The inspirational biography of one of America's most celebrated heroes, top scoring fighter ace Eddie Rickenbaker, who helped create American air power superiority during WWII, and was instrumental in making modern commercial aviation what it is today.
Before enlisting, Rickenbaker worked at a garage repairing automobiles. He began racing cars in 1901 and for the next six years was one of the nation's top racecar drivers. He established the world record of 134 miles per hour at a race in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Although initially rejected by the Air Service - he was regarded as too old and lacking college education - he persevered and was finally accepted to flight school. He went on to become America's top ace.
His fighting technique was to fly close to the enemy aircraft - closer than others dared - and then fire his guns. The daring technique resulted in a series of narrow escapes. He lost several planes and, on one occasion, returned with a mark on his helmet from a passing enemy bullet. After the war ended, he returned to establish his own motor company and begin his work his commercial aviation. He also started a comic strip called Ace.
Serving in World War II, Rickenbaker ran out of fuel flying over the Pacific. Marooned with his crew, he survived for 22 days without water. They survived by capturing fish, until one day a seagull landed on Rickenbaker's head. He reached up, twisted its neck, and the crew shared it for dinner.
•Traces career through two world wars and beyond
•Follow up book from the author of In The Roughrider's Shadow