Chuck Yeager, RIP (1923-2020)

Sound barrier busting test pilot Chuck Yeager died today at the age of 97.

From The Washington Post:

For his prowess in flight, Gen. Yeager became one of the great American folk heroes of the 1940s and 1950s. A self-described West Virginia hillbilly with a high school education, he said he came "from so far up the holler, they had to pipe daylight to me." He became one of the greatest aviators of his generation, combining abundant confidence with an innate understanding of engineering mechanics — what an airplane could do under any form of stress.

He first stepped into a cockpit during World War II after joining the Army Air Forces directly out of high school. By the end of the war, he was a fighter ace credited with shooting down at least 12 German planes, including five in one day. Making the military his career, he emerged in the late 1940s as one of the newly created Air Force's most revered test pilots.