Capt. Edward "Eddie" Rickenbacker was the United States' top scoring ace of World War I. Prior to America's entry in the war, Rickenbacker was a famed racecar driver. Because of this notoriety, he was offered the position of chauffeur to the commander of the American Army in France, General "Black Jack" Pershing. Soon after his arrival in France in 1917, Rickenbacker captivated by flying and requested a transfer into the fledgling U.S. Army Air Service. Following flight training in Tours France, Rickenbacker was assigned to the famed 94th "Hat in the Ring" Aero Squadron.
While flying with the 94th Aero Squadron, Rickenbacker scored 26 confirmed victories. On November 6, 1930, President Herbert Hoover presented the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, to Rickenbacker for bolding attacking seven enemy airplanes alone and shooting down two of them on September 25, 1918.
Capt. Rickenbacker wore the uniform on display while serving in France during World War I. It is comprised of the standard high collar wool service coat with a garrison cap. Note the early winged propeller aviation insignia on the collar and pilot's badge on left breast of the uniform. The Air Service adopted the riding breeches and boots from the cavalry.
Donated by Capt. Edward V. Rickenbacker
United States Army Air Service (USAAS) Type M1912/1917 officer's uniform coat coat worn by Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker; single breasted drab wool with five brass buttons down front; two upper patch pockets and two lower patch pockets with brass buttoned flap; stiff or "choker" collar; single gold officer's lace on each cuff; epaulets; brass "U.S." insignia on right collar; Winged Propeller Air Service insignia on left collar; three overseas service chevrons on left cuff; Distinguished Service Cross ribbon with 7 oak leaf clusters (on 2 ribbons), French Legion of Honor ribbon, French Croix de Guerre ribbon with 3 palm leaves.