Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) as well as U.S Representatives Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Carol Miller (R-WV) and Alex Mooney (R-WV) sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy encouraging him to issue a commemorative stamp honoring West Virginian and Brigadier General Charles Elwood “Chuck” Yeager. Today, on the third anniversary of his passing, he becomes eligible to receive this honor.
“Chuck Yeager is an American hero and a legendary figure in the history of aviation, and it is our strong belief that his historic accomplishments in service to our nation merit celebration and recognition on a commemorative stamp,” the lawmakers said in part. “Over the course of his distinguished career, Chuck fought for his country in two wars, accumulated a total of 10,131.6 flight hours in 361 different types and models of military aircraft, and was the first commander of the Aerospace Research Pilot School, where he mentored a new generation of American aviators.”
A native of Myra, West Virginia, Chuck was raised in the small town of Hamlin, where his family moved when he was five years old. Three months after graduating high school, Chuck enlisted in the Army Air Corps and earned his pilot’s wings in 1943. He entered combat in February 1944 and the Allied forces benefitted tremendously from his persistence and superb pilot skills. Following the war, Chuck was hand-picked to enter the Air Force’s new Flight Test Division at Wright Field and in 1947, he achieved the impossible and broke the sound barrier, attaining a top speed of Mach 1.06. Chuck dutifully served his country for another 28 years after his record-breaking flight until his retirement from active duty in 1975.
“He left behind a legacy of service not just to his country but to all of humanity. From his humble beginnings in the hollers of Appalachia to the skies above war-torn Europe to accomplishing what no human being had done before in an aircraft, Chuck was the embodiment of the very best of America: service to his country and fellow citizens, the willingness to sacrifice in the defense of freedom, and the spirit to push beyond the boundaries what is possible to go where no one had gone before,” the lawmakers continued.