Col. Chuck Yeager prepares for a flight, 1966
Published: February 24, 2013
Andrew Headland Jr. ©Stars and Stripes
Clark Air Base, Philippines, November, 1966: Airman 2nd Class James Rohl helps the new commander of the 405th Fighter Wing prepare for a flight in an F-100, but he probably doesn't have to help too much. For one thing, the commander is already combat rated in both the F-100 and the B-57, and has at that point flown 138 different types of aircraft. Also, he's Col. Chuck Yeager, the first pilot to break the sound barrier, and the first military man to fly a jet at twice the speed of sound. In an interview, Yeager cautioned that Americans should expect to suffer losses in the inherently-dangerous space program — a prediction that unfortunately came true a few weeks later, when the Apollo I astronauts died in a fire during a launch simulation.
Stars and Stripes' 1966 interview with Col. Chuck Yeager at Clark AB.