Out of the gloom of thick cloud, through their windscreens, the pilots suddenly saw the tops of pine trees but it was too late to pull up. They ploughed through them as the branches smashed into the left wing shattering the navigation light. One of the passengers onboard was the President of the airline, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker… this is his story.

An Eastern Airlines DC3


Atlanta had poor weather and it was close to midnight when the aircraft crashed


Eddie Rickenbacker


The findings of the inquiry


Racing in San Francisco


Rickenbacker becomes CO of the 94th, the Hat in the Ring gang


After receiving many decorations, Rickenbacker returns to the US a hero


The Rickenbacker motor company


Rickenbacker survives a second crash, this time in a Boeing B-17


Capt. E.V. “Eddie” Rickenbacker wearing the Congressional Medal of Honor


Images published under Creative Commons Licence with thanks to Jack Delano, the Library of Congress, CAB, SF Public Library, NARA, Rickenbacker Motors, the USAFand the USAAF.