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Thread: A 100th Anniversary

  1. #1
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    A 100th Anniversary

    The most famous fighter pilot that ever lived, died in his cockpit 100 years ago today.


    Ron "Hals und Beinbruch!" Wanttaja

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    Richthofen, aka the Red Baron, was shot down and killed by Canadian Sopwith Camel pilot Captain Arthur Roy Brown. The Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto has on display the actual Fokker pilot seat Richthofen died in. It's part of their private collection.

    For many years after the shoot down there was controversy over who killed him, Brown or Australian army artillery. In 1936 Captain Brown was officially and formally recognized as the pilot that shot down and killed Richthofen. Captain Brown died relatively young in 1944.

  3. #3
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    Hmmm... Just a couple of years ago I was at the Australian War Memorial. They seem to disagree with the official and formal recognition. The War memorial site states: "After years of conflicting opinions and recollections by witnesses that remain to be resolved, it was stated that the Australian Lewis gunners were most likely responsible for Richthofen's death." The war memorial has the control column from his plane. The engine is in the Imperial War Museum in London.

    Regardless of who shot him down, he was the most known and most successful fighter pilot of the Great War, not only for his victories, but also for his leadership and tactical innovation. He built on the work of his own mentor, Boelcke, and in turn, was the mentor of other successful fighter pilots.
    Chris Mayer
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    www.o2cricket.com

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    rv8bldr's Avatar
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    Ya, I think it has been pretty well proven that an Australian machine gunner (Popkin? something like that. He died a pauper in 1923) was actually responsible for downing the Red Baron. I watched a Nova on PBS about it a few years ago.

    Being a Canadian, and living about a 15 minute drive from Roy Brown's hometown, I do have a lot of pride in Roy Brown regardless. There is a museum in Carleton Place, ON dedicated to him and other local WWI veterans. In fact, Lloyd Breadner was also from Carleton Place, flew in RNAS 10 with Raymond Collishaw, and ended up AOC of the desert air force for the RAF/RCAF in WWII.

    Amazing for a small, eastern Ontario town.
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    Mark
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    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    There was an old TV show called "Unsolved History" that had an episode about the death of the Red Baron. They used a set of experiments...some useful, some, in my opinion, not... to try to show who probably shot him down.

    To me, though, the most effective demonstration was for the ground machine gun batteries. They set up a couple of gun mounts that flashed lasers, with computers that actually incorporated bullet drop into the pointing of the laser. They gave the "gunner" a set of goggles that didn't allow him to see the laser.

    They set up the guns in the actual Australian positions, and flew a Robin on the probable path of the Baron.

    The neat thing was, at one point, you could see the laser reflect low on the side of the plane, right at the cockpit. The entry point would have closely correlated with Richtofen's wounds.....

    Ron Wanttaja

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