Chuck Yeager, 1923-2020

R.I.P. Chuck Yeager, the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound passed away today at the age of 97.

A World War II flying ace, Gen. Yeager achieved his greatest fame by flying on Oct. 14, 1947, the experimental Bell X-1 at the speed of sound, Mach 1, in level flight at 45,000 feet — the first man to do so.

The achievement was not announced to the public though until June 1948 for security reasons.

Yeager epitomized the greatest generation, flying in combat in World War II, and commanding fighter squadrons in both the Korean and Vietnamese wars. More significantly, his 1947 supersonic flight was achieved with two broken ribs, caused when he fell from a horse the week before. He told none of his commanders, and flew anyway.