Rickenbacker, Eddie

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Rickenbacker, (Edward Vernon) Eddie

(1890–1973) aviator; born in Columbus, Ohio. A skilled race-car driver, he became General Pershing's chauffeur during World War I but applied for aviation service. He shot down 26 enemy aircraft in seven months, receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor and the nickname, "Ace of Aces." In 1921 he founded the Rickenbacker Motor Company; it failed in 1927 and he went to work for General Motors (GM). The company employed him to rescue one of their divisions, Eastern Airlines. During his initial management year (1934), the airline turned the first profit in the history of aviation. GM divested the company in 1938; Rickenbacker bought the controlling interest and became president, general manager, and director. In 1942, while on an inspection of military bases in the Pacific, his plane crashed; he spent 22 days adrift on a raft before being rescued. After retiring in 1963, he continued to be a public figure as an advocate of conservative causes.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
Eddie Rickenbacker, president of Eastern Air Lines and former World War I aviation ace, sent this Christmas message to the Board in 1947.
It's period nostalgia laden with premonitions of Guynemer, Richthofen, and Eddie Rickenbacker in French airspace just a decade later.
Eddie Rickenbacker, America's top ace, had 26 aerial victories in only seven months of fighting.
Speaking of the 372nd in particular and the Allied troops of World War I in general, Ford sadly comments: "[Today] people know about the Red Baron and Eddie Rickenbacker but not much else.
He had been a co-founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909 and started his own race team with Eddie Rickenbacker as lead driver.
Aside from historical information on the NACA and its emblems, this section is intriguing for its extensive photography, including excellent pictures of early experimental aircraft in NACA livery; fascinating views of early Langley Field, Virginia; and images of artifacts like Eddie Rickenbacker's NACA security badge.
However, my personal preference is the memoirs of the airmen, many of which are classics, including Eddie Rickenbacker's Fighting the Flying Circus, Ernst Udet's My Flying Life, Lewis' Sagittarius Rising, Harold Hartney's Up and At 'Em!, Arthur Gould Lee's No Parachute, and Gordon Taylor's The Sky Beyond.
Though Canadian RAF pilot Arthur Roy Brown was credited with shooting down the Red Baron, Snoopy's imaginary role could just as easily have been based on America's top flying ace of the war--Captain Eddie Rickenbacker. Ricken backer never personally engaged in a dogfight with Richthofen, but he flew with the 94th Aero Squadron (the "Hat in the Ring" squadron), which occasionally encountered the Red Baron's famed "Flying Circus."
Before he earned his wings and became the leading American ace in World War I (WWI), Eddie Rickenbacker performed duties as an engineering (maintenance) officer at the largest US aviation training base in France.
Eddie Rickenbacker; an American hero in the twentieth century.
Army Air business, as early as that was, and as a mentor to a couple of other guys one of which you'll remember is a fellow named Eddie Rickenbacker who was a first lieutenant in the 94th Squadron, flies on the wing of Major Lufbery several times, and learns the ropes.
Any American official would have a far more convincing argument if he or she tried to piece together the achievements of American volunteer airmen in WWI instead of blabbering about Eddie Rickenbacker, a skilled and brave pilot.