Famous Pilots of World War One

The Red Baron & Captain Roy Brown


Rittmeister Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen

"The Red Baron"

He was called "der rote Kampfflieger" by his own people,
"le petit rouge" by the French, and the "The Red Baron" by
the English. Baron Von Richtofen, The Red Baron, was the most famous German pilot of World War One, credited with shooting down 80 Allied aircraft.

(By contrast, America's best pilot in World War One,
Eddie Rickenbacker, shot down only 26 aircraft.)

Von Richtofen was born in 1892 Breslau, Prussia,
which is now in Poland. He was the son of Major
Albrecht von Richthofen, a Prussian nobleman and his
wife, Kunigunde. He was the eldest of three sons (the eldest
child was his sister, Ilse).

At the age of eleven, he was sent to cadet school in
Germany and then to the War College at Danzig. Upon
graduation at age twenty, von Richtofen received a
commission as a lieutenant with an uhlan (light cavalry) unit.

As World War I began, he was leading his unit against the
Russians, performing mostly reconnaissance work on
horseback. But the invention of the machine gun meant that
the safest way to conduct combat was from the shelter of
a trench, thus horses (and cavalry troops) became obsolete.
After watching airplanes performing reconnaissance duties,
he applied for a transfer to the flying corps.

In June 1915, von Richtofen began attending flying school,
where he trained as an aerial observer, then joined a bombing
squadron. There, in the observer’s seat, he shot down his
first enemy aircraft. Inspired by a visit to the unit
led by German aviation hero Oswald Boelke, and craving
success and glory, von Richtofen went to pilot’s training. The
training was difficult, as he lacked a natural affinity for the
mechanics of flying. But his persistence and extra practice
flights paid off. He passed the pilot’s exam on his third try.

Richthofen quickly became commander of the German
“Flying Circus” which was made up of Germany’s top fighter
pilots. He remained commander throughout World War 1.

His amazing performance as a fighter pilot turned him
into a hero and a legend. Richthofen received the
coveted “Blue Max” award among many others.

The Red Baron was also famous for being the arch rival of Snoopy.

The Blue Max

Captain Roy Brown

Arthur Roy Brown was born December 23, 1893 in
Carleton Place, Ontario.

He learned to fly at the Wright Brothers' school in Dayton, Ohio.
After receiving his pilot's certificate, he joined the Royal Naval
Air Service in 1915.

After entering the Royal Naval Air Service, he was almost
killed when he crashed an Avro 504 during a  training flight on
May 2, 1916.

He eventually recovered and was posted to 9 Naval Squadron
on the Western Front in April 1917. Reassigned to 11 Naval
Squadron, he scored his first victory on 17 July 1917,
shooting down an Albatros D.III while flying a Sopwith Pup.

In the fall, he rejoined 9 Naval Squadron to fly Sopwith
Camels, becoming a flight commander in February 1918. In
what would become the most famous aerial combat of the war,
Brown's flight encountered Jasta 11 on the morning of 21
April 1918.

In the battle that followed, Brown scored his final victory
of the war. Engaging a red Fokker DR.I he was officially
credited with shooting down Manfred von Richthofen. For
this action, Brown received a bar to his Distinguished
Service Cross.

In 1919, Brown left the Royal Air Force and returned to
Canada where he worked as an accountant, founded a small
airline and became an editor for " Canadian
Aviation" magazine. During World War II, Brown entered
politics after his application to join the Royal Canadian
Air Force was rejected. The year before he died, he ran
for Parliament but lost the election.

He Died March 09, 1944 in Stouffville, Ontario

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