HEROES: Rickenbacker Safe

When the big Army bomber which was taking Captain Edward Vernon ("Eddie") Rickenbacker on a special mission for the Secretary of War ran out of gas in the Southwest Pacific (TIME, Nov. 2), the U.S. press sadly hauled out Eddie's obituaries. Eddie was 52, still lame from a plane crash in 1941. He had cheated death numberless times as an auto racing driver and as top U.S. flying ace in World War I. There seemed little hope this time.

But the Navy's big Catalina flying boats crossed and recrossed the vast area where he might have gone down. After 23...

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