In April 1941, Leroy Gover met with representatives from the Clayton Knight Committee in Oakland, California, which was established to enlist American men wanting to volunteer for service with the British RAF. By this time Gover had amassed more than 800 hours flying time in various aircraft. After passing his exams, he flew to Bakersfield, California to begin his RAF Refresher Training. On August 25, 1941 Gover’s aircraft, piloted by an instructor, crashed after entering a box canyon. Both men were unhurt. This was Gover’s only crash in his sixty-five years of flying. Gover finished the RAF Course a month ahead of schedule and graduated on October 24, 1941.
On November 13, 1941 Gover and 13 other classmates were commissioned pilots in the RAF Volunteer Reserve. A week later they boarded the transport ship Emma Alexander and headed for England, arriving at Liverpool on December 7, 1941.
Gover was assigned to the 53rd Operational Training Unit at Llandow and after graduating in February 1942, transitioned into an instructor role at the school. In March he was assigned to the 66th Fighter Squadron based at Portreath, England and in August transferred to the 133rd Fighter Squadron at Biggin Hill.
In September, 1942 Gover transfered to the United States Army Air Corp and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. Gover joined the newly formed 336th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group, Eighth Air Force. On January 16, 1943, Gover made his last flight in a British Spitfire and switched to the American built P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter. During the war Gover would be transferred to the 334th Fighter Squadron and then back again to the 336th Fighter Squadron.
On a mission dated May 14, 1943 LeRoy Gover was awarded the Silver Star for bravery in combat on an escort mission. During the mission Gover was credited with shooting down three German Aircraft with one probable and one damaged, a total of five altogether.
In March 1944 Major Gover returned to the United States. He became Commander of a Training Group in Florida, was later assigned to Luke Field in Phoenix, Arizona, and Bakersfield, California. Gover continued to fly the P-47 and later the F-86 Saber Fighter. In 1948 Gover worked as the Solo Pilot in the Warner Brothers Film Fighter Squadron. In 1962 LeRoy Gover retired from the Air Force, with the rank of Colonel.
After Gover’s death in 1997, The Friends were instrumental in acquiring his collection of photos, diary entries, and log books for the Academy and the McDermott Library.