Hat In The Ring (2)


Captain Eddie Rickenbacker poses with an aircraft bearing the emblem of the 94th Aero Squadron. Image courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force via Youtube.

This is World War One flying ace, Eddie Rickenbacker. Young Rickenbacker soared the deadly skies over France as a member of the 94th Aero Squadron. He engaged in dogfights┬ápiloting Nieuports and Spads, earning the distinction of most decorated American pilot of the war. The insignia of the 94th was the “Hat In The Ring,” seen above.


Here is Captain Rickenbacker in the 1950’s while he was president of Eastern Airlines. He is lunching with Mont Chumbley, a proud career pilot for Rickenbacker’s “Great Silver Fleet” from 1940 until retirement in 1969. Mont, known as “Chum” is the subject of my two-part memoir, “River of January,” and “River of January: Figure Eight.”


And here stands Mont Chumbley next to his Pitts Special Aerobatic plane in the 1980’s. In memory of his famous employer, “Chum” stenciled the “Hat In The Ring” to his sports plane.

Gail Chumbley is the author of both titles available at http://www.river-of-january.com. Also on Amazon.com.



Hat In The Ring

Hat In The Ring

This image represents the 94th Aero Squadron, made famous by their aviation daring in World War One. Commanded by Colonel Raoul Lufbery, the 94th formed from the earlier American volunteer unit, the Lafayette Escadrille. The 94th counted in their ranks, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker. Rickenbacker became the most decorated American pilot of that war, with 26 verified German kills over France, and earning the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Later, Rickenbacker purchased Eastern Airlines, lending his famous insignia to the Great Silver Fleet. Chum was proud to have known Rickenbacker and proud to have been a part of Eastern. In retirement, Chum stenciled the “Hat” insignia on his competitive aerobatic plane in honor of his earlier career. Today REPA, the Retired Eastern Pilots Association maintains the memory of Rickenbacker and the storied days of Eastern Airlines.