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In Rickenbacher's autobiography he tells of his flight across the Atlantic in a B-17 after WWII. They ended up running out of gas as I recall, making a water landing in the middle of the ocean. They were stranded for about a month before being rescued.

In the early post-WWII era, how was it that they were able to find him at all? What factors contributed?

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  • $\begingroup$ atlantic current is know to go to the west of the UK a much busier area $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 13:11

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Actually it was during WW2 and it was the Pacific:

One of Rickenbacker's most famous near-death experiences occurred in October 1942 [...] The bomber strayed hundreds of miles off course while on its way to a refueling stop on Canton Island and was forced to ditch in a remote and little-traveled part of the Central Pacific Ocean.

I am not familiar with the episode, and this source is currently not working for me, but from the little information that the wiki reports, I have the impression that the main factor has been pure luck.

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  • $\begingroup$ ah, ok, it's been a while since I read his autobiography. ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 14:08
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    $\begingroup$ @flyingfisch no problem. I actually find amusing the wiki's phrasing One of Rickenbacker's most famous near-death experiences must have been an hell of a life $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ yeah it was, he got into many near-death incidents, starting at age 9 IIRC. You should read the autobiography ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 14:32
  • $\begingroup$ @flyingfisch I will, thanks for bringing it up :) $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 14:39

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