight instructor, and record-setting air show aviator.

Hoover flew Spitfires in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II and was shot down in 1944 off the coast of France. He was held for over a year in a German POW camp before eventually escaping and flying to safety in a stolen enemy aircraft. He then worked as a United States Air Force and civilian test pilot after the war, flying chase for the Bell X-1 supersonic flight, and as a flight instructor for North American Aviation during the Korean War.

He is best known as an air show display pilot, who flew for nearly 50 years until his retirement in 1999. Known as the "pilot's pilot", Hoover revolutionized modern aerobatic flying and has been described in many aviation circles as one of the greatest pilots of all time.


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