Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Red-Baron-vs-Brown

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Red-Baron-vs-Brown

Article excerpt

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One hundred years ago today, two Canadians in Sopwith Camel biplanes matched wits with the deadliest ace of the First World War.

Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the Red Baron, died that day but the mystery over who shot him down lives on.

Captain Roy Brown ordered Lieutenant Wilfrid "Wop" May not to engage the enemy, but May joined the fight, only to have his guns jam as Richthofen's red Fokker triplane closed in from behind for what would have been his 81st kill.

As May flew fast and low over the French countryside, Brown dove and aimed his machine-guns at Richthofen, firing bursts at long range.

What happened next has been the subject of an intense debate.

Soon after Brown fired, the Red Baron crashed in a sugar-beet field, where the 25-year-old died from a gunshot wound to the chest. …

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