CELEBRATED test pilot Chuck Yeager had a long and eventful life – most notably becoming the first pilot to break the sound barrier. And he did it in a plane named after his first wife – “Glamorous Glennis” Dickhouse.
Who was Chuck Yeager’s first wife Glennis Dickhouse?
Glennis Dickhouse was pilot Chuck Yeager’s wife of 45 years.
She is the namesake of his sound-barrier breaking Bell X-1 aircraft, “Glamorous Glennis”.
Born in 1924, she married Chuck when she was just 21.
Chuck’s devoted spouse died in 1990 after a long battle with cancer.
When did Chuck and Glennis get married?
Yeager met his future wife Glennis when he stopped by a local gymnasium in California to organise a dance for the United Service Organizations.
High school graduate Glennis, 18, was working in the office there.
In his autobiography he remembers the moment they first met: “She was pretty as a movie star,” he said, “and making more money than I was.”
Glennis at first struggled to understand his thick West Virginia accent – but there was an instant chemistry between them.
In his autobiography, his wife wrote “I barely understood every third word he spoke,
“I sensed that he was a very strong and determined person – the kind of man that I hoped one day to marry”.
Chuck later asked Glennis to be his date to the dance.
After a whirlwind romance, Yeager was sent overseas.
He stayed in contact with Glennis and sent her over his pay checks to cash in the bank.
After his tour of duty in World War II, Yeager proposed to Glennis in 1945 and the pair married in his family home, and honeymooned in Santa Monica, California.
After Chuck’s retirement, the pair bought a home in Grass Valley, California.
Together, they ran a business to handle all of Chuck’s requests for speaking engagements and appearances.
How many children did Chuck and Glennis have?
Yeager and Glennis had four children together.
However Susan, Don, Mickey and Sharon fell out with Chuck after he accused them of diverting millions of dollars from his accounts.
In 2008, the California Court of Appeal stated that Chuck’s eldest daughter Susan had breached her duty as trustee.
How did she die?
In 1990, Glennis died aged 66 after two bouts with ovarian cancer.
She had been married to Chuck for 45 years.
In his autobiography, Chuck writes: “When Glennis got sick, friends said to me: ‘If anyone can beat cancer, she’s the one.’ That’s exactly right.
“I had seen guys doing all they could to survive in an airplane out of control, but their best just wasn’t good enough.