Brig. Gen. Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager, celebrated Air Force pilot and honorary chairman of the Flight Path Learning Center and Museum at Los Angeles International Airport, will be inducted into the California Hall of Fame in ceremonies December 1. Yeager achieved fame as the first pilot to break the sound barrier, flying a Bell X-1 aircraft in 1947 at Muroc (now Edwards) Air Force Base north of Los Angeles.
Yeager is one of 13 Californians nominated to the new Hall of Fame by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California First Lady Maria Shriver, according to Flight Path President Rowena Ake. The induction ceremony will take place at the California Museum in Sacramento and recognizes prominent personalities who have helped shape the state.
"General Yeager has been part of Flight Path since our founding, " recalled Ake. "He was the keynote speaker at our kickoff ceremony in 1995 and has continued to serve as an inspiration to us in the years since then."
During the 1995 event, Yeager presided at installation of Flight Path sidewalk plaques on Sepulveda Boulevard in the Westchester business district near LAX. The bronze plaques honor distinguished aviators, including Yeager, and others prominent in the aviation and aerospace industries. The plaques were removed recently for sidewalk renovation and are scheduled to be reinstalled soon.
Yeager, a native of West Virginia and a decorated World War II combat pilot, later distinguished himself as a test pilot, culminating in his historic breaking of the sound barrier. He was honored in 1983 by the Aero Club of Southern California with its coveted Howard Hughes Memorial Award and in 1997 by the U. S. Postal Service with a commemorative stamp saluting the 50th anniversary of his historic flight.