by HB Auld, Jr.
American US Air Force hero, flying ace, and test pilot Brigadier General Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager died today. He was 97 years old.
In 1947, General Yeager became the first confirmed test pilot to exceed the speed of sound in level flight.
General Yeager began his service to the Nation in 1941 as a Private in the US Army Air Corps as an aircraft mechanic. In 1942, he entered enlisted flight training and was promoted to Flight Officer upon graduation. Later on the Western Front, he had 11 confirmed kills, shooting down enemy aircraft.
Following World War II, he became an aircraft test pilot, flying the Bell X-1 at a speed of Mach I and breaking the sound barrier on October 14, 1947. During the Viet Nam War, he commanded squadrons in Southeast Asia and was promoted to US Air Force Brigadier General in 1969. He served more than 30 years in three military wars. General Yeager retired from military service March 1, 1975.
General Chuck Yeager passed away on Monday, December 7, 2020.