General Chuck Yeager, WWII fighter pilot and the first person to break the sound barrier in flight has died. He was 97.
His wife Victoria announced his passing on Twitter:
“It is w/ profound sorrow, I must tell you that my life loves General Chuck Yeager passed just before 9 pm ET. An incredible life well lived, America’s greatest Pilot, & a legacy of strength, adventure, & patriotism will be remembered forever.”
In 1947, Yeager flew the Bell X-1 rocket 700 mph at 43,000 feet, becoming the first person to break the sound barrier in level flight. He was later portrayed in the book “The Right Stuff” and then the movie. Yeager was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985.
Yeager died Monday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement, calling the death “a tremendous loss to our nation.”
“Gen. Yeager’s pioneering and innovative spirit advanced America’s abilities in the sky and set our nation’s dreams soaring into the jet age and the space age. He said, ‘You don’t concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done,’” Bridenstine said in his statement.