Born: October 8, 1890 Columbus, Ohio
Died: July 27, 1973 (aged 82), Zurich, Switzerland
Vernon Rickenbacker was an American fighter ace in World War I and
Medal of Honor recipient. He was also a race car driver and automotive
designer, a government consultant in military matters and a pioneer in
air transportation. During his lifetime, Rickenbacker worked with many
influential civilian and military leaders. He had keen insight into
technology, and vision for future improvements.
What do you know about Eddie Rickenbacker? Ace this quick quiz.
1. In what was to become one of the defining characteristics of
Rickenbacker's life, he nearly died many times in events ranging from an
early run-in with a horse-drawn carriage, to a botched surgery, to
airplane crashes. His first near-death experience occurred when he was
in the "Horsehead Gang". He lived near a mine, and they
decided to ride a cart down the slope. It tipped over and almost crushed
2. Rickenbacker became a fighter pilot during World War I. His
squadron was known as th 'Hat-in-the-Ring'. What squadron was he a
- 15th Fighter Squadron
- 64th Aero Squadron
- 94th Aero Squadron
3. When did Rickenbacker shot down his first plane?
- April 29, 1917
- April 29, 1918
- April 29, 1919
4. Rickenbacker's 26 victories constituted an American record that
stood until World War II. In World War II, who become the American Ace
- Charles Yeager
- Frank McGuire
- Richard Bong
5. On September 24, 1918, now a captain, he was named commander of
the squadron, and on the following day, he shot down two more German
planes, for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor. When was he awarded
6. When did he claim his 26th and final plane?
- July 4, 1918
- September 1, 1918
- October 30, 1918
7. In 1922, who did Rickenbacker marry?
- Adelaide Frost
- Ginger Hutton
- Betty Grable
8. The B-17D, 40-3089, in which he was flying went off course
hundreds of miles from its first scheduled stop at Canton Island. The
pilots ditched the plane in the Pacific Ocean, dangerously close to
Japanese-held enemy territory. For 24 days, Rickenbacker, his friend and
business partner, and the crew drifted at sea without food or water
aside from an occasional fish and rain. The press reported that
Rickenbacker had died. Navy pilots rescued the surviving members of the
crew, suffering from exposure, dehydration, and starvation, on November
13, 1942, off the coast of Nukufetau near Samoa.
9. While in Switzerland seeking medical treatment for Adelaide, he
died on July 23, 1973 in Zürich. What was the cause of his death?
- Aircraft crash
10. Where is Eddie Rickenbacker buried?
- Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana,
- Saint Joseph Cemetery, Lockbourne, Franklin County, Ohio,
- Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio