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This Day in History

World History

Sunday, April 21, 1918. :   Notorious German flying ace, the Red Baron, is killed.

     German flying ace, the Red Baron, was born Manfred von Richthofen on 2 May 1892. He joined the army in 1911 and by the time World War 1 began in 1914, he had been promoted to lieutenant. As a German fighter pilot during World War 1, he became the most famous flying ace, shooting down Britain's leading ace, Major Lanoe Hawker. Flying an aircraft painted bright red, he was known in Germany as "Der Rote Kampfflieger" or "the red fighter pilot". The Red Baron recorded a total of 80 victories before he was shot down and killed on 21 April 1918 over the Somme Canal in France. Accounts vary as to who shot down the Red Baron. Initial credit went to Captain Roy Brown, a Canadian in the Royal Air Force, who was also killed in the fray, whilst many other reports suggest that Australian gunners scored the victory.

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