Edward V. Rickenbacker- AEF Chauffeur Note: This item is currently in storage Although he was recruited to serve as General Pershing’s chauffeur, Rickenbacker primarily drove for Major Townsend F. Dodd, a subordinate to Lt Col William B. Mitchell. As Mitchell and Dodd toured various regions in France, the effect of airpower began to emerge, and made a lasting impression on the three men. Mitchell was impressed with Rickenbacker’s mechanical abilities, and eventually reassigned Rickenbacker to be his own personal chauffeur. Leveraging his superior’s admiration, Rickenbacker asked Mitchell for a transfer – he wanted to become a pilot. Mitchell approved the transfer, and on August 23, 1917, Sgt Edward Rickenbacker reported to the Aviation Training School in Tours, France. Click here to return to the Featured World War I Artifacts index.