General Chuck Yeager

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General Chuck Yeager

Charles E. Yeager was born on February 13, 1923 in Myra, West Virginia and raised the nearby village of Hamlin for the first eighteen years of his life. His father drilled natural gas, and his mother was a housewife. At an early age, Chuck helped his father drill, and learned mechanics from his father. Chuck was always fixing the car engines or the drill engine if it broke. In high school Chuck played basketball and baseball, although he never really excelled in either. He also was not that smart in school. He said the only thing that he was good at was typing and math, everything else, he got a D in.

After high school, Chuck, being poorly educated and destitute decided to join the U.S. Army Air Corps. The funny thing about that is that Chuck never even saw an airplane on the ground until he was 16 years old, when it had an emergency and landed in a cornfield, and Chuck was not even impressed with it. He said the reason that he joined the Air Corps is because the recruiter made the Air Corps sound more interesting that the Navy recruiter. Anyway, Chuck joined the Air Corps as a mechanic. After a year of being a mechanic, the Untied States was short pilots, so they put up a notice to see if anyone wanted to become a pilot. Chuck signed the form; however, it took another year for them to pick him. It was always hard for Chuck to fit in among the other pilots and mechanics. Because he was from West Virginia, he had a strong accent, and a poor education, so he was never given a chance at first. Then, when he first went in a plane, he almost quit the pilot school because there was turbulence and he was bumping all over the place. On the other hand, once he flew a plane by himself he was hooked. He excelled in pilot school because he had excellent vision, 20/10, and learned how to dogfight, that is getting in position to shoot down another plane and avoiding getting shot down yourself.

He left for the War in 1942. He was disappointed at first because after 6 missions, they hadn’t seen one German.
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