Jump to Navigation

Milburn G. Apt

PMilburn Apt, photo courtesy U.S. Air Forceilot, U.S. Air Force. Born: April 9, 1924. Died: September 27, 1956.

Milburn G. Apt was born April 9, 1924, in Buffalo, Kansas. After graduating from Buffalo High School in 1942, he joined the Army Air Forces. He graduated from pilot training and was commissioned in February 1944. He served with the Caribbean Defense Command until June 1946. In 1951 he received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kansas and a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He graduated from the Experimental Flight Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in September 1954. Apt was a pilot in test flights for the Bell X-2 rocket powered aircraft. On September 27, 1956, he became the first person to fly faster than three times the speed of sound, reaching 2,094 miles per hour (Mach 3.2) at 65,000 feet. As Apt began a turn back to Edwards Air Force Base, the X-2 began to tumble and roll uncontrollably. He ejected in the escape capsule but could not extract himself before it struck the ground. He died on impact. He received the USAF Distinguished Flying Cross.

Entry: Apt, Milburn G.

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: March 2013

Date Modified: April 2016

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.