Sunday, April 21, 2013

This Day in History April 21, 1918

Red Baron

If you're like me, you can remember Snoopy fighting the Red Baron in the beloved Peanuts comics and television specials.

USAFA Cadet Squadron 26 Patch

However, the Red Baron was more than just a fictional character.  His name was Manfred von Richthofen, and he was a German fighter pilot during WWI.  He was truly a baron, and he indeed flew a red plane.  He shot down the best pilot in Britain's army in addition to 16 more kills and even 21 in the year of 1917.  Indeed, he was a force with which to be reckoned.

Notwithstanding, the Red Baron was certainly not invincible.  On this date in 1918, either a shot from ground or a Canadian pilot shot him through the heart.  His plane was found behind British lines, and he was given a burial with full military honors.  His prowess inspired such as Charles Lindbergh.

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