Magazine July 9, 2018, Issue

Ace of Aces

Eddie Rickenbacker (Gideon J. Eikleberry/US Army/National Archives/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
On the wisdom and exploits of Eddie Rickenbacker

‘To become a good pilot and remain one, never forget that an airplane is like a rattlesnake,” wrote Eddie Rickenbacker to his son in 1951. “You must keep your mind and eye on it constantly or it will bite you when you least expect it, which could prove fatal.”

He would have known: Rickenbacker was America’s deadliest fighter pilot in World War I. A century ago — on April 29, 1918 — he shot down his first plane. A month later, he downed his fifth, the mark of an “ace.” By the time he was done, shortly before the November 11

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

In This Issue



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