Here’s a photograph from the November 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a man who had returned from an ordeal at sea.
Eddie Rickenbacker (1890-1973) was noteworthy for a number of things:
- Before the First World War, he was a race car driver, competing in the first Indianapolis 500 race in 1911. He won a race in Sioux City in 1914 after tying the still-beating heart of a bat to his finger (apparently, this was a Swiss superstition that he learned from his mother).
- When the United States entered the First World War in 1917, Rickenbacker became a pilot. He had 26 aerial victories in 1918, which was the highest total up to that point and made him a war hero. He was given a book deal and went on a speaking tour.
- He helped design a car, the Rickenbacker, which made its appearance in 1922. It was unsuccessful, and his company went into receivership in 1924, leaving him on the hook for half a million dollars.
- He bought the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1927, selling it in 1945.
- He bought Eastern Air Lines in 1938, and was CEO of the company until 1959.
- In 1941, he was severely injured in an air crash near Atlanta, requiring many months to heal.
- In 1942, he was adrift at sea for 23 days after the plane he was in crashed. He had been on his way to deliver a message to General Douglas MacArthur; after he was rescued, he completed his assignment.