West Virginia International Yeager Airport, Marshall University staff and special guest Victoria Yeager today unveiled a new exhibit dedicated to Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager, in partial observance of the 75th anniversary of Yeager’s becoming the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound on Oct. 14, 1947.
“We are thrilled to showcase the historical achievements of Gen. Chuck Yeager at West Virginia International Yeager Airport for all those passing through the airport to see,” said Airport Director and CEO Dominique Ranieri. “Gen.Yeager’s influence on our airport and on the aviation community at large is undeniable.”
The exhibit, which is located in the airport’s observation area, includes artifacts that were donated to Marshall University by Yeager in December of 1986.
Lori Thompson, Marshall’s head of special collections, said that among the materials in the display are a framed copy of “Bell XS-1 Makes Supersonic Flight,” from Aviation Week, December 22, 1947; a plaque presented for years of dedicated service from the U.S. Air Force; a sculpture on a wooden base commemorating the 50th anniversary of breaking the sound barrier in 1997; and a plaque presented by the Charleston Gazette-Mail for “West Virginian of the Year.”
“Gen. Yeager, the most notable aviator in the world, meant so much to aviation and to West Virginia,” said Bill Noe, Marshall’s chief aviation officer. “We at Marshall are pleased to join the airport in presenting this exhibit.”
The long-term goal is to have a rotation of shows about Yeager that draw from the university’s archives, said Dr. David Pittenger, a professor at Marshall who also works with the flight school. These shows will be curated by a Marshall student studying history under the supervision of Thompson and other members of the faculty.
Yeager, for whom the airport is named, was a United States Air Force officer, flying ace and record-setting test pilot.