Chuck Yeager passes away at 97

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Chuck Yeager is dead at the age of 97, according to his Twitter Page.

Chuck Yeager was a World War II fighter ace and the first person to break the sound barrier. He is also a Lincoln County, West Virginia native.

Many have taken to social media and released statements to honor the American hero.

“General Chuck Yeager was an American hero. West Virginia’s native son was larger than life and an inspiration for generations of Americans. He bravely served our nation as a pilot for more than 30 years in the U.S. Air Force during World War II and Vietnam. When he became the first pilot to break the sound barrier he challenged each of us to test the limits of what’s possible. I am grateful to have gotten to know this legendary West Virginian and to call him my dear friend. Gayle and I are praying for his family and all who loved and admired General Yeager. May his example of courage in the face of adversity inspire us all.”

Senator Joe Manchin, (D) West Virginia

“Most people know Chuck Yeager as the pilot who broke the sound barrier. While his most famous feat certainly transformed the aviation world, Chuck Yeager’s life represents so much more. I remember meeting General Yeager for the first time in 1985 for the dedication of Yeager Airport. My son Charles, celebrating his fifth birthday that day, was totally in awe, as we all were. He embodied the American Dream. A boy from Lincoln County would achieve what pilots then had only dreamed about. He was built of the Right Stuff and lived his life in service to his country, a World War II patriot, flying ace, and Medal of Freedom recipient. Simply put, America is better because of him. His legacy continues on today. He is an inspiration for many, from young West Virginians to pilots across the globe. Charlie and I send our heartfelt condolences to the Yeager family during this difficult time.”

US Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

“I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Gen. Chuck Yeager.

Chuck Yeager will forever be known as one of the aviation giants of the 20th century. He is a constant source of inspiration for the state of West Virginia and for the students at Marshall University, especially in the Society of Yeager Scholars program. We’re forever grateful for the ability to put his name to a program that has produced some of the greatest leaders in our region. I had the pleasure of meeting Gen. Yeager during his visit to Marshall in 2019. His bravery and willingness to serve, especially in the face of the unknown, is a testament to the spirit of all West Virginians. His contributions in the fields of research and aviation led the way for the world we know today. I mourn his loss, and my thoughts are with his family during this time.”

Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert

Yeager was also a key supportoer of the Marshall University Society of Yeager Scholars, Marshall University officials said. The program was named in his honor.

“Gen. Yeager was one of the truly extraordinary leaders of our time,” Hill said. “In his passing, he has left behind a legacy that will continue to inspire the best in all of us. I am grateful for his immeasurable contributions to the Marshall University Society of Yeager Scholars, which promotes the next generation of exceptional leaders.”

Martha Hill, president of the Society of Yeager Scholars board of directors

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