Rickenbacker? maybe maybenot

Victor G Annas (vganna01@engr.uky.edu)
Tue, 9 Aug 94 13:08:46 EDT

Great post on Rickenbacker. There is very little doubt that he
did some great stuff during the war as well as afterward. I agree that
the U.S. pilots didn't have a lot of time to down as many planes as the
pilots of other nations. However, most of the U.S. pilots made use of
the tactics that had already been put into place by the allies. From
that perspective I feel that there are a lot of other pilots who were
much more interesting. Hear this rightly; I'm not trying to put down
Rickenbacher or anything that he did. I just keep looking at the guys
who wrote the book when there was no book written.
As for an American pilot, I would probably place my highest points
with Billy Mitchell. I have read a good bit about his post WWI years and
all I can say is that he had guts. Read about his court martial sometime.
It will give you a whole different picture of this guy.
I would like to find out more about the Australian and New Zealand
pilots of WWI. So if any of you folks across the water want to add to this
please do. As for German pilots, the best source I've come across is a book
published in 1929 titled German War Birds. It gives one a clear feel of
the pilots personality. The most ruthless personality that I've ever read
about had to be Joseph Kiss. He was an Austrian who flew ground support
with the Flicks. The man didn't believe in all the B.S. of chivallry.
Consequently if he got on your tail you might well be going down. I
tend to think that he was a kind of aireal axe murderer, but then that's
Later on and farther out............................