April 21, 2018

The Red Baron

On this day in 1918, the famous World War I German fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen was shot down during an air battle...he had earned his acclaim by racking up 80 air combat victories...he was 25 years old…’The Red Baron’ as he was known as was a feared pilot and the most famous aviator of that time, and even to this day, his name and fame is transcendent...he had gotten the name ‘Red Baron’ because he had red paint applied to his plane once he became a squadron commander...although not all the planes he flew were red...he was known as ‘the ace of aces’...originally, he was a cavalry officer in the Army, but applied for a transfer to the German Air Force...he was a great national hero in his native Germany, and his skill won the respect of the enemy...there is controversy over just who fired the fatal shots that shot Richthofen out of the sky on 21 April 1918...he was given a military burial with full honors by Allied forces...don’t think he was transcendent?...it was ‘The Red Baron’ who Snoopy famously tangled with in the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip...there was also a Top 40 song in the 1960’s called Snoopy vs. The Red Baron which was performed by the Royal Guardsmen...don’t think he still has relevance?...if you go into the grocery store, you most likely will find Red Baron pizza... supposedly in the late stages of the war, some pilots reported the frightening sight of seeing ‘The Red Baron’ darting in and out of the clouds in his majestic red airplane...patrolling the skies, even after his death.

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