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| | Human World on Feb 13, 2013

This date in science: Chuck Yeager’s birthday

On February 13, 1923, Chuck Yeager, the first pilot to break the sound barrier, was born in Myra, West Virginia.

February 13, 1923. Chuck Yeager, the first pilot to break the sound barrier, was born in Myra, West Virginia on this date in 1923. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in September 1941 and fought in World War II before being assigned to fly high-performance aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base in 1947.

On October 14, 1947, Yeager piloted a plane called Glamorous Glennis to Mach 1.06, just over the speed of sound. Latest dubbed the fastest man alive, he also won the prestigious Collier Trophy in aviation even as he continued setting speed records.

The plane in which he broke the sound barrier is on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, Yeager still makes public appearances despite his advanced age. His adventures were popularized in a 1980s satirical book and movie, both called The Right Stuff.

In 2012, the 89-year-old Yeager told reporters that he was still piloting airplanes. Here he is pictured on the 55th anniversary of his sound-breaking flight. Photo credit: U.S. Air Force/Lawrence Crespo