DEAD: The Red Baron

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

The Red Baron (aged 25)
German World War I flying ace, popularly known as the Red Baron

Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (2 May 1892 – 21 April 1918), also known as the “Red Baron”, was a fighter pilot with the German Air Forceduring World War I. He is considered the ace-of-acesof the war, being officially credited with 80 air combatvictories.

DEATH: 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 quick death. In the last seconds of his life, he managed to retain sufficient control to make a rough landing in a field on a hill near the Bray-Corbie road, just north of the village of Vaux-sur-Somme, in a sector defended by the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). There were several witnesses, including Gunner Ernest W. Twycross,Gunner George Ridgway, and Sergeant Ted Smout of the Australian Medical Corps. Each of these men later claimed to have been the first to reach the triplane, and each reported various versions of Richthofen’s last words, generally including the word “kaputt”.

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