Bob Hoover who escaped a German POW camp and later in a German Airplane died this week

silverharp

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One of those little small "h" history stories of ww2. US pilot escapes pow camp in 1945 and stumbles on an airfield full of damaged planes. they force a German mechanic to get one of them started. He flies off and lands in a Dutch field by following the coast and is picked up by the British.
He went on to be a test pilot, a natural aviator if ever there was one


https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/bob-hoover-pilot-who-escaped-pow-camp-by-stealing-a-german-plane-dies-at-94/2016/10/25/c3dfd16c-9ad2-11e6-a0ed-ab0774c1eaa5_story.html


Bob Hoover, a World War II fighter pilot who escaped a POW camp and flew to freedom by stealing a German airplane and who spent decades testing aircraft, thrilling spectators at air shows and training military aviators, died Oct. 25 at a hospital in Torrance, Calif. He was 94.

The cause was congestive heart failure, said his daughter-in-law, Lynn Hoover.

Mr. Hoover, who learned to fly as a teenager in Tennessee, was among the country’s most revered pilots. The renowned World War II airman Gen. Jimmy Doolittle once called Mr. Hoover “the greatest stick-and-rudder man who ever lived.”

In 1947, Mr. Hoover was a test pilot flying alongside Chuck Yeager when Yeager broke the sound barrier. Mr. Hoover taught dive-bombing maneuvers to Air Force pilots during the Korean War.

He flew more than 300 varieties of airplanes and knew virtually every significant figure in the history of aviation, from Orville Wright to Charles Lindbergh to Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut to walk on the moon. During his decades as a stunt pilot, Mr. Hoover handled his plane so smoothly that he could pour a cup of tea while executing a ­360-degree roll. One of the airplanes he used for aerobatics, a North American Rockwell Shrike Commander 500S, is housed in the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. ­Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va.

During World War II, while based in North Africa and southern Europe, Mr. Hoover flew 58 missions as a fighter pilot with the Army Air Forces. On his 59th, on Feb. 9, 1944, he was shot down off the coast of southern France and was plucked from the sea by a German patrol boat.

He spent more than a year in a German prison camp before he and a fellow American climbed the fence and fled into the nearby woods. With the war coming to an end, German civilians were more cooperative, and a farm woman gave Mr. Hoover and his fellow escapee a gun.

“She said it would do us a lot more good than it did her, and she was right,” Mr. Hoover later told the Los Angeles Daily News.

He and his friend came upon a field with hundreds of damaged German warplanes. Mr. Hoover found one that had a full gas tank.

When a German mechanic approached, Mr. Hoover’s friend pulled the gun on him.....

[video=youtube;UB4ZWIP9cYo]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB4ZWIP9cYo[/video]
 
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rainmaker

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One of those little small "h" history stories of ww2. US pilot escapes pow camp in 1945 and stumbles on an airfield full of damaged planes. they force a German mechanic to get one of them started. He flies off and lands in a Dutch field by following the coast and is picked up by the British.
He went on to be a test pilot, a natural aviator if ever there was one


https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/bob-hoover-pilot-who-escaped-pow-camp-by-stealing-a-german-plane-dies-at-94/2016/10/25/c3dfd16c-9ad2-11e6-a0ed-ab0774c1eaa5_story.html
Incredible & inspiring man and yet but a footnote in history, cliche or not it has to be said - they don't make them like that anymore.

RIP.
 

freewillie

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Wrong thread?
He'd only get praise here if he had tried to airlift Sean Russel or some other I.R.A. Nazi collaborator out of the country
 

silverharp

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Incredible & inspiring man and yet but a footnote in history, cliche or not it has to be said - they don't make them like that anymore.

RIP.
I didnt see the date he did this but it sounded like Mar or Apr 45 so was probably the last few weeks of the war. the fact that he went on to have such an awesome career makes what he did here a footnote in his own life. Made of better stuff for sure
 
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