Local War Hero Passes Away

OKALOOSA COUNTY-- A war hero and community leader has died in Okaloosa County.

Col. Robert "Bob" Gates passed away Saturday. He was 95 years old.

Gates was a pilot who served during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, dropping paratroopers at Normandy during D-day. He was best known for flying Bob Hope during his Christmas tours to entertain troops.

Gates also served as Wing Commander for the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field. After his military retirement, Gates served as the Ft. Walton Beach Mayor from 1978 to 1983.

He was also instrumental in raising the money for build the Bob Hope Village near Eglin Air Force Base, where the Welcome Center bears Gates' name.

His family is still making funeral arrangements.