In Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed, John F. Ross skillfully tells the story of renowned World War I flying ace, Eddie Rickenbacker. Raised in a poor immigrant family in Ohio, Eddie suffered abuse that may have broken most children his age. Yet, despite these disadvantages, he was able not only to survive, but thrive. He became a brilliant mechanic, and his knowledge of cars led him to become one of the most famous race-car drivers of his time. In search of the latest automotive innovations, he discovered in Great Britain that airplanes could be used as weapons of war. With the onset of World War I, Eddie joined the Armed Forces and served as General Pershing’s driver before becoming an airplane mechanic. Not content to stay on the ground, he would join the Air Corps, rising to squadron commander, gaining notoriety back in the United States as “The Ace of Aces.”
After World War I, Eddie would head Eastern Airlines, applying his vast knowledge to the commercial flight industry before the onset of World War II. His life seemed to be marked with the incredible will to survive as he miraculously lived through two plane crashes and twenty-four days adrift at sea.
Enduring Courage is a well-written biography of a famous American hero about whom very little is known. Having little knowledge of World War I, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Eddie Rickenbacker’s story is almost too incredible to be believed. I highly recommend Enduring Courage to any one interested in American Military History and its heroes.
I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.