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A Story to Inspire the Movies: Honoring Famed World War II Aviator Bob Hoover

The life of famed World War II aviator, Robert “Bob” Hoover, is one to rival any Hollywood blockbuster. Among many other achievements, the pilot was shot down in the war, spent 16 months as a POW, and escaped by flying a commandeered German plane. Hoover went on to earn the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and Purple Heart for his military service. He also had a long, storied career in aviation advocacy, service, and innovation. It is only fitting that the “Gentleman Pilot” was honored at "A Tribute to Bob Hoover: A Lifetime of Excellence", a glitzy gala at the Paramount Studios Theater in Los Angeles on February 21, 2014.

The event was held to celebrate Hoover’s life, achievements, and recognize the role he has played in making aviation history and shaping its future. According to event co-organizer, Tom Poberezny, the evening was, “a way to thank Bob for his lifetime of contributions to aviation…also to acknowledge his ongoing role as an inspiration for other pilots and aviation professionals."

Highlights of the event included the induction of the first nine honorees into the Hoover Hall of Honor, an award for noteworthy aviation and aerospace accomplishments. The night was also the premiere of a new documentary on Hoover’s life and accomplishments, narrated by Harrison Ford.

The event was attended by A-listers from both Hollywood and the aviation field, including Harrison Ford, Captain James A. Lovell, Sully Sullenberger and many others. Country star Dierks Bentley sang the national anthem.

Even if you were not able to attend, there is a good chance you will be able to see more of Hoover’s dramatic career: according to Mr.Poberezney, there are three films based on Hoover that are currently in production.

In addition, Bob Hoover’s Jet Center at VNY will be hosting a “Fly-In” on Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 10:00 am in which the “Gentleman Pilot” himself will be making an appearance and hosting a question and answer session with attendees. For more information on the “Fly-In” please visit: htttp://