Chuck Yeager's Close Calls, in order



1. Oct 1943--Bailed out of an exploding P-39, suffering back injuries.

2. March 1944--His P-51 shot down by German FW-190. Bailed out, suffered shrapnel wounds in hands and feet.

3. August 1945--Vertical climb in P-59, stall-out, spin, but regained control just before crashing.

4. January 1946--T-6 Trainer blows master rod, brought it down deadstick into a farmyard, crashing through a barn.

5. April 1947--Flying a B-25, lightning strikes aircraft and blows out plexiglass nose, lands safely.

6. October 1947--Bell X-1 loses all power, lands safely.

7. 1950--F-86 loses elevator and 1/3 horizontal stabilizer in dive, lands safely.

8. 1950--Turnbine wheel of F-86 fails, engine loses all power, deadstick landing.

9. December 1953--Bell X-1A goes divergent on 3 axis, uncontrolled spin, breaks canopy with helmet, manages pull-out after a 55,000 foot fall.

10. 1962--Passenger in Huey that crashes into a mountain lake, suffers serious head wounds, walks 9 miles for aid, 138 sutures.

11. 1963--F-104 Starfighter with rocket assist losses power at 100,000 feet, goes into flat spin; bails out but hit by ejection seat; helmet insulation catches fire, suffers severe burns and partial loss of 2nd finger.
That guy has the biggest balls in history... The stuff he'd do with a "sure, why not" attitude. No amount of praise is hyperbole when talking about Chuck Yeager (or Chesty Puller, Gen Patton, etc.).
It's funny, several of those aren't even mentioned in his autobiography. The F-104 incident was probably his closest call, I think even he described it as such.
I grew up about 20 miles from where he grew up. My grandfather, a civilian pilot, met him in the early fifties and always regaled me with tales of his exploits. After he retired to northern California, he continued to break cross-country speed records when he was asked/invited east to speak or testify before Congress. But he almost always made a point to stop off in Hamlin, WV, to bring fresh fruit to his mother, so she could make jelly and jam.

Truly a great American.
Dude has more lives than a cat! He's truly one of the greatest assets to aviation, and is one helluva great American.