The Red Barron

By
Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Award 00808165

Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (2 May 1892 – 21 April 1918), also widely known as the Red Baron, was a German fighter pilot with the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte) during theFirst World War. He is considered the top ace of the war, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories.

Originally a cavalryman, Richthofen transferred to the Air Service in 1915, becoming one of the first members of Jasta 2 in 1916. He quickly distinguished himself as a fighter pilot, and during 1917 became leader ofJasta 11 and then the larger unit Jagdgeschwader 1 (better known as the "Flying Circus"). By 1918, he was regarded as a national hero in Germany, and widely respected even by his enemies.

Richthofen was shot down and killed near Amiens on 21 April 1918. There has been considerable discussion and debate regarding aspects of his career, especially the circumstances of his death. He remains perhaps the most widely known fighter pilot of all time, and has been the subject of many books, films and other media.

Richthofen received a fatal wound just after 11:00 am on 21 April 1918, while flying over Morlancourt Ridge, near the Somme River49°56′0.60″N 2°32′43.71″E

At the time, the Baron had been pursuing (at very low altitude) a Sopwith Camel piloted by a novice Canadian pilot, Lieutenant Wilfrid "Wop" May of No. 209 Squadron, Royal Air Force.[41] In turn, the Baron was spotted and briefly attacked by a Camel piloted by a school friend (and flight commander) of May's, Canadian Captain Arthur "Roy" Brown, who had to dive steeply at very high speed to intervene, and then had to climb steeply to avoid hitting the ground.[41] Richthofen turned to avoid this attack, and then resumed his pursuit of May.[41]

It was almost certainly during this final stage in his pursuit of May that a single .303 bullet  hit Richthofen, damaging his heart and lungs so severely that it must have caused a very quick death. In the last seconds of his life, he managed to make a hasty but controlled landing ( 49°55′56″N 2°32′16″E) in a field on a hill near the Bray-Corbie road, just north of the village of Vaux-sur-Somme, in a sector controlled by the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). Gunner Ernest W Twycross was the first man to reach the aircraft and Richthofen tried to say something in German to him. Richthofen then sighed and died. One witness, Gunner George Ridgway, stated that when he and other Australian soldiers reached the aircraft, Richthofen was still alive but died moments later. Another eye witness, Sergeant Ted Smout of the Australian Medical Corps, reported that Richthofen's last word was "kaputt".

 
Australian airmen with Richthofen's triplane, 425/17, after it was dismembered by souvenir hunters

His Fokker Dr.I, 425/17, was not badly damaged by the landing, but it was soon taken apart by souvenir hunters.

No. 3 SquadronAustralian Flying Corps, as the nearest Allied air unit, assumed responsibility for the Baron's remains.

In 2009, Richthofen's death certificate was found in the archives in Ostrów Wielkopolski, Poland. Richthofen had briefly been stationed in Ostrów—which was part of Germany until the end of World War I—before going to war. The document, which is a one-page, handwritten form in a 1918 registry book of deaths, misspells Richthofen's name as "Richthoven" and simply states that he has "died 21 April 1918, from wounds sustained in combat

Posted by

Linda Ring, Century 21 Award San Diego,  Smarter. Bolder. Faster.

Over 33 Years of Real Estate Service you can trust.

12,000+ Properties For Sale in San Diego County.

Zero Down VA Loan.  We Help Our Heroes Buy Homes!

½% FHA Loans Available.

We have homes, condos, townhomes, units, mobile homes, and more.

Looking to buy a San Diego foreclosure, short sale, or traditional sale, we have them all.

www.Help619.com

(619) 251-5202

#NoPlaceLikeHome

Comments (1)

Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Linda - I wonder why he was called the Red Baron, and what the relationship was with Snoopy?

May 15, 2015 09:38 AM

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?