Joined: 29 Aug 2012
|Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:32 am Post subject: LIST - The Death of the Red Baron
|I came across this Report whilst researching the death of a Scots born Soldier of the Australian Imperial Force.
REPORT BY LIEUT. G.M.TRAVERS ON CAPT.VON. RICHTHOFEN'S PLANE.
C.O. 52nd.Battalion A.I.F.
Herewith report on Captain Von RICHTHOFEN's plane which was brought down on the 21st. April,1918. at about 11-45 a.m. and landed at (Map reference - Sheet 62d.) J.19.b.3.4. and was hit directly over J.19.c.8.5.
On the 21st. April I was instructed to report to 11th A.I.F. Brigade H.Q. situated at J.19.c.8.5. as liason officer.
At about 11-45 a.m. I was lying on the ground accompanied by my runner about 50 yards from Brigade H.Q. setting my map and having a general look round with my glasses. I heard a plane or planes coming at a tremendous pace from the direction of 26 central, a Vickers gun was firing from a spot situated at J.25.a.9.9. the first plane, which came into view was one of our own and less than 20 paces behind was an enemy plane painted red, the red plane was overhauling our plane fast and both were flying so low that they almost crashed into the trees at top of hill almost directly over the spot where I was lying; the enemy plane swerved to the right so suddenly that it seemed almost to turn over, our plane went straight on, from that moment the enemy plane was quite out of control and did a wild circle and dashed towards J.19.b.3.4. where it crashed. I went over with other officers and had a look at the plane and also the driver, who was dead, a machine gun bullet had passed from the left side of his face and near bottom of jaw and came out just behind his right eye. His description would be - Height about 6 feet, Age about 26 or 28 years, Eyes very light blue, Closely cropped fair hair, fair complexion, clean shaven. The Vickers gun mentioned was the only gun firing at the time the driver first lost control of his machine. I made enquiries and found the gun was handled by No.424 Sergt. Cedric Basset POPKIN, 24th. Aust. Machine Gun Company.
(sgd) G.M. TRAVERS Lieut.,
23/ 4 /18 "A" COMPANY, 52nd. Battalion A.I.F.