November 13, 1942

1942: After being forced to ditch in the Pacific Ocean, some 600 miles north of Samoa, WW I ace “Eddie” Rickenbacker, Col. Hans C. Adamson, and Pvt. John F. Bartek are rescued by a Navy Vought-Sikorsky OS2U-3 Kingfisher seaplane. The trio had been afloat on a raft for more than three weeks. The men were rescued near the Ellice Island chain (now Tuvalu). All were suffering from exposure, sunburn, dehydration, and near starvation. Rickenbacker had lost 40 pounds, but after a few days of rest, he completed his original assignment and delivered his secret message to General MacArthur.