Recognized as the greatest pilot of all time, West Virginia’s own Chuck Yeager passed away earlier this week at the age of 97. He was best known for having been the first man to break the sound barrier on October 14, 1947 in the Bell X-1 rocket plane flying over Edwards Air Force Base. However, he also was a heavily decorated pilot during WWII having shot down 5 German planes in a single day. Combined with his leadership during the Viet Nam War, Yeager flew over 127 combat missions. In 1985, President Reagan recognized Yeager as an outstanding American patriot by awarding him the well-deserved Medal of Freedom. Born in the small southern town of Myra, WV, he never backed down from a challenge and excelled in the skies.
His own words best described him –
“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.”
“If you can walk away from a landing, it’s a good landing. If you use the airplane the next day, it’s an outstanding landing.”
God bless Charles “Chuck” Yeager – a true hero in every sense of the word.