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Charles Yeager
Born February 13, 1923 (1923-02-13) (age 87)
Charles Yeager photo portrait head on shoulders left side.jpg
Nickname Chuck
Place of birth Lincoln County, West Virginia
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch USAAC Roundel.svg United States Army Air Forces
Roundel of the USAF.svg United States Air Force
Years of service September 12, 1941 - March 1, 1975
Rank Major General (retired list)
Battles/wars World War II
Vietnam War
Awards Air Force Distinguished Service ribbon.svg Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Silver Star ribbon.svg Silver Star (2)
Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.svg Distinguished Flying Cross (3)
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star ribbon.svg Bronze Star
Purple Heart BAR.svg Purple Heart
PresFree.gif Presidential Medal of Freedom
Congressional Silver Medal
Other work Flight instructor

Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager (born February 13, 1923) is a retired major general in the United States Air Force and noted test pilot. He is widely considered to be the first pilot to travel faster than sound (1947). Originally retiring as a brigadier general, Yeager was promoted to major general on the Air Force's retired list 20 years later for his military achievements.

His 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 P-51 Mustang fighter pilot. After the war he became a test pilot of many kinds of aircraft and rocket planes. Yeager was the first man to break the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, flying the experimental Bell X-1 at Mach 1 at an altitude of 13,700 m (45,000 ft). Although Scott Crossfield was the first man to fly faster than Mach 2 in 1953, Yeager shortly thereafter set a new record of Mach 2.44.[1] He later commanded fighter squadrons and wings in Germany and in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, and in recognition of the outstanding performance ratings of those units he then was promoted to brigadier general. Yeager's flying career spans more than sixty years and has taken him to every corner of the globe, including the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War.

Contents

Biography

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. Yeager had two brothers, Roy and Hal, Jr., and two sisters, Doris Ann (accidentally killed by Roy with a shotgun while still an infant)[2] and Pansy Lee. His first association with the military was as a participant in the Citizens Military Training Camp at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, Indiana, during both the summers of 1939 and 1940. On February 26, 1945, Yeager married Glennis Dickhouse, and the couple had four children. Glennis Yeager died in 1990.

Chuck Yeager is not related to Jeana Yeager, one of the two pilots of the Rutan Voyager aircraft, which circled the world without landing or refueling. The name "Yeager" (pronounced /ˈjeɪɡər/) is an Anglicized form of the German, Dutch and Scandinavian name, Jäger (German: "hunter") , and so is common among immigrants of those communities. He is the uncle of former baseball catcher Steve Yeager.

World War II

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. When he enlisted 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 remarkable 20/10 vision, 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 P-39 Airacobras (earning a seven day grounding order for pruning a tree belonging to a local farmer during a training flight),[3] and went overseas with the group on November 23, 1943.

P-51D-20NA Glamorous Glen III, is the aircraft in which Chuck Yeager pilot achieved most of his aerial victories.

Stationed in the United Kingdom at RAF Leiston, Yeager flew P-51 Mustangs in combat (he named his aircraft Glamorous Glennis[4] after his girlfriend, Glennis Faye Dickhouse, who became his wife in February 1945) with the 363rd Fighter Squadron. He had gained one victory before he was shot down over France on his eighth mission, on March 5, 1944.[5] He escaped to Spain on March 30 with the help of the Maquis (French Resistance) and returned to England on May 15, 1944. During his stay with the Maquis, Yeager assisted the guerrillas in duties that did not involve direct combat, though he did help to construct bombs for the group, a skill that he had learned from his father.[6] He was awarded the Bronze Star for helping another airman, who lost part of his leg during the escape attempt, to cross the Pyrenees.

Despite a regulation that "evaders" (escaped pilots) could not fly over enemy territory again to avoid compromising Resistance allies, Yeager was reinstated to flying combat. Yeager had joined a bomber pilot evader, Capt. Fred Glover, in speaking directly to the Allied Supreme Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, on June 12, 1944. With Glover pleading their case, arguing that because the Allies had invaded France, the Maquis resistance movement was by then openly fighting the Nazis alongside Allied troops, so there was little or nothing they could reveal if shot down again to expose those who had helped them evade capture. Eisenhower, after gaining permission from the War Department to decide the requests, concurred with Yeager and Glover. Yeager later credited his postwar success in the Air Force to this decision, saying that his test pilot career followed naturally from being a decorated combat ace with a good kill record, along with being an airplane maintenance man prior to attending pilot school. In part because of his maintenance background, Yeager also frequently served as a maintenance officer in his flying units.

Yeager possessed outstanding eyesight (rated as 20/10, once enabling him to shoot a deer at 600 yards (550 m)[7]), flying skills, and combat leadership; he distinguished himself by becoming the first pilot in his group to make "ace in a day": he shot down five enemy aircraft in one mission, finishing the war with 11.5 official victories, including one of the first air-to-air victories over a jet fighter (a German Messerschmitt Me 262). Two of his "ace in a day" kills were scored without firing a single shot; he flew into firing position against a Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the pilot of the aircraft panicked, breaking to starboard and colliding with his wingman; Yeager later reported both pilots bailed out. An additional victory that was not officially counted for him came during the period before his combat status was reinstated: during a training flight in his P-51 over the North Sea, he happened on a German Junkers Ju 88 heavy fighter attacking a downed B-17 Flying Fortress crew. Yeager's quick thinking and reflexes saved the B-17 crew, but because he was not yet cleared for flying combat again, his gun camera film and credit for the kill were given to his wingman, Eddie Simpson. (Yeager later mistakenly recalled that the credit had given Simpson his fifth kill).

In his 1986 memoirs he noted with disgust that "atrocities were committed by both sides" and went on to recount going on a mission with orders from the Eighth Air Force to "strafe anything that moved".[8][9] During the mission briefing he whispered to Major Donald H. Boschkay; "if we are going to do things like this, we sure as hell better make sure we are on the winning side".[8][9] He further noted "I’m certainly not proud of that particular strafing mission against civilians. But it is there, on the record and in my memory."[10][11]

Yeager was commissioned a second lieutenant while at Leiston and was promoted to captain before the end of his tour. He flew his sixty-first and final mission on January 15, 1945, and returned to the United States in early February. As an evader, he received his choice of assignments and because his new wife was pregnant, chose Wright Field to be near his home in West Virginia. His high 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.[12]

Post-War

Yeager supersonic flight 1947.ogg
Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947. The plane that carried Yeager, the X-1

Yeager remained in the Air Force after the war, becoming a test pilot at Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base) and eventually being selected to fly the rocket-powered Bell X-1 in a NACA program to research high-speed flight, after Bell Aircraft test pilot "Slick" Goodlin demanded $150,000 to break the sound "barrier."[13][14] Such was the difficulty in this task that the answer to many of the inherent challenges were along the lines of "Yeager better have paid-up insurance."[15] Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, flying the experimental X-1 at Mach 1 at an altitude of 45,000 feet (13,700 m). Two nights before the scheduled date for the flight, he broke two ribs while riding a horse. He was so afraid of being removed from the mission that he went to a veterinarian in a nearby town for treatment and told only his wife, as well as friend and fellow project pilot Jack Ridley about it.

Yeager in front of the Bell X-1, which, as with all of the aircraft assigned to him, he named Glamorous Glennis (or some variation thereof), after his wife.

On the day of the flight, Yeager was in such pain that he could not seal the airplane's hatch by himself. Ridley rigged up a device, using the end of a broom handle as an extra lever, to allow Yeager to seal the hatch of the airplane. Yeager's flight recorded Mach 1.07, however, he was quick to point out that the public paid attention to whole numbers and that the next milestone would be exceeding Mach 2. Yeager's X-1 is on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. Yeager was awarded the MacKay and Collier Trophies in 1948 for his mach-transcending flight, and the Harmon International Trophy in 1954.

Some aviation historians contend that American pilot George Welch broke the sound barrier before Yeager, once while diving an XP-86 Sabre on October 1, 1947, and again just 30 minutes before Yeager's X-1 flight.[16][17] There was also a disputed claim by German pilot Hans Guido Mutke that he was the first person to break the sound barrier, on April 9, 1945, in a Messerschmitt Me 262.

Yeager went on to break many other speed and altitude records. He also was one of the first American pilots to fly a MiG-15 after its pilot defected to South Korea with it. During the latter half of 1953, Yeager was involved with the USAF team that was working on the X-1A, an aircraft designed to surpass Mach 2 in level flight. That year, he flew a chase plane for the female civilian pilot Jackie Cochran, a close friend, as she became the first woman to fly faster than sound. However, on November 20, 1953, the NACA's D-558-II Skyrocket and its pilot, Scott Crossfield, became the first team to reach twice the speed of sound. After they were bested, Ridley and Yeager decided to beat rival Crossfield's speed record in a flight series that they dubbed "Operation NACA Weep." Not only did they beat Crossfield, but they did it in time to spoil a celebration planned for the 50th anniversary of flight in which Crossfield was to be called "the fastest man alive." The Ridley/Yeager USAF team achieved Mach 2.44 on December 12, 1953. Shortly after reaching Mach 2.44, he experienced a loss of aerodynamic control due to inertial coupling at approximately 80,000 ft (24,000 m)., Yeager lost control of the X-1A. With the aircraft out of control, simultaneously rolling, pitching and yawing out of the sky, Yeager dropped 51,000 feet (16,000 m) in 51 seconds until regaining control of the aircraft at approximately 29,000 feet (8,800 m). He was able to land the aircraft without further incident.[1]

Yeager was foremost a fighter pilot and held several squadron and wing commands. From May 1955 to July 1957 he commanded the F-86H Sabre-equipped 417th Fighter-Bomber Squadron (50th Fighter-Bomber Wing) at Hahn AB, Germany, and Toul-Rosieres Air Base, France; and from 1957 to 1960 the F-100D-equipped 1st Fighter Day Squadron (later, while still under Yeager's command, re-designated the 306th Tactical Fighter Squadron) at George Air Force Base, California, and Morón Air Base, Spain.

In 1962, after completion of a year's studies at the Air War College, he was the first commandant of the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School, which produced astronauts for NASA and the USAF, after its redesignation from the USAF Flight Test Pilot School. An accident during a test flight in one of the school's NF-104s put an end to his record attempts. Between December 1963 and January 1964,[18] Yeager completed five flights in the NASA M2-F1 lifting body.

In 1966 he took command of the 405th Tactical Fighter Wing at Clark Air Base, the Philippines, whose squadrons were deployed on rotational temporary duty (TDY) in South Vietnam and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. There he accrued another 414 hours of combat time in 127 missions, mostly in a Martin B-57 light bomber. In February 1968, he was assigned command of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, and led the F-4 Phantom wing in South Korea during the Pueblo crisis.

On June 22, 1969, he was promoted to brigadier general, and was assigned in July as the vice-commander of the Seventeenth Air Force. In 1971, Yeager was assigned to Pakistan to advise the Pakistan Air Force at the behest of then-Ambassador Joe Farland.[19] Prior to the start of hostilities of the Bangladesh War he is reported to have said that the Pakistani army would be in New Delhi within a week.[20] During the war, his twin-engined Beechcraft was destroyed in an Indian air raid on the Chaklala air base - he was reportedly incensed and demanded US retaliation.[21] Despite Pakistan's surrender to India in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Yeager stayed in Pakistan until March 1973, and recalled his stay in Pakistan as one of the most enjoyable times of his life. During his stay he spent most of his time flying in an F-86 Sabre with the Pakistan Air Force and making several expeditions to the K2 mountain, vacationing in Swat, Pakistan, trekking and hunting in the Northern Areas and learning the Urdu language.[22]

Merits

COMMAND PILOT WINGS.png  Command pilot

Air Force Distinguished Service ribbon.svg Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver Star, for shooting down five Bf 109s in one day,[23] with one oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross, for an Me 262 kill,[24] with two oak leaf clusters, including first to break the sound barrier
V
Bronze Star , for helping rescue a fellow airman from Occupied France,[6] with “V” device
Purple Heart BAR.svg Purple Heart
Silver oak leaf cluster
Silver oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation ribbon.svg Air Force Commendation Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem with oak leaf cluster
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
American Defense Service ribbon.svg American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (8 battle stars)
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg World War II Victory Medal
PresFree.gif Presidential Medal of Freedom

Post-retirement history

Monument to Yeager at Edwards

On March 1, 1975, following assignments in Germany and Pakistan, he retired from the Air Force at Norton Air Force Base, but still occasionally flew for the USAF and NASA as a consulting test pilot at Edwards AFB. For his consultant work to the Test Pilot School Commander at Edwards Air Force Base, Yeager is paid one dollar annually, along with all the flying time he wants. The $1 allows him to be covered by workers compensation.

For several years, Yeager was the public face of AC Delco, the automotive parts division of General Motors. Because of this, AC Delco experienced a sales surge.[27]

Through the years, Yeager delivered a number of aviation and test pilot related speeches to a variety of groups ranging from test pilots, Air Force Association banquets, Civil Air Patrol, Experimental Aircraft Association, and even the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) National Meeting entitled "Breaking Barriers" in Honolulu in October 1995. Yeager easily adapted his talk to a given audience on the importance of stabilators and their role in giving America air combat supremacy. Yeager was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1973, and in 1990, included with the first class of inductees into the Aerospace Walk of Honor.

Yeager made a cameo appearance in the movie The Right Stuff. He played "Fred," a bartender at "Pancho's Place," which was most appropriate, since of Pancho's Place Yeager said, "if all the hours were ever totaled, I reckon I spent more time at her place than in a cockpit over those years."[28]

In the late 80s and early 90s, Yeager set a number of light, general aircraft performance records for speed, range, and endurance. Most notable were flights conducted on behalf of Piper Aircraft. On one such flight, Yeager did an emergency landing as a result of fuel exhaustion.

On October 14, 1997, on the 50th anniversary of his historic flight past Mach 1, he flew a new Glamorous Glennis III, an F-15D Eagle, past Mach 1, with Lt. Col. Troy Fontaine as co-pilot. The chase plane for the flight was an F-16 Fighting Falcon piloted by Bob Hoover, a famous air-show pilot, and his wingman for the first supersonic flight. Had Yeager gone to the flight surgeon with his broken ribs before the X-1 flight, he would have been grounded and Hoover would have flown the supersonic flight test, with Bud Anderson flying chase. This was Yeager's last official flight with the Air Force. At the end of his speech to the crowd he concluded, "All that I am... I owe to the Air Force." Later that month, Yeager was the recipient of the Tony Jannus Award for his achievements.

In 2004, Congress voted to authorize the President to promote Yeager to the rank of major general on the retired list. In 2005, President George W. Bush granted the promotion of both Yeager and (posthumously) air-power pioneer Billy Mitchell to major general. Few Presidents have authorized retirement promotions: Mitchell was first posthumously reinstated as a brigadier general by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Academy Award winning actor/Air Force Reservist Jimmy Stewart was promoted in retirement from brigadier general to major general by President Ronald Reagan.

Brigadier General Yeager

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. Additionally, Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia, is named after him. The Interstate 64/Interstate 77 bridge over the Kanawha River in Charleston is named for Yeager. He was the chairman of Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagle Program.

The state of West Virginia honored Yeager with a marker along Corridor G (part of U.S. 119) in his home Lincoln County on October 19, 2006, as well as renamed part of the highway the Yeager Highway.[29]

Yeager is an Honorary Board Member of the humanitarian organization Wings of Hope[30]

On August 25, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver announced that Yeager would be one of 13 California Hall of Fame inductees in The California Museum's yearlong exhibit. The induction ceremony was on December 1, 2009 in Sacramento, California.

Yeager is now fully retired from military test flight, after having maintained that status for three decades after his official retirement from the Air Force. Yeager served on the Rogers Commission that investigated the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger on STS-51-L. The Sacramento ABC affiliate sent a crew to Yeager's home, a few miles northeast of the city, following the Challenger disaster that was aired on Nightline. Yeager provided a voice of calm, confidence, and understanding during the interview. Most notable was his quote: "They (NASA) have all the telemetry data available to understand what happened, and it will be just a matter of time to analyze it". Yeager did admit that there is a risk in any aeronautical flight test, a category in which the Space Shuttle fits, that crews accept that risk, and that these same crews understand the consequences of that risk better than anyone else. Regardless, they believe in what they are doing and would not do any other type of work.

In 2000, Yeager met actress Victoria Scott D'Angelo on a hiking trail in Nevada County. Despite their 36 year age difference, they started dating shortly thereafter.[31] The pair married in August 2003.[32] Three of Yeager's children are currently suing for control of his holdings, claiming that D'Angelo married him for his fortune. Yeager contends they simply want more money.[33][34]

On November 20, 2006, Yeager endorsed Representative Duncan Hunter as a candidate for President of the United States and served as honorary chairman of Hunter's presidential campaign. He currently lives in Oroville, California with his wife.

References

  1. ^ a b Yeager, Chuck and Janos, Leo. Yeager: An Autobiography. Page 252 (paperback). New York: Bantam Books, 1986. ISBN 0-553-25674-2.
  2. ^ Yeager: An Autobiography. Page 6 (paperback).
  3. ^ Take Off magazine issue 36, page 991
  4. ^ 357th Fighter Group Profile
  5. ^ Escape and Evasion Case File for Flight Officer Charles (Chuck) E. Yeager
  6. ^ a b Yeager: An Autobiography. Page 45 (paperback).
  7. ^ Yeager: An Autobiography. Page 297 (paperback).
  8. ^ a b Wolfgang W. E. Samuel "American raiders: the race to capture the Luftwaffe's secrets" p454
  9. ^ a b C. A. J. Coady, "Morality and political violence" p.13
  10. ^ The Christian & War p.15, further referenced to Chuck Yeager and Leo Janos, Yeager, 1985, p. 63.
  11. ^ Chuck Yeager, Leo Janos "Yeager, an autobiography", p.80 (google)
  12. ^ Yeager: An Autobiography. Page 60 (paperback).
  13. ^ Yeager: An Autobiography. Page 121 (paperback).
  14. ^ Wolfe, Tom. The Right Stuff. Pages 52-53 (hardcover). Farrar-Straus-Giroux, New York. 1979. ISBN 0-374-25033-2.
  15. ^ Yeager: An Autobiography. Page 157 (paperback).
  16. ^ "First Supersonic Jet". Aerospaceweb.org. http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/history/q0113.shtml. Retrieved 2006-11-23. "The capabilities of the Sabre were finally released in June 1948 when the Air Force and North American announced that the XP-86, piloted by George Welch, had broken the sound barrier in a dive. However, the date of Welch's achievement was given as April 26, 1948 with no mention made of his earlier flights." 
  17. ^ "CANADA AVIATION MUSEUM AIRCRAFT CANADAIR F-86 SABRE MK.6" (PDF). http://www.aviation.technomuses.ca/pdf/SabreMk6.pdf. Retrieved 2006-11-23. "The maximum speed listed at 606 mph (975 km/h) is in level flight, however, the SABRE could exceed the speed of sound (760 mph [1,224 km/h] at sea level and 660 mph [1,061 km/h] at 36,000 ft). This was accomplished by flying to an altitude of approximately 45,000 ft (13,720 m) and with full power applied accelerating to the maximum level flight speed. The aircraft would then be rolled to inverted flight and pulled down until it was pointing straight down at the ground at full power and allowed to accelerate until it was supersonic (Mach 1). Minor buffeting would occur and supersonic flight would be momentarily achieved at approximately 35,000 ft (10,670 m)." 
  18. ^ The Crash of Chuck Yeager's NF-104A, December 10, 1963
  19. ^ Yeager: An Autobiography. Page 391 (paperback).
  20. ^ The right stuff in the wrong place - Chuck Yeager's crash landing in Pakistan Washington Monthly, Oct, 1985 by Edward C. Ingraham
  21. ^ Admiral Arun Prakash. "How I crossed swords with Chuck Yeager". http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/History/1971War/ArunPrakash.html. 
  22. ^ http://www.defence.pk/forums/military-history/18071-who-won-air-war-1971-a.html
  23. ^ Yeager: An Autobiography. Page 73 (paperback).
  24. ^ Yeager: An Autobiography. Page 76 (paperback).
  25. ^ Yeager: An Autobiography. Pages 413-414 (paperback).
  26. ^ "Presentation of a Special Congressional Silver Medal to Brigadier-General Charles E. Yeager, United States Air Force (Retired)", National Museum of the United States Air Force.
  27. ^ Yeager: An Autobiography. Page 418 (paperback).
  28. ^ Chuck Yeager and Leo Janos, Yeager: An Autobiography (New York: Bantam, 1985), 172.
  29. ^ Yeager Comes Home, WOWK-TV, August 19, 2006
  30. ^ http://wings-of-hope.org
  31. ^ Victoria D'Angelo listing at IMDB
  32. ^ The Right Stuff at war, The Age, August 31, 2004
  33. ^ Record-Setting Pilot Chuck Yeager Sues His Children, New York Times, June 7, 2006
  34. ^ Bob Baker's Newsthinking

Further reading

  • "Chuck Yeager". MedalofHonor.com. http://www.medalofhonor.com/ChuckYeager.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  • Hallion, Richard P. Designers and Test Pilots. New York: Time-Life Books, 1982. ISBN 0-8094-3316-8.
  • Pisano, Dominick A., van der Linden, R. Robert and Winter, Frank H. Chuck Yeager and the Bell X-1: Breaking the Sound Barrier. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (in association with Abrams, New York): 2006. ISBN 0-8109-5535-0.
  • Yeager, Chuck, Cardenas, Bob, Hoover, Bob, Russell, Jack and Young, James. The Quest for Mach One: A First-Person Account of Breaking the Sound Barrier. New York: Penguin Studio, 1997. ISBN 0-670-87460-4.
  • Yeager, Chuck and Leerhsen, Charles. Press on! Further Adventures in the Good Life. New York: Bantam Books, 1988. ISBN 0-553-05333-7.
  • Yeager, Chuck, and Leo Janos. Yeager: An Autobiography. New York: Bantam, 1985. ISBN 978-0553256741.

External links


Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|Chuck Yeager]]

Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager (born February 13, 1923) is a former general of the United States Air Force. He was the first person who was faster than the sound. On 14 October 1947, he piloted the Bell X-1 and broke the sound barrier. He also served in World War II.








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