Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager (born February 13, 1923) is a retired brigadier general in the United States Air Force andnoted test pilot. In 1947, he became the first pilot to (officially) travel faster than sound. Yeager's career began in World War II as a private in the United States Army Air Forces.After serving as an aircraft mechanic, in September 1942 he entered enlisted pilot training and upon graduation was promoted to the rank of flight officer (the World War II USAAF equivalent to warrant officer) and became a North American P-51 Mustang fighter pilot.
After the war, Yeager became a test pilot of many types of aircraft including experimental rocket-powered aircraft. As the first human to break the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, he flew the experimental Bell X-1 at Mach 1 at an altitude of 45,000 ft (13,700 m). Although Scott Crossfield was the first to fly faster than Mach 2 in 1953, Yeager shortly thereafter set a new record of Mach 2.44. Yeager's flying career spans more than 60 years and has taken him to every corner of the globe, including the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War.
Yeager was born to farming parents Susie Mae and Albert Hal Yeager in Myra, West Virginia, and graduated from high school in Hamlin, West Virginia. His first experience with the military was as a teen at the Citizens Military Training Camp at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, Indiana, during the summers of 1939 and 1940. Glennis Yeager died in 1990. The name "Yeager" is an Anglicized form of the German name Jäger or Jaeger (German: "hunter"), and so is common among immigrants of that community. He is the uncle of former baseball catcher Steve Yeager.
Yeager enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) on September 12, 1941, and became an aircraft mechanic at George Air Force Base, Victorville, California. At enlistment, Yeager was not eligible for flight training because of his age and educational background, but the entry of the U.S. into World War II less than two months later, prompted the USAAF to alter its recruiting standards. Blessed with unusually sharp vision (a visual acuity rated 20/10), which once enabled him to shoot a deer at 600 yards (550 m), Yeager displayed natural talent as a pilot and was accepted for flight training.
He received his wings and a promotion to Flight Officer at Luke Field, Arizona, where he graduated from class 43C on March 10, 1943. Assigned to the 357th Fighter Group at Tonopah, Nevada, he initially trained as a fighter pilot, flying Bell P-39 Airacobras (earning a seven-day grounding order for pruning a tree belonging to a local farmer during a training flight), and went overseas with the group on November 23, 1943. Yeager had gained one victory before he was shot down over France on his eighth mission, on March 5, 1944. He was awarded the Bronze Star for helping another airman, who had lost part of his leg during the escape attempt, to cross the Pyrenees.
Yeager demonstrated outstanding flying skills and combat leadership. On 12 October 1944, he became the first pilot in his group to make "ace in a day," shooting down five enemy aircraft in a single mission. Two of his "ace in a day" kills were scored without firing a single shot: when he flew into firing position against a Messerschmitt Bf 109, the pilot of the aircraft panicked, breaking to starboard and colliding with his wingman. His high number of flight hours and maintenance experience qualified him to become a functional test pilot of repaired aircraft, which brought him under the command of Colonel Albert Boyd, head of the Aeronautical Systems Flight Test Division.
Yeager, who never attended college and was often modest about his background, is considered by some to be one of the greatest pilots of all time. Despite his lack of higher education, he has been honored in his home state. Marshall University has named its highest academic scholarship, the Society of Yeager Scholars, in his honor. Yeager was also the chairman of Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagle Program since 1994, and has been named the program's chairman emeritus.
SOME INTERESTING POSTS!!!!!
This LITERARY GENIUS; who loathed formal schooling, learnt all he did from the outside world!!!