On October 14, 1947, Chuck Yeager’s Bell X-1 rocket airplane dropped from the belly of a B-29 bomber. Seconds later, Yeager entered the history books as the first pilot to break the sound barrier.
By this time, the 24-year-old Lincoln County native was already an aviation legend. During World War II, he had flown 64 combat missions over Europe and, in a single dogfight, had killed 13 Germans. In his eighth mission, he had been shot down over German-occupied France.