In January of 1917, having been given leadership of his own squadron, he requested his plane be painted red, thereafter he would become known as the Red Baron. Members of his squadron, fearing he may be too easily recognized, decided to also paint the air craft in red so he was not such an easy target. He would receive a fatal wound during aerial combat but was able to land his aircraft safely before he died.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact Sheet: Who was Manfred von Richthofen? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Manfred von Richthofen.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact File: Lifespan: 1892 - 1918 *** Full Name: Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen *** Nickname: Red Baron, Red Devil, Little Red and Red Knight *** Occupation: German Fighter Pilot *** Date of Birth: He was born on May 2nd, 1892 *** Place of Birth: He was born in Breslau, Germany *** Family background: His father was Major Albrecht Philipp Karl Julius Freiherr von Richthofen and his mother was Kunigunde con Schickfuss und Neudorff *** Early life and childhood: He grew up an older sister and two younger brothers. When he was just four years old the family moved to Poland. *** Education: He began his education at home before being sent to Schweidnitz and from there he began his military training. ***
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 1: He was born during the latter part of the 19th century.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 2: He was born in Kleinburg which is very near to Breslau.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 3: His family was of exceptional pedigree, a Prussian noble family.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 4: He was a very athletic youth winning a number of awards during his school years.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 5: When he had finished his cadet training, he joined an Uhlan cavalry unit, the Ulanen-Regiment Kaiser Alexander der III von Russland and assisted to the 3rd Eskadron in 1911.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 6: He was serving as a cavalry reconnaissance officer when World War I broke out on both the western and eastern fronts viewing combat in Belgium, France and Russia.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 7: Severely disheartened when his regiment became dismounted he applied to join the Imperial German Army Air Service.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 8: Unsatisfied with carrying correspondence as a dispatch runner or a field operator, he had written on his application “I have not gone to war in order to collect cheese and eggs, but for another purpose.”
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 9: Although his attitude in this missive was highly unmilitary it nevertheless went in his favor and he was granted his transfer.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 10: His flying career began in 1915 on reconnaissance missions as an observer.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 11: He began is pilot training towards the end of 1915 having been inspired by a chance meeting with Oswald Boelcke.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 12: By August of 1916 he was once again to encounter Boelcke and was enlisted to join his new fighter unit, Jagdstaffel 2.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 13: Although he had made two previous enemy kills they had not been credited to him. On September 17th 1916 he would finally be credited with his first combat enemy kill with his new unit.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 14: He would also witness the untimely demise of Oswald Boelcke during a midair collision in October of that year with a friendly aircraft.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 15: Unlike his brother Lothar, who was a highly skilled pilot, he was more or a tactician with excellent marksmen skills and would dive upon his enemy and attack from the vantage point of using the sun to hide his appearance.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 16: In November of 1916 he would take credit for his most famous kill, that of Major Lanoe Hawker Victoria Cross, the British ace pilot.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 17: By mid-1917 he would sustain his first injury during a dog fight he took a serious wound to his head causing him to lose consciousness briefly, he regained his senses in time to pull his aircraft out of spin.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 18: Several operations to remove bone splinters resulted in possible lasting damage that some say may have resulted in his own untimely death.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 19: It was during an aerial battle himself, a Canadian Lieutenant and a Canadian Captain that he would receive a fatal would. He was struck by a bullet that did fatal damage to his heart and lungs but he managed to land his plane nevertheless.
Manfred von Richthofen Fact 20: Several allied airmen reached his side seconds before his death in a field in area under the control of the Australian Imperial Force. He died on April 21st 1918 aged 24 years.
Influence & Legacy: It was long thought that his reason for using the color red on his aircraft was in honor of his time spent with the Prussian Calvary unit, the 1st Regiment of Uhlans Emperor Alexander 111 whose uniform color was also red. Manfred von Richthofen was one of a select few who was not only respected by his friends but by his enemies also, he was a skilled and discipline aviator and in whose name many films, books and even early cartoons were written about him.
Important Events of the 20th century and during the life of Manfred von Richthofen include: The sinking of the Titanic, the Spanish flu epidemic that killed millions across the globe, King Tut’s tomb was discovered and the first talking film was shown.