From the Desk of Chuck Yeager

General Chuck Yeager is alive and well.  He retired from flying active military airplanes in October, 2002. However, he is still active: flying P-51s, float planes, and jets; hunting and fishing; his non-profit General Chuck Yeager Foundation is supporting programs to teach the ideals by which General Yeager has lived his life: honor, integrity, courage, duty, and service.  He also pays close attention to what is happening in the world, and speaks out on important issues of the day.  Check here for letters written by Chuck Yeager.

Background photo: P–38 Lightning.

May 9, 2012

My great friend Russ Schleeh died Sunday, May 6 2012, at home in Mission Viejo California with his wife Mary, daughter Brandy, son-in-law Ken and step-daughter Kay by his side.  Russ was a great WWII bomber pilot, and Chief of Bomber Test.  See his Air Force bio here, and here’s a good bio written for the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum.

Webmaster note: Read amusing stories of Gen. Yeager and Russ Schleeh about their days as pilots and hunting buddies in “Yeager, an Autobiography“.

November 15, 2006

To All,

Soon the world will commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor, which was masterminded by Admiral Yamamoto of the Imperial Japanese Navy on December 7, 1941.

The question of who shot down Admiral Yamamoto less than two years later, thus dealing a severe blow to the morale of our enemy, has been disputed for decades.  The only authority in the matter, the United States Air Force, has given Thomas G. Lanphier and his wingman Rex T. Barber each half credit.  That was the finding of the Pacific Command immediately after the famous engagement of P-38’s led by Major John Mitchell of the U.S. Army 13th Air Force, 339th Sqdn, on April 18, 1943, and that decision has withstood subsequent review by the Air Force in more recent years.  An Air Force decision in 1972 was that both Lanphier and Barber should share equal credit. In March of 1985 another Victory Credit Board of Review was convened, and it too concluded that the victory should be shared.

Tom Lanphier died in 1987, and is no longer able to defend his credit for the kill.  Now, history revisionists, who claim to have better insight into the facts than the military officials in command at the time of the action and of those who have thoroughly reviewed the facts in more recent years, claim to know better.  These unofficial history revisionists now claim (falsely) that only Rex Barber probably deserves credit for the victory.

It is unfortunate that after more than 60 years have passed, history revisionists are falsely trying to discredit American heroes like Tom Lanphier. Although they mean no harm to the honor and memory of Rex Barber, also an American hero, in taking this course they unwittingly dishonor him by trying to undo this part of history in his name.  With all this fuss over Lanphier and Barber, many forget the unsung heroes of shooting down Yamamoto.  Two of my heroes of the Pacific Theater are fleet intelligence officers Joseph Rochefort and Edwin Layton, who were intercepting and decoding vast amounts of top secret Japanese communications.  More than anything, this contributed to our successes at the Battle of Midway, the intercept of Admiral Yamamoto’s plane, and many other American victories.

Thank you –

November 20, 2006

To my Fellow Americans,

Congressman Duncan Hunter is the best candidate for President of the United States of America that I know – he has integrity, tenacity, courage, and diplomacy. He is intelligent and thoughtful, does his research, and acts on it.

I have known Congressman Duncan Hunter for over 35 years. Duncan served his country in the Army and is a Vietnam vet. In Vietnam, he served in one of the most dangerous outfits – the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 75th Army Rangers, on advance recce teams of three on patrol from their unit at night.

Webmaster note: Read more about Congressman Duncan Hunter.