05 February 2012

Medal of Honor: E. V. Rickenbacker


First Lieutenant, US Army Air Corps; 94th Aero Squadron

Born: 8 October 1890, Columbus, Ohio
Died: 27 July 1973, Zürich, Switzerland

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy near Billy, France, 25 September 1918. While on a voluntary patrol over the lines, 1st Lt. Rickenbacker attacked 7 enemy planes (5 type Fokker, protecting two type Halberstadt). Disregarding the odds against him, he dived on them and shot down one of the Fokkers out of control. He then attacked one of the Halberstadts and sent it down also.

Note: Rickenbacker was the top US ace of World War I, with a total of 26 enemy aircraft. In addition to the Medal of Honor, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross with six oak leaf clusters denoting subsequent awards.
Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base (formerly Rickenbacker Air Force Base) and Rickenbacker International Airport, both in Columbus OH, were named in his honour.

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