April 1918

The flying circus

On 21 April 1918 took place the last flight of Manfred Albrecht von Richthofen (1892 - 1918), the famous Red Baron. The famous aviator of the German Empire died before turning twenty-six, and he was respected and feared by enemies for the his eighty air victories.

Following his numerous merits in 1916 he became the commander of the Jagdstaffel 11; the fighter squadron was the one with the highest number of successes: three hundred and fifty shooting down. The squadron earned the name of "flying circus", both for the bright colors of its fighters, both for the risky and acrobatic aerial maneuvers of its pilots, and for the improvised camps they often used between one mission and another.

The shooting down of the Red Baron by the Canadians on the Somme front, remains partly shrouded in mystery: there is no certainty about the identity of the man who fired the fatal bullet and forced the Baron to a makeshift landing, to die soon after.