Chuck Yeager

Article

October 17, 2021

Charles Elwood (Chuck) Yeager (February 13, 1923 – December 7, 2020) was an American World War II fighter pilot, test pilot and general. He became famous for being the first person known to have crossed the sound barrier in level flight.

Pilot

Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, in a Bell X-1 aircraft. However, it is claimed that Yeager was not the first. For example, on April 9, 1945, the German pilot Hans Guido Mutke was the first to fly faster than sound in a Messerschmitt Me 262. Another claim comes from US pilot George Welch who broke the sound barrier in his XP-86 Saber two weeks before Yeager's record flight. Thirty minutes before Yeager made his famous flight, George Welch flew through the sound barrier again, but in a nosedive. The United States Air Force (USAF) said Yeager and his X-1 were the first to break the sound barrier in level flight. Colonel Chuck Yeager was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal. In the film The Right Stuff (1983), about the pioneering days of space travel, Yeager's achievements form a common thread in the story. He is played by actor Sam Shepard. Yeager also appears briefly in the film as a bartender at Pancho's Place.

Military career

Private, United States Army Air Forces: September 12, 1941 Private First Class, United States Army Air Forces: December 1941 Corporal, United States Army Air Forces: Dec 1941 Sergeant, United States Army Air Forces: July 12, 1942 Second Lieutenant, United States Army Air Forces: March 10, 1943 First Lieutenant, United States Army Air Forces: July 1944 Captain, United States Army Air Forces: October 1944 Major, United States Air Force: 1951 Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force: 1958 Colonel, United States Air Force: 1966 Brigadier General, United States Air Force: August 1, 1969 (from June 22, 1969)

Decorations

U.S. Air Force Command Pilot Badge Air Force Distinguished Service Medal Silver Star with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster Legion of Merit with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster Distinguished Flying Cross with two bronze Oak Leaf Clusters Bronze Star with Bronze Valor Device purple heart Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters Air Force Commendation Medal United States Presidential Unit Award with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Presidential Medal of Freedom Congressional Silver Medal Necklace Trophy Harmon Trophy Mackay Trophy US Defense Service Medal American Campaign Medal Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal with Silver and Three Bronze Service Stars World War II Victory Medal MacKay Trophy in 1948 Collier Trophy in 1948 Harmon International Trophy in 1954

External link

(and) U.S. AIR FORCE biography of Chuck Yeager

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