Red Baron Essay

This essay has a total of 547 words and 4 pages.

Red Baron



Better known as "the Red Baron,"
Manfred von Richthofen remains
one of the greatest legends of
aviation. Born in a part of Germany
that is now Poland, Richthofen was
the son of an aristocratic Prussian
family. A far better athlete than
scholar, he wanted to become a
calvary officer, but the changing
nature of war had eliminated the
need for calvary, so, he turned to
the "new calvary," aviation. When
World War I began, Richthofen
joined the Fliegertruppe as an
observer in order to get into combat
more quickly. After just 24 hours of flight training, he made his
first solo flight. He crashed trying to land. By 1916, he was a
combat pilot, and scored his first confirmed victory on
September 17. On November 23 of the same year, he shot down
the British ace Major Lanoe Hawker, his eleventh kill. On
January 4, 1917, Richthofen shot down his 16th plane, making
him the top living German ace at the time. He recieved the
Orden Pour le Mérite (a.k.a. the "Blue Max"), one of
Germany's highest honors. Given command of Jasta 11, he began
to paint his aircraft red, so that he could be easily identified.
However, it was also said he did this because of the color of his
old Uhlan calvary regiment. To show solidarity with their
commander, the pilots of Jasta 11 begin to put some red on their
planes. Later, British pilots would paint the noses of their
planes red, to show they were hunting this "Red Baron." In April
1916, Richthofen wrote an angry letter to Berlin, complaining
about the tendency of a biplane's lower wing to break off during
flight. This resulted in a visit from the legendary plane designer
Anthony Fokker, and his design of the Dr.I triplane, which the
Red Baron became famous for flying. After "Bloody April," in
which Richthofen shot down 21 Allied planes, he was ordered
on leave, during which time he left command of Jasta 11 to his
brother Lothar and met with Kaiser Wilhelm II. When he
returned, it was in command of a new squadron, the elite
Jagdgeschwader 1 (Fighter Wing 1), also known as JG1, which
gathered some of Germany's best aces, including Hermann
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