THE ROBERT POOR "PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP" AWARD
Robert L. Poor
The American WACO Club does not give out trophies at its annual fly-in. Instead, we give out the Bob Poor Memorial Award. To qualify for this award you must fly your WACO to our fly-in. For those of you who never had the pleasure of meeting Bob Poor, or don't know how the award came to be, we've included his obituary. It follows below.
Bob Poor was born and raised in Greencastle, IN. He graduated from DePauw University in 1955 with a BA Degree in Economics and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the United States Air Force. He trained and flew as an active duty pilot (1955-1958) at Air Force bases in AZ, CA, MS, and HI. While stationed in CA, he flew the Pacific with MATS, the 301st Air Transport Wing. He was a Captain in the Air Force Reserves until 1969, stationed at Bakalar AFB in Columbus, IN. While serving in the Reserves, he was briefly called to Active Duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was also the Liason Officer to the United States Military Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.
Bob never los his love of flying and continued sport flying as an avocation. He was an airplane builder and sport acrobatics pilot. He was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the Antique Aircraft Association, the National Waco Club, and the National Biplane Association. Bob and a good friend built a Pitts Special in the early 1980s, in which he loved to do aerobatics while flying out of Greencastle Airport. He was also the co-owner of a Citabria. He loved taildraggers!
While attending Oshkosh in 1985, Bob was led to the antique aircraft display by his soon-to-be wife, Becky, who had always been fascinated by the old biplanes. For the first time in his life, Bob began to consider the possibility of owning and flying an antique airplane. After looking over the various makes and models, they both fell in love with the WACOS!! The rest is history as far as anyone who knew Bob remembers. He met Tom Flock, an expert Waco restorer and pilot, who agrees to help him find a Waco of his own. That proved to be a little easier said than done. In the end, Tom offered Bob part ownership in the UPF-7 he was restoring at that time, and Bob jumped at the chance. They spent time working on it together in Tom's garage and Bob loved and looked forward to every minute of it.
After the restoration was complete, Tom encouraged Bob the keep the UPF-7 at the Greencastle Airport. Bob and Becky built a new hangar there especially for Bob's beloved Waco, which he called he "sweetie"! For the entire time that Bob had the Waco, he spent every spare minute at the airport polishing or flying it. He and Becky flew it to Oshkosh several times, to the National Biplane Convention at Bartlesville, OK and to many fly-ins around the midwest area.
Bob took his last flight as a Waco pilot in late October, 1992. By then he'd had many rounds of chemotherapy for colon cancer and was beginning radiation treatments. In his weakened condition, he knw he could no longer safely pilot his plane. He continued to go to the airport just to visit his "sweetie" until he was no longer able. He passed away on February 2. 1993. During the graveside memorial service in Greencastle, his good friends and Waco pilots, Tom Flock, Dale Cunnningham, John Roehm, and Steve Brown flew the Waco UPF-7s overhead in a "missing man" formation in tribute to Bob for his lifelong love of, and devotion to, flying.
The Robert Poor "Pride of Ownership" Award was established to memorialize a man who was extremely proud to be a Waco pilot and owner, and thankful he had the opportunity to do so.
**2012 WINNER - John LeBlanc, YKS-6**
Past Recipients of the Robert Poor Memorial Award
2011 - Dave and Jeannie Allen (1930 ASO, NC662Y)
2010 - Allen and Linda Cassens (1941 UPF-7, NC9318)
2009 - Bob Grist, Chicago, Illinois (1936 EQC-6 NC16214)
2008 - Gary Petersen, Walton, Nebraska (1942 UPF-7 NC39743)
2007 - Dick Ash
2006 - Dick Jackson
2005 - John Gerth
2004 - Tom Brown
2003 - Al Womack
2002 - Les Cashmere
2001 - Bob Howie
2000 - Robin Williams
1999 - Mark Harter
1998 - Phil Coulson
1997 - John Cournoyer
1996 - Jack Winthrop
1995 - Jerry Brown
1994 - Marshall Friedman
1993 - Tom Flock