Chuck Yeager

“The fastest man alive,” “the guy with the right stuff,” “Mr. Supersonic,” Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager has been called a lot of things in his 80 years, but none is more fitting than the title, “a true American.”

Despite a youth in the poverty-stricken backwoods of West Virginia, Yeager became a fighter ace, a legendary test pilot, a leader of men, and an icon for generations, all while doing what he loved: flying. His is an American story, one that inspires us and teaches us to always look to the skies.

Background image: the instrument panel of Bell X-1 flown by Chuck Yeager on October 14, 1947 when he became the first human being to break the sound barrier.

Chuck Yeager’s 55 medals on display in Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.