A Brief History
On December 7, 2020, fighter ace and aviation record breaker, Chuck Yeager, Brigadier General US Air Force, died at the age of 97. Yeager was known to say, “There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots,” perhaps not an original quotation but generally true, although Yeager was indeed a “Bold Pilot” and died at an old age.
Yeager, a World War II ace, shot down 11.5 enemy planes, one of which was an Me-262 jet. Yeager was shot down in 1944, but evaded capture in occupied France and even operated with the French resistance before escaping back to England.
Yeager became a test pilot after the war and made history as the first pilot to break the speed of sound in level flight in a Bell X-1 rocket plane in 1947. Yeager went on to break many aviation records and embark on a career of acting, public endorsement, and consulting.
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For more information, please see…
Keith, Don. Chuck Yeager: World War II Fighter Pilot. Dutton Caliber, 2022.
Yeager, Chuck. Yeager: An Autobiography. Bantam Books, 1986.
The featured image in this article, an image of the Congressional Silver Medal struck for Chuck Yeager — the first recipient of the award, is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image or file is in the public domain in the United States.
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