April 21st, 1918 – The Red Baron Shot Down!

Today-In-History

Manfred_von_Richthofen

Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (May 2nd, 1892 – April 21st, 1918)

Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, also widely known as the Red Baron, was a German fighter pilot with the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte) during the First 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 of Jasta 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 April 21st, 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.

Flourish 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar