As the first U.S. pilots prepared to leave for the front, Rickenbacker asked to go with them. Maj. Carl Spaatz approved the request and Rickenbacker joined the 94th Aero Squadron, where he proved to be an exceptional fighter pilot. Rickenbacker rose to command the 94th Aero Squadron and became the leading U.S. ace of WWI with 26 confirmed victories.
His most remarkable action came on Sept. 25, 1918, as Rickenbacker patrolled alone near Billy, France. He spotted a group of seven enemy aircraft, and despite the strength of their numbers, boldly attacked and shot down two of them. President Herbert Hoover awarded Rickenbacker the Medal of Honor in 1930 for his aggressiveness in that action.
Rickenbacker went on to become an aviation executive, and he advised the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II. He died in 1973 and is buried at Greenlawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio.
For more info visit: http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=715
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