by Richard Taylor
|- with original Eddie Rickenbacker signature -|
For once Eddie Rickenbacker, the newly-appointed commander of the 1st Pursuit Group’s famous 94th ‘Hat-in-the-Ring’ Aero Squadron, was flying solo. It was Wednesday 25 September 1918 and with a string of victories behind him he was already an Ace when he now spotted a flight of enemy aircraft which included Halberstadt reconnaissance planes and five of Germany’s formidable new fighter, the Fokker D.VII. Although outnumbered seven to one he was unobserved and, climbing his Spad XIII hard for the sun, decided to attack. ‘I soon had the satisfaction of realizing that I had escaped their notice and was now well in their rear,’ he later wrote. ’I shut down my motor, put down my head and made a beeline for the nearest Fokker.
Rickenbacker quickly dispatched one of the fighters and then a Halberstadt before the surviving Germans fled the scene. For his part Rickenbacker was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, later upgraded to America’s highest award for conspicuous gallantry - the Medal of Honor. Promoted to Captain in October 1918, by the end of hostilities on 11 November his tally stood at 26 air victories to make him the top-scoring American airman of World War One. He was also the most decorated.
In tribute to America’s World War I Ace of Aces, Richard Taylor has created yet another inspirational drawing to add to his growing list of highly-collectible masterworks. Deservedly respected for his skilful technique of incorporating pencil and colourwash highlights, Richard furthers his repertoire of World War I subjects with Captain Eddie, a superb depiction of Rickenbacker alongside the Spad XIII fighters of his 94th ‘Hat-in-the-Ring’ Aero Squadron on the Western Front in 1918.
To make every print in this highly-restricted edition completely unique, each has been returned to
Richard’s studio for the inclusion of a specially-commissioned pencil Remarque in the lower
|Overall size: 13¾" x 24½"||Available in the following editions||Overall size: 6¾" x 18½"|
|15||Veteran's edition||Signed and remarqued by the artist - conservation matted with Eddie Rickenbacker signature.||$2795|
The highest scoring and most celebrated U.S. air ace of WWI. Rickenbacker developed an early interest in internal-combustion engines and automobiles, and, by the time the United States entered World War I, he was one of the country’s top three racing drivers. He entered the army in 1917 as a driver attached to General John J. Pershing’s staff and drove a car for Colonel William (“Billy”) Mitchell, the noted advocate of tactical air power.
With Mitchell’s help, Rickenbacker became a fighter pilot and was assigned to the 94th Aero Pursuit Squadron. He accumulated 26 air victories and numerous decorations, including the Medal of Honor. His war exploits are published in his book Fighting the Flying Circus (1919).
Rickenbacker returned to work in the automobile industry after the war, first with his own company and later with the Cadillac Motor Car Company. He joined American Airways in 1932, moving to North American Aviation, Inc., in 1933, and finally, to Eastern Air Lines in 1935. Rickenbacker became president, general manager, and director of Eastern three years later. After leading the company ably for many years, he resigned as president in 1959 and as director and chairman of the board in 1963.
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