Captain Eddie Rickenbacker
The Unkillable Ace of Aces from WW1
Captain Eddie Rickenbacker: 26 aerial victories, Medal of Honor recipient, most medals for Valor in WW1 (including 7 Distinguished Services Crosses), survivor of two plane crashes, survivor of 24 days on the open ocean, car designer and car racer, this man of Valor never stopped.
Although he was most known for his actions in WW1 as one of America’s first Ace pilots, his actions continued after the war into WW2 and beyond in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hall of fame as an avid car racer.
Before WW2 he was flying in a passenger airline DC-3 when it crashed with all passengers aboard. Badly hurt with his eye hanging out of its socket, a crushed hip socket, broken arms, broken pelvis and covered with fuel oil, Rickenbacker spent the entie night reassuring his fellow crash victims that help was coming. When help finally came, they left him for dead due to his injuries until he called out for help.
Still nursing his injuries from the crash, he suffered another crash in a B-17 on a mission to McArthur in the South Pacific. He spent 24 days on the open ocean with the fellow crash victims, and at one point caught a seagull that landed on his head, and used it for bait. Eventually rescued, this man never stopped and eventually went to help the Russians build up their air force as a consultant. Rickenbacker claimed that God was looking out for him as the only reason for his continual cheating of death. He died of old age (82) in 1973.
If Valor is a state of mind put into actions, Rickenbacker was Valor personified.