Columbus in Franklin County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Captain Eddie Rickenbacker
America's World War I "Ace of Aces," Edward Vernon Rickenbacker was born in Columbus in 1890 to Swiss immigrant parents, leaving school at age 12 to help support his family. Working for several Columbus automobile companies initiated his love of racing, and he achieved fame as a race driver and team owner between 1910 and 1916. Enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1917, he went to France as staff driver for General John Pershing with ambitions of becoming a combat flier. He managed a transfer to the American Expeditionary Force's Aviation Instruction Center, learned to fly, and was assigned to the 94th Aero Squadron, the famed "Hat in the Ring" squadron led by ace Raoul Lufbery.
In a deadly environment where a pilot's life expectancy was measured in weeks, Rickenbacker quickly mastered air combat tactics and scored six victories in little more than a month. He assumed command of the 94th Aero Squadron in June 1918. America's leading fighter ace with 26 victories at the Armistice, Rickenbacker eventually received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Instrumental in the development of commercial aviation during the interwar years, he served
Erected 2003 by Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The International Paper Company Foundation, and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 81-25.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & Space • War, World I. In addition, it is included in the Medal of Honor Recipients, and the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1918.
Location. 39° 49.056′ N, 82° 56.131′ W. Marker is in Columbus, Ohio, in Franklin County. Marker is on Johns Circle, on the left when traveling east. The marker is along walkway from parking lot to passenger terminal of Rickenbacker International Airport. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2241 Johns Circle, Columbus OH 43217, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Tuskegee Airmen (here, next to this marker); F-100D "Super Sabre" (approx. 0.6 miles away); F-84F "Thunderstreak" (approx. 0.6 miles away); A-7D "Corsair II"Historic Lockbourne (approx. 1.8 miles away); Ohio-Erie Canal and Locks / The Columbus Feeder Canal (approx. 2 miles away); a different marker also named Ohio-Erie Canal and Locks / The Columbus Feeder Canal (approx. 2 miles away); Lockbourne Veterans' Memorial (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbus.
Regarding Captain Eddie Rickenbacker. Medal of Honor 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.
Also see . . . Eddie Rickenbacker. Top American Ace of World War I. (Submitted on October 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 15, 2008, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 3,551 times since then and 41 times this year. Last updated on May 14, 2021, by Grant & Mary Ann Fish of Galloway, Ohio. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 15, 2008, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.