|Edward Vernon Rickenbacker|
Capt. E.V. “Eddie” Rickenbacker wearing the Medal of Honor. (U.S. Army Air Force photo)
October 8, 1890|
|Died||July 23, 1973
|Place of burial||Green Lawn Cemetery
|Service/branch||Air Service, United States Army|
|Years of service||1917â€“1919|
|Commands held||94th Aero Squadron|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
|Awards||Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross (7)
Legion of Honor (France)
Croix de Guerre (France)
|Other work||Championship racing driver
Rickenbacker car company
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Eastern Air Lines
Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are scared.
Flying is one of the safest jobs in the Army as long as you don't drop out. If you do drop out, you are a dead man, and dropping out means, usually, that you have made a mistake or let go of your grip.
When I was racing, I had learned that you can't set stock in public adoration or your press clippings. By the time I was 26, I'd heard crowds of 100,000 scream my name, but a week later they couldn't remember who I was. You're a hero today and a bum tomorrow – hero to zero, I sometimes say.
Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
The experienced fighting pilot does not take unnecessary risks. His business is to shoot down enemy planes, not to get shot down.
I can give you a six-word formula for success: Think things through – then follow through.
The excitement of automobile racing did not compare with what I knew must come with aeroplane fighting in France.
Long practise in driving a racing car at a hundred miles an hour or so gives first-class training in control and judging distances at high speed and helps tremendously in getting motor sense, which is rather the feel of your engine than the sound of it, a thing you get through your bones and nerves rather than simply your ears.
The obviously inexperienced pilot is the game the scientific air-fighter goes after, and the majority of victories are won that way. But, on the other hand, it is the novice usually who gets the famous ace by doing at some moment the unexpected thing.
When I look up and see the sun shining on the patch of white clouds up in the blue, I begin to think how it would feel to be up somewhere above it winging swiftly thought the clear air, watching the earth below, and the men on it, no bigger than ants.
I'll fight like a wildcat until they nail the lid of my pine box down on me.
There is a peculiar gratification in receiving congratulations from one's squadron for a victory in the air. It is worth more to a pilot than the applause of the whole outside world.
The four cornerstones of character on which the structure of this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality and Independence.