Eddie (Rickenbacher) Rickenbacker

Edward Vernon (Rickenbacher) Rickenbacker (1890 - 1973)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Edward Vernon (Eddie) "Fast Eddie" Rickenbacker formerly Rickenbacher
Born in Columbus, Ohiomap
Ancestors ancestors
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Zürich, Switzerlandmap
Profile last modified | Created 8 Nov 2014
This page has been accessed 925 times.

Categories: Medal of Honor | Distinguished Service Cross (United States) | Croix de guerre 1914-1918 | United States Army Air Service, World War I | Notables.

Eddie (Rickenbacher) Rickenbacker was awarded a Medal of Honor.

WikiTree Profiles Roll of Honor

Medal of Honor Recipients
Eddie (Rickenbacher) Rickenbacker is notable.
Join: Notables Project
Discuss: notables


Eddie was born to German /Swiss immigrants in 1890 in Columbus, Ohio. His father had instilled a fascination for machines in him. Unfortunately, Eddie's father died when he was thirteen. However, this did not curtail Eddie's love for machine which led to his involvement in autos & later auto racing & design. Eddie became a race car driver competing in the Indianapolis 500 four times, earning him the nickname "Fast Eddie".

He joined the Army during WWI and was assigned to the Air Corps. With Eddie's skill he was a natural pilot. During World War I Eddie Rickenbacker is credited with 26 victories, more than any other American pilot during WWI, making him America's leading flying ace. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity." He later was a race car driver & owned the Indianapolis Speedway and founded Eastern Airlines, serving as its CEO.

Family Members


William Rickenbacker 1858 – 1904

Elizabeth Balser 1864 – 1946


Mary Reichenbacher 1886 –

William Reichenbacher 1887 – 1965

Emma Reichenbacher 1892 – 1970

Louise Rickenbacker 1894 – 1896

Louis Reichenbacher 1896 – 1981

Dewey Reichenbacher 1898 – 1964

Albert W Reichenbacher 1900 –

Spouse & Children

Adelaide Pearl Frost 1889 – 1977

David Edward Rickenbacker 1925 – 1983

William Frost Rickenbacker 1928 – 1995

from Find A Grave:

World War I Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, Distinguished Service Cross Recipient, Fighter Ace, Aviator, Race Car Driver, America's 'Ace of Aces' during World War I. The son of Swiss immigrants, he first gained fame driving race cars. He raced 4 time in the Indianapolis 500 with his best finish being 10th in 1914. He enlisted in the Army in 1917 when the United States declared war on Germany. Due to his mechanical prowess, he started the war as an engineering officer and almost wasn't allowed to become a pilot. However, once he found himself and his unit a competent replacement, he was awarded a place in the 94th Aero Squadron. Here, he would become a legend. On April 29, 1918, he shot down his first plane and earned his first DSC. Five months later, now a Captain, he commanded the squadron. The following month he recorded his final kill of his 26 official victories scored in the war, the highest record for an American pilot. His 7 Distinguished Service Crosses have never been equaled. He also was awarded the French Croix de Guerre. Incredibly, he earned 5 DSCs within a month, and 2 DSCs on consecutive days. Following the war, he bought the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ran it until 1945 when he sold it. In 1931 an eighth DSC was upgraded by the War Department to the Medal of Honor. He created Eastern Airlines, staying with the company until he was forced out as CEO in 1959; four years later he stepped down as chairman of the board. In October 1942, he was aboard a B-17 bomber on a secret mission in the Pacific, when it crashed, and he and six others spent 24 days afloat on life rafts. The following year he traveled on another mission for the War Department, this time to the U.S.S.R. The year after his death, the United States Air Force renamed Lockbourne Air Force Base in his home town of Columbus, Ohio, Rickenbacker Air Force Base. In 1992 his racing career was honored as he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. It was honored once more in 1994, with his induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. In 1995, the US Postal Service honored him as an aviation pioneer with a postage stamp in his likeness. The Rickenbacker Guitar Company choose to use that name not only because one of the founders of the company was his relative, but because he had made the name so popular. His MOH citation reads: "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". (bio by: Ugaalltheway)


  • 1900 United States Federal Census

1 citation provides evidence for Birth, Gender, Name, Residence

  • Ancestry Family Trees

6 citations provide evidence for (Edward Eddie Vernon Rickenbacker)

  • Massachusetts, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-1963

1 citation provides evidence for Gender, Name, Birth, Residence, Arrival, Departure

  • New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

1 citation provides evidence for Birth, Gender, Arrival, Departure, Name

  • U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925

1 citation provides evidence for Name, Birth, Residence, Custom Event

  • U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

1 citation provides evidence for Name, Birth, Residence

  • Web: Obituary Daily Times Index, 1995-Current

1 citation provides evidence for Name, Death, Custom Event

  • Web: Ohio, Find A Grave Index, 1787-2012

1 citation provides evidence for Birth, Name, Death, Burial

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

No known carriers of Eddie's ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 4
Edward Rickenbacker Image 1
Edward Rickenbacker Image 1

Edward Rickenbacker Image 2
Edward Rickenbacker Image 2

Congressional Medal of Honor
Congressional Medal of Honor

Eddie Rickenbacker Image 4
Eddie Rickenbacker Image 4

  • Login to edit this profile.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Anon Snyder and Child Anonymous. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)
  • Public Q&A: These will appear above and in the Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) Forum. (Best for anything directed to the wider genealogy community.)

On 2 Jun 2017 at 16:55 GMT Vern Howe wrote:

I have a shirttail relative, Leo Roy Crique (Crique-5), who was a member of the 94th Aero. The family tradition is that he was the squadron's lead aircraft mechanic and that "Capt. Eddy" would not allow anyone else to touch his airplane. Is there a Wikitree category or unit citation specifically for the 94th that can be attached to a profile?

On 16 Dec 2016 at 20:57 GMT David Kenagy wrote:

The passport application by Edward V. Rickenbacker indicates the same birth day/month as this profile, but says the year was 1888. (Passport Applications; 1922; Roll 2080 - Certificate #211622). A photo of the correct Eddie Rickenbacker is attached to the application.

Eddie is 42 degrees from Robin Helstrom, 41 degrees from Katy Jurado and 30 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

R  >  Rickenbacher  |  R  >  Rickenbacker  >  Edward Vernon (Rickenbacher) Rickenbacker