The Turner Novels -

The Aviators

Manfred Von Richtofen

Von Richtofen, "The Red Baron", makes a brief appearance in a later chapter of Turner's Flight. At this stage of the war he was training to be a pilot, having already served as an observer. Born into a family of minor Prussian nobility in Silesia, the young Manfred enjoyed hunting and riding and soon enrolled in a military academy. On completion of his education he joined a cavalry regiment in which he served during the opening weeks of the war.

Frustrated by a lack of action he applied for a transfer to the Air Service. He claimed at least one enemy aircraft shot down while an observer. Von Richtofen started pilot training in October 1915, joining a two-seater squadron early in 1916. He met Oswald Boelcke in August of that year and was invited to join Jasta 2. His subsequent career in which he claimed 80 victories, and death in combat in April 1918 have been the subject of more books, documentaries and articles than any other combat aviator. “The Red Baron’s Last Flight”, by Norman Franks and Alan Bennett is highly recommended, “Three Wings for the Red Baron”, by Leon Bennett is an excellent study of the aircraft of the period and the Fokker Triplane in particular, for the student of aeroplane design and performance.


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