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Geribaldi - 13 Feb 2021 02:23:18 (#1 of 49)

Since nobody has commented on this thread, I will. If you are interested in aviation, his autobiography "Yeager" is a very interesting book. His description of the Depression and the dire circumstances of his youth are very powerful. He grew up very poor and he had to hunt every morning before school in the woods of West Virginia so his family could survive. When the US got into WW II, he wound up in the army aircorps by a fluke and quickly found out that he had an incredible knack for flying airplanes. He apparently had remarkable vision.

He shot down five German planes in one day and made ace and then was subsequently shot down over France and was saved by a heroic French farmer and joined the Maquis. He spent six months with the Maquis in France fighting the Germans. He was taken to the border of Spain and crossed the Pyrenees with two other American pilots, one of which was shot by a German sentry and the other seriously wounded, which he wound up carrying over the Pyrenees on his back to Spain and saved his life. He was imprisoned in Spain and then broke out of jail and made his way to Lisbon and reached the American embassy only to be told that since he didn't have a passport, they wouldn't help him. He went to the British embassy which helped him and arranged transport back to London on a British submarine.

When he returned to London he was given orders to transfer to the Pacific since he had contact with the Maquis. He was furious and marched past the guards and barged into Eisenhower's office and demanded that he stay in Europe. Eisenhower was so impressed by his story andhis conviction he made an exception and approved it. He went on to shoot down a lot more German airplanes (can't remember the total) and then after the war he was sent back to the US fly every fighter plane in the world to make suggestions on new fighter planes.

He was then involved in cutting edge aviation and nearly died multiple times and then broke the sound barrier. He flew missions in the Korean and Viet Nam War. He was also a trout fishing officianado and used to fly helicopters unauthorized up to the Sierra Nevada and fish in the lakes with his buddies and then crashed one which almost ended his career.

He was a very humble man and self-professed uneducated country bumpkin who simply knew how to fly airplanes very well. I never met him but knew people who did and even in his 90s he would hike up to 11,000 and 12,000 foot Sierra Nevada lakes to fish for golden trout which he claimed are some of the tastiest fresh water fish in the world (I concur). I used to spend a lot of time at those same lakes. He apparently always had time for everyone and was very down to earth.

Anyway, Chuck Yeager, RIP. A life well lived.

elderberry - 13 Feb 2021 10:15:28 (#2 of 49)

And is one of the people whose image appears in the opening sequence of Star Trek Enterprise (just turn the sound off if you need to avoid the horrible song).

AlanII - 13 Feb 2021 11:26:18 (#3 of 49)

#1 Wow. Impressive life. RIP.

FredDee - 14 Feb 2021 14:36:58 (#4 of 49)

however good he was as a FIGHTER pilot, Neil Armstrong said he was the worst TEST pilot he knew.

tasselhoff - 14 Feb 2021 14:45:34 (#5 of 49)

How do you rate test pilots? I would assume staying alive for a long time is a plus point.

bossab2 - 14 Feb 2021 14:45:56 (#6 of 49)

Probably prone to giving it a bit of welly

FredDee - 14 Feb 2021 14:49:51 (#7 of 49)

How do you rate test pilots?

dunno but somehow I reckon test pilots themselves have it figured out.

bossab2 - 14 Feb 2021 14:52:53 (#8 of 49)

Not crashing planes probably helps.

tasselhoff - 14 Feb 2021 14:55:06 (#9 of 49)

I would imagine giving it some welly is part of the testing process, for rated G forces etc.


upgoerfive - 14 Feb 2021 17:03:09 (#10 of 49)

"Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. If you can use the airplane again, it's an excellent landing."

tasselhoff - 14 Feb 2021 17:09:07 (#11 of 49)

Is that a Yaeger quote? Haha!

AdonisBlue - 14 Feb 2021 17:32:23 (#12 of 49)

All I know of him is through reading The Right Stuff where he was portrayed as a demi-God. The ultimate strong, silent alpha male man's man.

But then I seem to remember someone in here posting he was a twat cos he has controversial views on something or other.

upgoerfive - 14 Feb 2021 17:40:11 (#13 of 49)

I haven't heard anything dodgy about him.

There were rumours that he was passed over for astronaut selection because of 'bad boy' behaviour, bit in fact it was because he wasn't a college graduate.

bossab2 - 14 Feb 2021 17:40:19 (#14 of 49)

Whatever his character, he must have had balls of steel.

AlanII - 14 Feb 2021 17:43:12 (#15 of 49)

It's not often I recommend a geri post (as in never before), but #1 is undeniably impressive.

tasselhoff - 14 Feb 2021 17:45:33 (#16 of 49)


dreams99 - 14 Feb 2021 17:46:14 (#17 of 49)

This is a good test pilot:

Captain Eric Melrose "Winkle" Brown, CBE, DSC, AFC, Hon FRAeS, RN (21 January 1919 – 21 February 2016) was a Scottish Royal Navy officer and test pilot who flew 487 types of aircraft, more than anyone else in history.

On 3 December 1945, Brown became the first pilot to land on and take off from an aircraft carrier in a jet aircraft when he flew a de Havilland Sea Vampire to HMS Ocean.

Brown holds the world record for the most aircraft carrier deck take-offs and landings performed (2,407 and 2,271 respectively)[2] and achieved several "firsts" in naval aviation, including the first landings on an aircraft carrier of a twin-engined aircraft, an aircraft with a tricycle undercarriage, a jet aircraft, and a rotary-wing aircraft.

He flew almost every category of Royal Navy and Royal Air Force aircraft: glider, fighter, bomber, airliner, amphibian, flying boat and helicopter. During World War II, he flew many types of captured German, Italian, and Japanese aircraft, including new jet and rocket aircraft. He was a pioneer of jet technology into the postwar era.

AdonisBlue - 14 Feb 2021 17:47:29 (#18 of 49)

It's my theory on men with left wing views having encyclopaedic military knowledge on display.

AlanII - 14 Feb 2021 17:51:26 (#19 of 49)

That theory may need fleshing out in order to make sense.

tasselhoff - 14 Feb 2021 17:52:42 (#20 of 49)

I'm not sure Geri is massively left wing.

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