100-year-old Film of the Red Baron (Baron Von Richthofen) is Available Online

Talk about an old film! It’s from 1917, and it’s an up-close and personal look at the most legendary combat pilot who ever lived, the infamous Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen. It shows the Baron preparing for a mission, as well as film of him putting on a flying suit prior to a flight in cold weather. If you look closely you will also see a brief glimpse of Hermann Goering.

The Baron was shot down on 21 April 1918 by Roy Brown of the Royal Navy Air Services, long before it was called the R.A.F.

You can view the film on YouTube at https://youtu.be/XIiuyijwKRs or in the video player below.

My thanks to newsletter reader Dwayne Lund for telling me about this historic film.

13 Comments

The Canadians are very proud of Roy Brown of Ontario.

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Thank you for this – very interesting.

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I wouldn’t say anything, but to correct the historical record. Roy Brown was very surprised when told he had shot down the Baron. That is because Ground Infantry had also shot at the Baron and Brown had not. The Baron was too good with far superior plane and machine gun to get shot down by another pilot.

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YouTube appears to have two other excellent documentaries on the “Red Baron” incorporating some of the same footage and additional historic clips and photos.

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The Royal Naval Air Services and the Royal Flying Corps merged on 1 May 1918 to become the RAF – not long after this event, in other words!

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Two films of MvR and others from the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

https://www.ushmm.org/online/film/display/detail.php?file_num=3354
https://www.ushmm.org/online/film/display/detail.php?file_num=3353

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On a lighter note try this video

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To add a genealogical note: An excellent book, “Under the Guns of the Red Baron” documents all the Baron’s kills. Am related to #55, Norman George McNaughton, DOD 24 June 1917. RIP

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Another fact of the end of the Baron’s life is that, when he was shot down, he was in pursuit of Canadian pilot Wilfred “Wop” May. May lived on to have an illustrious flying career in Canada after the war. He is well worth a look on Google!

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Somewhere, Snoopy is making a low growl.

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Thank you for the vignette, G. I had been aware of the diphtheria flight, but not in such detail. I’d first run across ‘Wop’ concerning the ‘Mad Trapper of Rat River’ pursuit.

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