Edward V. Rickenbacker

Tara Carpio and
Lindsay Muntz
Newnan High School
Newnan, Georgia USA
Teacher: Stephen Quesinberry
Adv. World History, 10th grade

General Information

  • Born Edward Vernon Rickenbacker in Columbus, Ohio, 1890.
  • Eddie, as he was known, was a successful race car driver before WWI, and at one time had proposed to form a flying squadron made up entirely of racing drivers.
  • In May, 1917 he sailed to France as part of the AEF, where he became the staff driver of General Pershing himself, because of his knowledge of auto mechanics.
  • He eventually transfered, and in March 1918, joined the 94th Aero Pursuit Squadron, the famous "Hat in the Ring" squadron, so called because of their insignia.
  • Rickenbacker initially had a terrible problem with airsickness.
  • Two months before the end of the war, Rickebacker was named commanding officer of the 94th. He had acheived 26 victories (22 aircraft and 4 balloons) and had received the title "American Ace of Aces."
  • Rickenbacker received the Congressional Medal of Honor for attacking a formation of 5 German planes, downing 2 and chasing the others away. He also received the Distinguished Service Cross, and the French Croix de Guerre.
  • On his return home, he went back into the automobile business by working for GM, and eventually came to control Eastern Airlines.

"I can see that aerial warfare is actually scientific murder."
Eddie Rickenbacker

"In addition to leading my flight on routine patrols, I emulated Lufbery's example and flew my own lone-wolf missions onver the lines. He always said that it was impossible to shoot down German planes sitting in the billet with you feet before the fire. I heeded this advice so well that I had more hours in the air than any other American flier."
Eddie Rickenbacker

"Eddie exemplifies those qualities which made America great: courage, integrity, intelligence, humanity, spirituality and patriotism; together with the ability to plan ahead and then a willingness to work hard-and sacrifice-to achieve and prevail."
General Jimmy Doolittle

"The exploits fo Captain Eddie Rickenbacker will live forever in the annals of America's great heroes."
J. Edgar Hoover