- "I should have known you by your tactics. Out of the sun, swift and sudden from behind."
- ―Harold Green[src]
Manfred von Richthofen, also known as the Red Baron, was a German fighter pilot, and member of a family of Rittmeisters.
By 1917 Manfred von Richthofen was a famed German pilot ace and a recipient of the Pour le Mérite medal.
One day he shot down Harold Green's Sopwith two-seater on which Indiana Jones acted as a photographer. The two landed awkwardly and were arrested by a German officer. Richthofen landed his plane and demanded that the soldiers were his prisoners, with the plane his trophy. The officer complied as soon as he realised Richthofen's identity and the pilot ordered Lt. Green to be transferred to the field hospital. While cutting the insignia of Lafayette Escadrille from Green's plane, he invited Indy to be a guest at his castle.
It was explained to Jones by Richthofen's brother, Lothar, that the Baron lived to hunt and Goering added that the newspapers compared them to knights adorned with colorful scarves with the fighter planes their steeds. Indy asked why they didn't just paint their planes red, a thought which amused Manfred. Richthofen asked Indy if he knew Charles Nungesser who shot down Lothar earlier in the day, and told Indy that he felt obliged to avenge his brother. Indy watched as Richthofen wrote a challenge for Nungesser to aerial combat.
As he delivered Indy to officers for internment, Richthofen was notified that Anthony Fokker had arrived at his home. Manfred ordered his sergeant to paint his plane red, who cautioned that the visibility of the color would be too bold. Richthofen answered that he had nothing to hide and would become known as "The Red Baron", inspired by the conversation with Indy.
The next morning the two pilots dueled above the castle at St. Quentin and Indy was the photographer who would immortalize Nungesser's victory. Nungesser managed to shoot Richthofen, but a full German squadron suddenly attacked and Nungesser was shot down to be rescued soon after. Anthony Fokker showed Richthofen the new fighter he had designed, the Fokker DR-1 Triplane, which was much more powerful than the Baron's Albatros D.II that Nungesser had shot down. Richthofen saw the picture Indy had taken of his plane going down in the newspaper and informed his brother that next time he would shoot the cameraman first.
Some days later, when the 124th Squadron flew over the enemy lines, Richthofen and a squadron of German fighters attacked. Richthofen shot up Hobey Baker's plane which also carried Indiana Jones, and they began to plummet towards the ground but the last moment they managed to pull out of the fall and took the plane back to their base.
The Baron later suffered an injury to the head and was given a leave to recover. During which he was invited to visit the Ahlhorn Naval Base. As Germany's best pilot, he was to give his opinion on Villehad Forssman's invention, the Pohl Giant: a bomber triplane with ten engines capable of flying from Germany to New York. There, he was reunited Fokker, who claimed that if he was allowed to work on the aircraft he could make it fly twice as far. Richthofen spotted Indy who, now a spy, was attempting to take photographs of the vehicle. German sailors rushed Indy, but a shot from one of the sailor's Luger P08 ignited fuel stored in the hangar. Indy escaped in the confusion and the fire ignited the hydrogen stored in the hangar for zeppelins.
The resulting explosion took out the entire airfield including the Forssman's new aircraft and one of the six prototype-armed zeppelins.
Behind the scenes
Richthofen was played by Marc Warren in The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones. The "Red Baron" is one of the most famous aviators in history and the subject of numerous representations in music, film and other media. He already received numerous honors and award for his exploits.
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles game
- The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones – Attack of the Hawkmen
- Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi (Mentioned only)
- Blood Red - The Life and Death of Manfred von Richthofen (Non-fiction source)
- Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide