The Red Baron

Manfred von Richthofen was a World War I German fighter pilot. He affectionately referred to the men under his command as The Flying Circus. He himself was known as the Red Baron because he had painted his d red. Later, Richthofen painted his Fokker Dr. I triplane red as well. It was while flying this plane that the Red Baron counted his 60th victory, or confirmed kills of enemy aircraft.

On April 21, 1918, Manfred von Richthofen had 80 kills to his credit. That same day, the infamous Red Baron intercepted 15 Sopwith Camels led by a Canadian Captain named Roy Brown. When Brown saw the red Fokker slip behind Lt. Wilford “Wop” May, he targeted the plane and shot at it with his Lewis machine gun. Simultaneously, Australian gunners on the ground also shot at the unidentified red airplane. It was more than even the Red Baron could handle and his plane spun to the ground. To the Australian soldiers’ surprise, when they recovered the enemy aircraft they discovered that the Red Baron was now dead. Such was the amount of respect for him, the British Royal Air Force buried Manfred von Richthofen with full military honors.