Impressive collection of material related to the death of Manfred von Richthofen, the German Air Force pilot known as the ‘Red Baron,’ consisting mostly of letters written by a member of the Australian Imperial Force who personally witnessed the event on April 21, 1918, including: Leslie Ellis Beavis (ALS), S. B. Eckert (TLS), Alfred George Franklin (ALS), Harrie Hart (ALS), George Ridgway (4; ALS, TMS, and 2 annotated maps), Ray MacDiarmid (ALS), R. A. Money (TLS), Norman Mulroney (ALS), Carl-August von Schoenebeck (TLS), A. E. Smith (ALS with map), and Rupert F. Weston (3 ALSs and a TMS, with included newspaper articles and copied journal entries relating to the incident). Also included are three TLSs from David Greswolde Lewis, who was shot down by the Red Baron on April 20, 1918. Among the many eyewitness accounts present, the Money letter reads, in part: “I was on duty at the guns, which were situated in a valley just below the Morlancourt Ridge. It was a misty morning, but I was able to see three planes flying towards the Ridge. There was a Sopwith Camel in front with the famous red Triplane Fokker on its tail, being pursued by another British plane. As they approached, a Lewis Gunner from the nearby 53rd 18-pounder Australian Battery started shooting at the Fokker with his weapon mounted on a pole. After one of the bursts from the Lewis Gunner, the Fokker made a pancake landing on the Ridge, between our batteries. It was not badly damaged and I rushed over to see it. The Pilot was still in his seat, slumped over the controls. With some of the other troops, we opened up his tunic and saw the name ‘Baron Manfred von Richthofen’ on his identity disc. I noticed that he had two wounds over his heart.” In overall very good to fine condition. Accompanied by numerous original mailing envelopes, as well as copies of additional letters relating to Richthofen's death. A fascinating digest offering unique firsthand perspectives of an event many deemed impossible—the vanquishing of the Red Baron.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.