Yeager was born on February 13, 1923 in Myra, West Virginia. He was raised in the nearby village of Hamlin for the first eighteen years of his life. His father drilled natural gas, and his mother was a housewife. Chuck helped his father drill, and learned mechanics from him, at an early age. In high school Chuck played basketball and baseball, although he never really excelled in either. He was not all that smart in school. He said the only thing that he was good at was typing and math, everything else, he got a D in. .
After high school, Chuck decided to join the U.S. Army Air Corps. The ironic thing about that is that Chuck never even saw an airplane on the ground until he was 16 years old. He saw it when it had an emergency and landed in a cornfield, he was not even impressed with it. The reason that he joined the Air Corps is because the recruiter made the Air Corps sound more interesting that the Navy recruiter. Chuck joined the Air Corps as a mechanic. After a year of being a mechanic, the Untied States was short pilots, so they put up a notice to see if anyone wanted to become a pilot. Chuck wanted to be a pilot, so he signed the form. A year later he was chosen to be the pilot. .
It was hard for Chuck to fit in among the other pilots and mechanics. This was because he was from West Virginia, he had a strong accent, and a poor education. Due to this he was never really given a chance at first. When he first went in a plane, he almost quit the pilot school because there was turbulence and he was bumping all over the place. Other than this experience, once he flew a plane by himself he was hooked. He excelled in pilot school because he had excellent vision, 20/10. Another reason was that he learned how to dogfight, that is getting in position to shoot down another plane and avoiding getting shot down yourself. .
In 1942 Chuck left for the war. He was disappointed at first because after 6 missions, they hadn't seen one German.