Framed Photograph. A hand-colored, original 8" x 10" photograph of a painting by American artist Howard Chandler Christy, dated March 1943, of the famed aviator, Eddie Rickenbacker. INSCRIBED and SIGNED by the subject "To my good friend/ 'Charles Froesch'/ Eddie Rickenbacker." Nicely matted and framed circa 1943 to an overall size of 11" x 14". Charles Froesch was an author who wrote much on aviation, including the book AIRPORT PLANNING, as well as an inventor who held several patents. He had a long-term friendship with Rickenbacker. Fine. Item #020227
Medal of Honor-winning aviator Eddie Rickenbacker served as Pershing's staff driver before he became a combat pilot. He first gained fame in the formative years of auto racing as a driver. Before owning and operating the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he participated in some of the first 500-mile races held there finishing in tenth place in 1914. Rickenbacker flew a total of 300 combat hours, reportedly more than any other U.S. pilot in World War I, and his 26 victories as a pilot constituted an American record that stood until World War II. After the war, he started an unsuccessful automobile company, but his most lasting business endeavor was his lifelong leadership of Eastern Air Lines which Rickenbacker transformed from a small airline to a major international transportation company. In World War II, Rickenbacker was entrusted with a heroic mission for President Roosevelt and the War Department to deliver a secret message to General MacArthur. The mission was ill fated. Captain Eddie's plane went down in the Pacific in enemy waters in November 1942, and the crew was adrift on life rafts and lost at sea for 24 days until rescued. Rickenbacker not merely survived the ordeal but took a leading, heroic role in keeping the crew together. The date of Christy's painting is only 4 months after Rickenbacker's rescue at sea. Christy also painted the famous portrait of Rickenbacker in World War I uniform with an air combat scene in the background.