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Breaking News: Chuck Yeager, dead at 97.

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Retired Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager, one of the U.S. Air Force’s most decorated test pilots who was portrayed in the movie “The Right Stuff,” has died. He was 97.

A tweet was posted on Yeager’s official Twitter account, saying he passed away Monday.

“It is w/ profound sorrow, I must tell you that my life love General Chuck Yeager passed just before 9pm ET,” the tweet said, attributing the quote to Yeager’s wife, actress Victoria Scott D’Angelo. “An incredible life well lived, America’s greatest Pilot, & a legacy of strength, adventure, & patriotism will be remembered forever.”

Charles Elwood “Chuck” Yeager was born February 13, 1923 in Myra, West Virginia.

Yeager told Forbes in 2017 that he was a gifted mechanic who hadn’t seen an airplane until he turned 18. 

As the U.S. was entering World War II, his superior vision and mechanical skills helped him in the cadet flier program. He became one of America’s adept war pilots by 21.

“In combat, I flew P-51 Mustangs and shot down a bunch of airplanes. Basically, that’s the way it worked out,” Yeager said. 

A pilot is considered an “ace” after they have shot down five enemy aircraft. Yeager did that in one mission on his way to 13 confirmed kills, according to The Washington Post.

On Oct. 14, 1947, Yeager was the first person to break the sound barrier. Piloting the Bell X-1, Yeager was dropped from a B-29 aircraft over California and rocketed to 700 miles per hour, breaking the speed of sound.

The plane was nicknamed “Glamorous Glennis” after Yeager’s first wife.

Actor Sam Shepard portrayed Yeager in the 1983 movie “The Right Stuff,” which followed the early days of the U.S. space program and the seven Mercury astronauts. Yeager never flew in space.

From KHOU-11 News