Our own member John Smith, was Guest Speaker today, and to allow for an extended presentation, President Phil unleashed him early.
An aviator that John held in high regard, and that John had met during a trip to Oshkosh, "Bob Hoover" was the subject of todays talk. He was an American fighter pilot, Test Pilot, Flight Instructor, and record setting air show aviator.
We learned about his early life, an early fixation with flying, and his concealment of this interest from his parents. He learned to fly at age 16. paying for tuition by working in a grocery store. He got airsick and confronted this by flying aerobatics, day after day until he controlled the affliction.
He joined the USAF in time for WW2, impressed his military flying instructors, but was posted to a transport squadron because he was too tall for combat flying. That didn't stop him and he became an ace pilot in the Mediterranean theatre of the war.
There were many stories about his exploits during the war - He flew 69 missions, was shot down and captured,  escaped three times from prisoner of war camps and on the last occasion, near the end of the war, he highjacked a Focke Wulf and flew it to Holland.
He returned to America, and flew Sabre Jets in the Korean War, and was a compatriot of Chuck Yeagar, as a test pilot flying the Bell X1, the first flight to break the sound barrier.
From 1960, he flew at air shows in a Mustang called "old Yeller", and later flew an Aero Commander business plane at air shows until his retirement in the 1990's.
Bob Hoover retired from flying in 1999, but retained an interest in aviation and Bob met Australian Aviator and Moonee pilot John Smith at Oshkosh in 2015. They are photographed together.  Bob Hoover died, aged 94, in October 2016.