American aviation legend Charlie “Chuck” Yeager, who was the first pilot to break the sound barrier, died at 97, his wife Victoria announced Monday.
Victoria Yeager wrote on her husband’s Twitter account: “It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of General Chuck Yeager, the love of my life, shortly before 9 pm ET” (0200 GMT Tuesday).
“He is the greatest pilot in America, and his legacy of strength, adventure, and patriotism will be forever in our memories.”
Fr @VictoriaYeage11 It is w/ profound sorrow, I must tell you that my life love General Chuck Yeager passed just before 9pm ET. An incredible life well lived, America’s greatest Pilot, & a legacy of strength, adventure, & patriotism will be remembered forever.
— Chuck Yeager (@GenChuckYeager) December 8, 2020
Yeager did not explain the reasons for her husband’s death. During World War II, Charlie Yeager was a pilot and made history by breaking the sound barrier in 1947 in a BL-X1.
Yeager said in an interview with Agence France-Presse in 2007 that this development “opened up space, star wars, and satellites.”
The Hollywood blockbuster “The Right Stuff” examined Yeager’s accomplishments as a test pilot.
Yeager was born on February 13, 1923, in Mayra, West Virginia, and grew up with his mechanic father, who taught him his profession. He joined the Air Force in September 1941, three months before the United States entered the war, and initially worked as an aircraft mechanic before learning to fly.
Yeager served during the war in England, commencing his combat duties on a B-51 Mustang in February 1944 and shooting down a German MI 109.