Go to triangular compass
Left arrow

Brig. Gen. Charles Yeager: Ultimate AF Bad-Ass

US History
US History
Active Military
Active Military
September 26, 2019
Share on Twitter
Share on Facebook
Share on Linkedin
Copy Link

Stay Up to Date on American Grit

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

They just don't make them like they used to. For Brig. Gen. Charles "Chuck" Yeager, an Air Force pilot, this definitely holds true. Chuck broke records, the sound barrier and accomplished more by the age of 25 than most military do their entire careers.Born in 1923, Chuck had his most formidable years during the Great Depression, then joined the military as soon as he turned 18, only months before the US entered World War II. He initially joined the Army Air Forces (because remember the Air Force was created 1947, this was 1941) as an aircraft mechanic. At the time he enlisted, he was told he was too young for pilot's school.Then we entered WW2 and since he was a bad ass who had the visual acuity to shoot a deer at 550m- the Army Air Forces allowed Chuck Yeager to begin training as a pilot and well, thank goodness they did. He shipped overseas in November 1943 as a fighter pilot and on his 8th mission got shot down. But it gets better... Yeager landed in enemy territory and managed to make his way back to England within 2 months, where he was stationed, ALL WHILE helping a navigator get back as well. He had to cut a tendon in the navigator's leg and tie it up so they could keep pushing through.Now, back in the day, Yeager was not supposed to be allowed to fly again HOWEVER, he got Presidential permission and back up he went. Only 5 MONTHS after getting back to England, he was awarded for shooting down 5 enemy aircraft in a single mission. He flew 61 missions during his 14 months overseas and returned home. He then became a test pilot for the Air Force as his next assignment.Only two days before he was set to break the sound barrier, 23-year-old Yeager broke two ribs falling from his horse. But that didn't stop him. Getting a buddy to rig the plane so he could still seal the hatch, Yeager broke the record and the sound barrier on October 14, 1947.Continuing to be the bad ass pilot he was, Yeager continued to best his own records and others, reaching a speed of Mach 2.44 shortly after he broke Mach 1. During this flight, he even lost control of the aircraft dropping almost 10 miles in less than a minute, regained complete control and landed smoothly.Not long after this, Yeager went on to continue his career as a commander for the USAF, which included training astronauts. He only had a high school diploma and he was charging the way for our Space program and astronaut training because he was that good at his job. Still, he went on to do even greater things!He became a Brigadier General at 46 years old and continued to lead missions and flights around the world. Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager retired with 33 years in service, and he wasn't nearly finished with his life's accomplishments.Yeager starred in a movie, was appointed to help research the space shuttle Challenger's explosion, continued to break records as a pilot and has maintained a legacy as a bad ass mofo.He has earned both the Distinguished Service Medal and the Air Force specific DSM, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and so many more. Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager is still alive to this day and actually on Twitter at 96 years old!You can check his personal website here to see what he is up to these days! Chuck, we think you're one of the greatest and we thank you for all that you have done for our country!

send a letter to congress
Adds section
Next Up
No items found.