What is now the Casper Natrona County Airport began as a training base for bomber squadrons during WWII. But they were not the only ones training near Casper Wyoming. Many famous aviators have worked and trained out of Casper's hangers.

The first man to break the sound barrier began flying with the  363rd Fighter Squadron as they trained for combat over Europe in WWII. Then Lieutenant Chuck Yeager was with the squadron when it completed its final two months of training at Casper, Wyoming.

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Mr. Yeager had made plans to spend the weekend with his wife, Glennis, in Reno before he was shipped off to war. But he ended up in the base hospital at Casper.

His P-39 caught fire while on a training flight. Lieutenant Yeager bailed out and despite his parachute opening the way it should he still fractured his back when he hit the ground.

Later, after he had recovered from his injuries, Mr. Yeager joined the war flying the new P-51 Mustang.

I was actually able to find a photo of Chuck Yeager flying that P-39 over Wyoming. You can see it at this link.

General Chuck Yeager died Monday, 12/7/20 at the age of 97. 

He is most famous for being the first man to break the sound barrier.

As a fighter pilot he fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

 

LOOK: Casper in the Past vs. Now