Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Eddie Rickenbacker

No, he did not invent popcorn.  He has nothing to do with popcorn.

Eddie Rickenbacker was the leading WWI Ace of the United States Army Air Force.  In the deadly skies over Europe, in first a Nieuport 28 and then a Spad XIII, Rickenbacker has 27 confirmed air victories on record and flew more than 300 hours, the most of any American during the war.

A stunning feat, and certainly laurels enough upon which one could rest.  But after WWI, Rickenbacker first promoted Liberty Bonds, then started his own automobile company (that didn't make it), but went on to get involved with Eastern Air Transport and then Eastern Airlines, which he ran successfully during the golden age of air transport.

He would be 122 today.


picky girl said...

Love this! I just yesterday sat down with my mom to go through old family photos and came across my grandfather standing next to his plane during WWII. He never did go overseas, though multiple times he was on the runway, ready to go. He did get moved around quite a bit, though, and the photos are so cool.

I can't imagine the feats this man achieved. Glad this one had a bit more to his story than the last. It was so sad that the other pilot died before the end of the war.

The League said...

There are several books about Rickenbacker out there, and some by the man about himself. I want to get the one specifically about his work in WWI.

He was an interesting guy, and he most definitely had a hugely successful life post-military.