A gripping biography of Eddie Rickenbacker, an American fighter ace in World War I and Medal of Honor recipient, who lived on the frontline of aviation, military and civilian.Written by his close friend Colonel Hans Christian Adamson, this book contains a fascinating look at Rickenbacker’s rise from Columbus, Ohio to becoming the leading American Ace of World War I and aviation icon. A daredevil from an early age, he was fascinated by machines of all kinds but especially aeroplanes. He enlisted in the U.S. army as early as he could in 1917 and arrived in France in June 1917, initially he was thwarted in his efforts to get his ‘wings’ by officers who wanted to retain him as a ground based mechanic. However, his rise to ‘ace’ status was rapid once he got into the air. Having only shot down his first enemy aircraft on the 29 April 1918, by the end of the war he had claimed 26 victories and become commander of the famous ‘Hat-In-the-Ring’ squadron. The inter-war years saw Rickenbacker cement his relationship with Eastern Air Lines, which he would one day lead, and a number of forays into motor racing. His service in World War II saw him range far and wide on missions across America and further afield to Russia; during one of his inspection tours his B-17 Flying Fortress was forced to ditch in the Pacific Ocean. In his most famous death-defying feat Rickenbacker, Adamson and a few of the crew survived adrift in life rafts for 24 days; held together by Rickenbacker’s leadership they were rescued on November 13 off the coast of Nukufetau in Tuvalu.A highly recommended biography of one of American Aviation’s greatest heroes.
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