Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager, born February 13, 1923, is a retired brigadier general in the United States Air Force and record-setting test pilot. In 1947, he became the first pilot confirmed to have exceeded the speed of sound in level flight and got the then altitude record in another flight.
- Birth name- Charles Elwood Yeager
- Nickname(s)- Chuck
- Born on- February 13, 1923 (age 93)
- Born in- Myra, West Virginia, U.S.
- Nationality- United States
- Service/branch- US Army Air Corps, United States Army Air Forces and United States Air Force
- Years of service-- 1941–75 (34 years)
- Rank- US-O7/Brigadier General
- Battles/wars- World War II, Cold War and Vietnam War
- Spouse(s) and kids- Glennis Dickhouse (1945–90; her death) (4 children) and Victoria Scott D'Angelo (2003–present)
- Relations- Steve Yeager (nephew)
- Other work- Flight instructor and USAF X-plane pilot
- Alma mater- N\A
- Religion- N\A
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 Super Sabre-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 in Spain.
He was a Bell X-1 pilot and was the first human to officially 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.
The Bell X-1, designated originally as XS-1, was a joint National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics-U.S. Army Air Forces-U.S. Air Force supersonic research project built by the Bell Aircraft Company.
Chuk Yeager was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the U.S. Congress awarded Yeager a silver medal "equivalent to a noncombat Medal of Honor ... for contributing immeasurably to aerospace science by risking his life in piloting the XS-1 research airplane faster than the speed of sound on October 14, 1947." in 1975. President Gerald Ford presented the medal to Yeager in a ceremony at the White House on December 8, 1976.
He holds the rank of Brigadier General. His medals include the Air Force Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon and Presidential Medal of Freedom
- You don't concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done.
- You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can't, you do the next best thing. You back up but you don't give up.
- Later, I realized that the mission had to end in a let-down because the real barrier wasn't in the sky but in our knowledge and experience of supersonic flight.