The Great Indestructible

Sunday, Dec. 20, 1942

Chicagoans thrilled today to the dramatic story of  Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker who survived Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 6.00.01 PMafter 21 days drifting on a raft in the South Pacific. A WWI flying ace, he set out from Hawaii to visit bases throughout the Southwest Pacific as an observer and report back to the White House. But when the pilot got lost and the plane ran out of fuel, he and the rest of the crew, seven in all, had to evacuate the plane quickly — so quickly they neglected to take water rations with them. Their only food was four oranges, Rickenbacker said he cut each into 8 pieces and rationed them out. Aside from netting a few fish, the men were thrilled when Rickenbacker was finally able to catch a seagull. He gathered rainwater in his old felt hat and rationed the group to two sips a day. He bullied and cajoled the men when they became dispirited. By the time his lifeboat was spotted by a search plane and he was rescued, he had lost 60 pounds. Labeled “The Great Indestructible” by The Boston Globe, he insisted on completing his mission to meet with General MacArthur and visit the bases. And thanks to him, lifeboats from then on were better equipped, including kits to distil salt water





This entry was posted in Chicago during WW II, Jewish life in America during WW II, Music and Media, WWII, Uncategorized, World War II and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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