Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association congratulates Robert L. “Bob” Hoover on his selection as the recipient of the 2014 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy. The Wright Trophy is annually awarded to a living American for “…significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States.”
“I’m delighted with the decision to honor Bob Hoover with this year’s Wright Brothers Trophy,” said AIA President and CEO and 2013 Wright Trophy recipient Marion C. Blakey. “His service both as a military pilot and war hero, as well as his lengthy career as the world’s greatest air show pilot, is a shining inspiration to us all. He richly deserves this award.”
Hoover served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II, flying 58 successful missions before being shot down and captured by Germany. He later escaped from Stalag Luft 1 and returned to Allied lines in a stolen Focke-Wulf FW190. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Soldier's Medal for Valor, the Air Medal with Clusters, the Purple Heart, and the French Croix de Guerre. His civilian career as an air show pilot lasted more than 50 years. He is believed to have performed in more air shows, in more types of aircraft, in more countries and before more spectators than any other pilot in the history of aviation.
“This trophy is truly one of the most important, prestigious and historic awards in aviation and aerospace,” Blakey said. “I was honored to serve on this year’s selection committee and heartily applaud the decision to recognize Bob.”