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Eddie Rickenbacker
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    (October 8, 1890-July 23, 1973)
    Earned 26 victories against German aircraft (22 planes, 4 balloons) as a WW I fighting ace
    Achieved rank of captain and commander of the 94th Aero Pursuit Squadron
    Named the United States 'Ace of Aces'
    Bought Eastern Airlines (1938)
    Wrote his autobiography 'Rickenbacker' (1967)
    Said 'Courage is doing something you didn't think you could do'
    He was of Swiss heritage. He 'Americanized' his name from 'Rickenbacher' to 'Rickenbacker.'
    Originally he wasn't accepted by his squad. Most were college educated and considered him a 'country hayseed.'
    He suffered air sickness.
    As the U.S. WW I 'Ace of Aces' his record was modest. Germany's Red Baron had 80 victories and England's James McCudden had 54.
    He bought an auto company in the 1920's that went bankrupt.
    He was forced out of his CEO position of Eastern Airlines (October 1959).
    In later years he said of his exploits, 'I can see that aerial warfare is actually scientific murder.'
    He advocated conservative causes. He believed U.S. 'socialist' programs would ruin the country.
    His father died when he was just 13.
    He competed in three Indy 500 auto races before joining the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1917.
    He flew 300 combat hours, more than any other U.S. pilot in WW I.
    He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, The Legion of Honor and the French Croix de Guerre.
    He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for attacking a formation of 5 German planes, downing 2 and chasing the others away.
    The attack that won the Medal of Honor occurred in 1918, yet he didn't received the honor until 1931 (a little belatedly).
    He foresaw World War II coming, and proposed the 'Rickenbacker Plan for World Peace' in 1925.
    On a civilian mission aboard a B-17 bomber heading for the Philippines he and seven others had to ditch their plane. They were adrift in the Pacific Ocean for 24 days.
    All but one member of the party survived (October 1942).
    At 52 he was the oldest on that mission. He lost 54 pounds during the ordeal.
    He remained married to the same woman for 51 years and adopted two sons.
    He was inducted in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
    He is a member of the U.S. International Aerospace Hall of Fame (1966).
    The U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp honoring his aviation accomplishments (1995).

Credit: Scar Tactics

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