Daniels Fund

Honoring Bill Daniels' direction to make life better for the people
and communities of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming

Because of You...

Download the digital edition

Download your free digital copy of "Because of You...Letters of gratitude from the 2013 Class of Daniels Scholars to the defenders of American freedom", a collection of heartfelt letters of thanks and support from the 2013 Class of Daniels Scholars to America’s bravest heroes — veterans wounded in the service of our nation.

 

 

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Legendary WWII
fighter pilot

Bob Hoover
tips his wings to
Because of You...


 

 


 


Bob Hoover holds his copy
of "Because of You..."

Scott Southworth with the Daniels Fund was delighted to offer the book to the legendary aviator at his
90th birthday celebration

 

 

 

THERE'S NO OTHER WAY TO SAY IT — the man is a living legend. To this day the World War II fighter pilot, who performed a flight demonstration for Orville Wright and counted Charles Lindbergh and Neil Armstrong among his friends, is still considered an unequaled "stick and rudder man" and quite simply, the best pilot in the world.

Bob Hoover's story would make the perfect Hollywood summer blockbuster...once they dialed the real-life action down a notch or two. While one may assume your last name would have to be "Bond" or "Skywalker" to live this kind of life, the details of Bob's extraordinary adventures are all 100% nonfiction.

During World War II, Bob found himself in a German prisoner of war camp. He escaped after sixteen months, stole a German Fw-190 fighter, and took to the sky. Imagine the skill required to first fly free from his captors, and then make it to the ground while flying toward American forces in an enemy aircraft!

It's astounding to learn that the same pilot who once performed a flight demonstration for Orville Wright was also the backup and chase pilot for Chuck Yeager as he famously shattered the sound barrier. It could just have easily been Bob at the controls — Chuck said Bob was the greatest pilot he had ever seen — but Chuck said he was "feeling up to it" that particular day. Bob's sky-high list of friends includes Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker, Neil Armstrong, and Jimmy Doolittle, to name just a few.

On any number of occasions, Bob coerced aircraft into performing in ways other pilots couldn't (and just about everyone else dismissed as impossible). Bob was a test pilot for nearly every military plane in development during the evolution of the jet age, and his input resulted in critical improvements too numerous to count.

There were some tense moments, to be sure. Following an ejection at 30,000 feet, Bob landed 25 miles from where is ground crew was expecting him. He endured two broken legs until he was finally found — two days later!

These are but a few of the chapters of Bob's extraordinary life. He recalls the details as if they had occurred yesterday. It becomes quickly apparent that this gentleman possesses knowledge about airplanes that simply does not exist in any other human being. Frankly, it's what kept him alive in so many situations that others did not survive.

§

It was on the occasion of Bob Hoover's 90th birthday celebration that he was presented with a copy of "Because of You...Letters of Gratitude from the 2012 Class of Daniels Scholars to the Defenders of American Freedom". Scott Southworth — Bob's host and Assistant Vice President of Employer & Scholar Alumni Relations for the Daniels Fund — was honored to share the book with a man he describes as "a national treasure".

As Bob read through the book's opening pages, he took great interest in Bill Daniels' days as a Navy combat pilot. Bob was moved as he reviewed the first several personal letters written to wounded veterans by newly named Daniels Scholars.

"It's a wonderful thing that you are all doing with these young people," he remarked. "I look forward to reading these letters. This means a lot."

It is a great honor for all of us at the Daniels Fund to be able to share these heartfelt messages with the men and women who selflessly serve  our nation and personify the very best among us.

PHOTO BELOW (LEFT TO RIGHT): The F-16 Fighting Falcon and the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star were two of the many aircraft Bob Hoover piloted ♦ Enjoying dinner  together: Neil Armstrong, Colleen Hoover (Bob's wife), Charles Lindbergh, and Bob Hoover ♦ Air University's 2005 Gathering of Eagles lithograph with honoree Bob Hoover ♦ Bob Hoover receives "Because of You..." from Scott Southworth at the celebration of his 90th birthday ♦ Fellow aviation legend Chuck Yeager presents Bob Hoover with the Freedom of Flight Award

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