Manfred von Richthofen

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Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, “The Red Baron”
World War One Fighter Pilot – Ace of Aces

“In air fighting, results depend on ability and not on ticker.”

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
Birth/birthplace:
May 2, 1892
Kleinburg, near Breslau, Lower Silesia

Death/death place:
April 21, 1918
Vaux-sur-Somme, France  (Sailly-le-sac)

Nickname:
“The Red Baron”

KNOWN FOR
Manfred von Richthofen was a fighter pilot of the German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkrafte) during World War one. He became a prominent commander of fighter units leading several future successful aces. At the conclusion of World War One he was the “Ace of Aces” of all pilots with more confirmed aerial victories than any other.

AIRCRAFT FLOWN
– The Red Baron flew several types of aircraft through out his carrier but is most commonly associated with an all red Fokker Dr I Triplane.
– Others aircraft he flew included The Halberstadt D II, several versions of the Albatros, including models D II, D III, and D V, in which he actually accumulated most of his victories. These were all bi-planes.

Richthofen_DonG2
LIVING HISTORY PERFORMER
: Don Gatewood


FAST FACTS

  • He loved sports, horse back riding and hunting wild animals.
  • When commissioned a Lieutenant at the age of 20, he became  an Uhlan (German Calvary man) and served at the beginning of the war as such.
  • He was eventually trained as a pilot and then recruited and tutored by Oswald Boelcke who had been known as the father of aerial combat.
  • He was shot down and wounded on July 6, 1917 when a bullet grazed his head.
  • He had two bothers, Lothar who was a pilot, and Bolko ( too young for the war), as well as a sister Ilse.
  • His cousin Wolfram von Richthofen also flew with him as a combat pilot.

Richthofen_Fokker_Dr1The Fokker Dr.I triplane, often linked with the career of the highest scoring ace of WWI, Germany’s Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen, “The Red Baron,” the nimble Dr. I earned a reputation as one of the best “dogfighters” of the war.

MILESTONES

  • With 80 confirmed aerial victories He was the leading “Ace” of all the pilots of World War One.
  • January 12, 1917 He was the highest decorated German aviator and recipient of the prestigious Ordern Pour Le Merit, the “Blue Max.”
  • He commanded the most successful fighter unit, Jasta 11.
  • Later he was the first commander of a fighter group, JagdGeschwader 1 (JG 1) which was a combination of 4 fighter units.


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