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A thread for history buffs: Eddie Rickenbacker remembered

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by buckweaver, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Not sure why I'm starting this thread, other than the fact that World War I is so criminally underrated in our country's collective memory. Not because of the passage of time; the Civil and Revolutionary wars were older, and both are still well-remembered and chronicled. Not because we were only in it for two years; our involvement in the first Persian Gulf War lasted 1 month, 11 days.

    And I'm not sure why military author Avery Chenoweth wrote this guest column for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today, the 67th anniversary of WWI aviation hero Eddie Rickenbacker's Eastern Airlines plane crash in Morrow, Ga. But it's pretty cool, and I thought I'd share it.


    Eddie Rickenbacker is one of the coolest people who ever lived. He raced in the Indianapolis 500 four times, finishing 10th in 1914, and owned the Brickyard for a while. He then started an automobile company, and was the first to develop commercial cars with four-wheel brake systems. He was also America's first great flying ace, earning the Medal of Honor for his 26 aerial combat victories in World War I, and later owned Eastern Airlines.

    Chenoweth, a USMC veteran who served in three wars, had a chance meeting with "Captain Eddie" when he was a kid. Rickenbacker was laid up at Piedmont Hospital in a body cast after the EA crash in 1941 and the appendicitis-ridden Chenoweth begged the nurses to wheel him in so they could meet.

    Rickenbacker, one of nine people who survived the EA crash, being carried out of the wreckage by rescue workers

    Leaving Atlanta after his four-month hospital stay
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  2. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    I read somewhere the last US WWI veteran is expected to die this year. That really drove the point home that we've not honored those men enough.
  3. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member


    The Rickenbacker Causeway being built 65 years ago.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  4. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member


    On Feb. 7, Harry Landis died at age 108 at his home in Florida. (Story <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18787228">here</a>).
    That leaves Frank Buckles, of Charles Town, W. Va., as the only surviving U.S. veteran of World War I.

    Germany lost its last WWI veteran, Erich Kaestner, on New Year's Day this year (story <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7210346.stm">here</a>.)

    Last March, we lost our last WWI combat veteran, Army Cpl. Howard Ramsey, who was also 108 years old.

    EDIT: And our friends in Canuckistan will be interested to know that Canada has approved a state funeral to honor its last surviving WWI veteran, John Babcock, 107, who resides in Spokane, Wash. The state funeral will also honor all 600,000 Canucks who fought in the Great War.

    And in a related note, Gladys Powers, a British RAF barracks waitress, is the oldest known female veteran of any country. She's still alive and kicking, at age 108 and living in British Columbia. Rock on!
  5. Eddie Rickenbacker is one of my personal heroes.

    It is a crime what happened to Eastern Airlines.

    It should also be mentioned that he started off WWI as Black Jack Pershing's personal driver and had to basically beg to see combat duty in the air corps.
  6. statrat

    statrat Member

    I had no idea that Rickenbacker was also in a plane crash in WWII. That man was a gentleman badass.
  7. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Buck, I enjoy your war history even more than your endless baseball crap. A fine thread.

    Rickenbacker did it all.
  8. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Statrat, I was amazed to learn that WWII crash stranded them for 24 days. :eek:
  9. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    Here's a vote to add buckdub to the Cool Kids list.

    Military/war history is one of my other favorite subjects.
  10. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    But it took Snoopy to shoot down the Red Baron.
  11. KoM

    KoM Member

    My guess is the Revolution and Civil Wars are better remembered because they were fought on home soil and because both shaped the early days of the country. WWI was sort of trumped by WWII.

    As for forgotten wars, how about the Spanish-American War and Korea?

    Most folks at least know about the War of 1812 and the war with Mexico, but the Quasi War with France really gets lost in the shuffle!
  12. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    The new WWI museum is Kansas City is unfuckingbelievably good.

    Very overlooked and misunderstood chapter in our history.
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