Eddie Rickenbacker downed his first German airplane on April 27, 1918, and he never looked back. As Rickenbacker’s score mounted, the public fell in love with him. But unlike some early pilots of the First World War, who had reveled in the image of the gallant, chivalrous airman, Rickenbacker had seen too many friends go down in flames to romanticize combat flying. Filmmaker Rob Rapley explains how Eddie Rickenbacker came to be one of the most famous fighters of the Great War.
The Great War premieres April 10 on PBS.