CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History on Sunday unveiled a new exhibit honoring the legacy of West Virginia-born United States Air Force Brigadier, General Charles “Chuck” Yeager.
Yeager is perhaps most widely recognized for having been the first pilot to have broken the sound barrier, exceeding the speed of sound during level flight for the first time in history in 1947 at 24 years old.
The American hero was raised in born in Myra, West Virginia and raised in nearby Hamlin. He would go on to serve both the United States Air Force and United States Army Air Forces during his involvement in major wars such as World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History unveiled the new exhibit on Sunday afternoon in celebration of Yeager’s legacy and the upcoming 77th anniversary of his having broken the sound barrier. The event was held two days prior to what will have been the pilot’s 101st birthday.
The event was free and open to the public, and the exhibit includes items on loan from the Marshall University Special Collections Department’s Brigadier General Charles “Chuck” Yeager Collection. The exhibit will remain on display throughout the month of February, and additional information can be found at the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History website.
Singer/songwriter Steve Earle – known for hits such as “Copperhead Road” and “Guitar Town” – paid tribute to Yeager on his 2020 studio album, Ghosts of West Virginia in the song, “Fastest Man Alive,” the final verse of which reads:
“I’m the rumble in the thunder, I’m the bolt out of the blue
I’m a master of the stratosphere, a pilot tried and true
My name’s Charles Elwood Yeager and I’ve been everywhere
Paris, London, Timbuktu, and Dover Delaware
Ended up in California, that is where I’m gonna die
I come from West Virginia, I’m the fastest man alive”