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Published on Mar 6, 2008
Incidents in connection with the funeral of Captain Baron von Ritchofen, Germany's leading airman.
At the time of his death, Baron von Richthofen was the greatest air ace of the First World War. He had shot down 80 opponents. As such his passing was treated with great respect and he was accorded a full military funeral. The funeral was conducted by the personnel of No. 3 Squadron Australian Flying Corps in the cemetery at Bertangles, a village near the city of Amiens. Six flying officers with the rank of captain, the same rank as Richthofen, served as pallbearers and other ranks from the squadron provided a guard of honour. A number of memorial wreaths were sent, including one from 5th Australian Division Headquarters and one from the Royal Air Force. Each wreath bore the German colours.
This footage is believed to have been shot by an official cinematographer from the War Records Department. A number of official reporters and photographers were also present to record such an historic event.
After his death Richthofen's Fokker Triplane was taken apart by souvenir hunters. At the beginning of the film you can see members of No. 3 Squadron AFC, picking over the remnants of his aircraft.
In 1925 Richthofen's body was recovered and buried in the Invalidenfriedhof Cemetery in Berlin. In 1975 his body was exhumed again and buried in his family's tomb in Wiesbaden.