21st Apr 1918: The ‘Red Baron’ killed & given full military burial by No.3 Sq. AFC

Richthofen_funeralIn the skies above the Somme there was much activity with Manfred von Richthofen, the ‘Red Baron’ and his red squadron again involved. While chasing a British scout over the Australian sector von Richthofen was himself dived by Canadian airman Captain Roy Brown who thought he saw the Red Baron collapse under his fire. Brown broke off but noticed the scout and von Richtohfen fly on for about a mile, flying low along the valley and now a target for the many Lewis gunners and riflemen on the ground. As the two planes rose to clear the hill to the east of Corbie, von Richthofen swerved and crashed. There is still debate whether it was Capt. Brown or an Australian gunner that was responsible for von Richthofen being killed. Regarded in high respect by the Allied air officers von Richthofen was given a full military burial with officers from No.3 Squadron Australian Flying Corps acting as pallbearers and the guard of honour from other ranks of the squadron firing a salute (photograph above). Von Richthofen was originally buried in the cemetery in the village of Bertangles before being moved to the German Military Cemetery at Fricourt in 1920, and five years later was he  brought back to Germany by his family.

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