Chuck Yeager, First Pilot to Break the Sound...

Chuck Yeager, First Pilot to Break the Sound Barrier, and Local Legend Jerry Coleman to Attend Spirit of '45 Event at San Diego Air & Space Museum February 18th

San Diego, 1.09.2012

San Diego, CA - January 10, 2012 - Chuck Yeager, the first human to break the sound barrier and Jerry Coleman, the "Voice of the San Diego Padres" will attend The Spirit of '45 Awards and Celebration Dinner on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. The event is part of the 2012 Spirit of '45 National Leader's Conference being held February 17-19, 2012.

The Spirit of '45 is a non-profit, non-partisan initiative to raise public awareness about National Spirit of '45 Day so that it is observed every year in communities throughout America. The San Diego Air & Space Museum is a proud partner of "Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive." Their Honorary Chairman is San Diego's own Jerry Coleman, World Series MVP for the New York Yankees. Coleman sacrificed five years of his career as a professional ball player to serve his country as a Marine pilot in during World War II and the Korean War (the only Major League Baseball player ever to see combat in two wars). Air Force General Chuck Yeager, recipient of the 2012 Individual Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his service to his country during and after WWII, will also be presented his award at the dinner. Numerous other World War II veterans and defenders of freedom will be in attendance including Rossco Brown of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Rounding out the evening, Master of Ceremonies Mark Larson, KCBQ 1170 Radio Talk Show Host and current Chairman of the Board for the Air & Space Museum will be on hand take guests through an evening of fun and honoring. One highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the 2012 Spirit of '45 Awards to six World War II industry leaders, which were major contributors to America's "Arsenal of Democracy" during World War II. Receiving the Awards: Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Ford, General Motors, Lockheed Martin and Chrysler.

In 2010, Congress voted unanimously in support of observing a National Spirit of '45 Day on the second Sunday of August each year, coinciding with the anniversary of August 14, 1945, the day President Harry Truman announced that World War II had ended. The primary goal of National Spirit of '45 Day is keep alive the courage, self-sacrifice, commitment to service and pure love of country of "ordinary heroes" who endured the Great Depression, fought and won World War II and then led an unprecedented effort to build a better world for their children and their children’s children.

For more information please call (619) 234-8291 or visit

Charles "Chuck" Yeager joined the Army Air Forces in 1941 and received his pilots wings in 1943. During World War II Yeager shot down 13 German aircraft becoming an ace. In 1945 he was assigned to the Air Forces Flight Test Center. In October 1947, at Edwards Air Force Base, Yeager became the first pilot to break the sound barrier, flying the Bell X-1 aircraft. During the Vietnam War, Yeager flew 127 combat missions. He retired from active duty in 1975. In 1997 on the 50th anniversary of his historic flight he broke the sound barrier again in an F-15 fighter. He retired from flying active military planes in 2002.

Jerry Coleman is a San Diego legend, Marine Corps pilot, and one of a few baseball stars who served in both World War II and Korea earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses. Second baseman and six time World Series champion with the New York Yankees, plus a Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster for the San Diego Padres, he is known and loved in the San Diego community.

The San Diego Air & Space Museum is California's official air and space museum and education center. The Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and it was the first aero-themed Museum to be accredited by the American Association of Museums. The Museum is located at 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101. The Museum and gift store are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with admissions until 4:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. 


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