|The Red Baron|
Over the Front Lines.
Aircraft: Fokker DR1 425/17 Triplane
On this day. Manfred Albrecht Freiherr Richthofen
" The Red Baron" Died.
He was shot down as he flew low over the front lines! Whilst being chased by a British Aircraft, passing by the Australian positions! the Aussies opened fire
on him, and claimed to have shot him down? He and his Aircraft ended up in No-mans Land! between the fronts.
He was in his 26th year.
Over the years I have read many accounts of this incident, but the version I read in the UK Daily Mail on the Thursday. January 5th 2012. is for me ? the closest to what really happened!
Except for the part! Which I think is a bit fanciful? Where they say he landed the aircraft after being mortally wounded? The Fokker Triplane was a notoriously unstable aircraft, Its instability and powerful engine, was its great advantage over the British Aircraft. But it was difficult to control? The Baron was reported as saying "It Climbed like a Monkey! and flew like the devil"
So I believe? Either the Baron landed the aircraft and was immediately shot and killed or he was killed making a forced landing! leaving it to the aircraft to finish the crash landing?
The Red Baron Von Richthofen was an Ace among Pilots.
Bill Farnsworth an Australian Stretcher bearer on the front line, was at this time sitting in the latrine
and the whole incident unfolded before him.
He saw stray bullets flying all around the place from the descending aircraft, he felt lucky he wasn't hit? Both aircraft flew low across the Australian lines and the Aussie machine gunners opened fire. The British aircraft pulled up and went around, flying passed for a look down! and then flew away.
The Barons Aircraft bounced the once and crashed, out in No-mans Land!.
Suddenly It was quite! Everybody seemed stunned; The Baron had a fearsome reputation on the front line amongst the troops. They couldn't believe he had been shot down?
Shortly after some of the troops went out to check if it really was the "Baron"? Once Confirmed they began stripping bits off the aircraft for souvenirs.Their Officers stopped them. So that night Bill and a couple of his mates, sneaked out and got souvenirs for them selves, Bill cut a piece of red fabric from the airframe.
50 years later. Bill Farnsworth was a retired Farmer and lived next door to my Uncle Mick in Sunshine. Melbourne. Victoria. Australia. I often chatted with him and listened to his stories, When he told me about this incident and mentioned the red plane? It peaked my interest. He went and showed me his souvenir and even cut me a piece from it, for myself. Which I placed in my flight bag and carried it all over the world, and showed it to hundreds of fellow Pilots.
That red cut out piece of fabric, has more than likely done 50 times more flying hours, than it did with its last pilot. "The Red Baron"
"All men are mortal"