Daily Blog: 12/8/20 (Yeager)

Daily Blog: 12/8/20 (Yeager)

I’ve spent most of the morning finishing up three articles for Field & Stream on centerfire and rimfire ammunition. Now I’m beginning the preliminary phases of a feature article for Shooting Illustrated that will serve as a primer for those interested in getting into loading their own ammunition.

Mostly however, I’ve spent the morning thinking about a great American that passed away yesterday. Maybe it’s fitting he passed on the Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, because it was due to the resulting war that Chuck Yeager – who is likely the greatest military pilot of all time – found the path that would lead him to fame.

Chuck Yeager

With all the sources for information on Yeager available on the Internet, it is pointless to go over them here. I would like to mention however that Yeager received his wings at a place named after another military aviation hero, Frank Luke, who was the first airman to receive the Medal of Honor. There is a great book about Frank Luke, The Stand, and I would encourage its reading. Yeager’s autobiography, Yeager, should be mandatory reading for high school students, not only in West Virginia, but all across America. Hell, it ought to be a book read by every American.

Russel Smith painting of Frank Luke, which hangs over my fireplace.

Both men were cut from a cloth that it seems is no longer woven, and if it is, it is in damn short supply.

One thing I would like to add is that Yeager was, as most boys from West Virginia during his time were, a hunter. In fact, he hunted regularly with outdoor writer Jim Zumbo, and you can hear some of those stories on the Empty Cases Podcast, Season 1, Episode 9.

I never got to meet Yeager, but my best friend’s son went to college on the Yeager Scholarship, which is a tremendous honor and an accomplishment very difficult to achieve. My friend got to visit with Yeager for a short while and was very impressed with the man, as were most who met him on land or in the air were.