Chuck Yeager, The First Pilot To Break the Sound Barrier

Rare | 1/14/2020 | Moriah Gill
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Charles Elwood Yeager, better known as Chuck Yeager is a World War II veteran, decorated flight pilot, as well as the record holder for being the first human to break the sound barrier. His career spanned for 70 years and today the legend is 96 years old, and believe it or not, on Twitter.

Born in 1923, Charles E. Yeager was one of five children born to farming parents in Myra, West Virginia. His first encounters with the US military happened as a young teenager, the first time being at a Citizens Military Training Camp in Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, Indiana. Within the next two years, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces. As a private, he worked as an aircraft mechanic at the George Air Force Base in California. Initially, he was told that he wasn’t eligible for flight training due to his age. This changed when the United States entered World War II. It was found that he had an exceptionally sharp vision and was a natural talent for flying.

UK - Yeager - P-51 - Mustangs - France

While stationed in the UK, Yeager flew P-51 Mustangs and was even shot down over France. With the help of the French Resistance (Maquis), he was able to make it back to England. He did not return, however, before offering assistance to the resistance, helping them make bombs and even saving the life of an injured B-24 navigator. For this, he was awarded a Bronze Star. Most pilots who were shot down weren’t allowed to fly again over enemy territory, to reduce the possibility of recapture. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander allowed him to do so as a special case.

In addition to the resourcefulness needed to himself out of tough situations, Yeager demonstrated great combat leadership, as well. On October 12, 1944, he was the first pilot in his...
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