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Did Manfred really fly a LFG Roland CII


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#1 Pour Le Merite

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 10:09 PM

I read a lot about the red baron, and as far as I know he flew 2 different Albatross 2 seaters over Verdun. I know for sure that Jasta 2 only had one seaters, 2 Fokker DIII and 1 Albatross DI from the 1st of September 1916, followed by a more Albatross DI and DII.

The LFG Roland CII reached the front in may 1916 over Verdun, giving us a possible window of 4 months but in the pictures I seen from the time he have an Albatross. But I know that Von Richtofen flew a Roland DII for 2 months after his Albatross DIII almost losts its wings during a dive in early 1917. The Roland DII is however a very different plane with no observer, it look very different from the CII..

There is of course the possibility that the Roland was piloted by Lothar von Richtofen, Manfreds brother who also was one of the top scoring aces... He also had a cousin in the war but he didn't start to fly until later.

Anyone know, or could post a picture of an Roland CII with a Richtofen in or next to? Did he flew one for a short time or did someone messed up and mixed up the Roland CII and DII (and in that case, how did they knew how to paint the plane?).



#2 bsmith13

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:14 AM

I can't site my sources, sorry...but I seem to remember that Manfred von Richthofen wasn't immediately assigned to fighters upon his assignment to the Luftstreitkraefte.  If anyone can correct me, I'd be happy for it...



#3 Pour Le Merite

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:03 AM

No, Luftstridskraefte didn't even exist when manfred started as a pilot and as I said before he flew 2 kinds of albatross 2 seaters Albatross CII and I think the second was a CIV. But that is no Roland CII, he might of course have flown it a few days between may and september but did he?

As I said it might be an easy misstake to missread a Roland CII and a Roland DII but that should have been seen when the painting was done.



#4 bsmith13

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 03:18 AM

Is it possible that this particular aircraft was not one that he flew, but merely flew in as an observer?  I know that MvF was an observer on both the Eastern and Western fronts, and that he claimed one shot down as an observer that wasn't confirmed.  All this happened before he entered pilot training, of course. 



#5 Pour Le Merite

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 05:00 AM

bsmith13 said:

Is it possible that this particular aircraft was not one that he flew, but merely flew in as an observer?  I know that MvF was an observer on both the Eastern and Western fronts, and that he claimed one shot down as an observer that wasn't confirmed.  All this happened before he entered pilot training, of course. 

Yeah, he was flying a 2 seater with  Kampfgeschwader 2 from march to june 1916, he flew an Albatross CIII (or possibly a CII) . Before that he was an observer but he couldn't been i a Roland then because the plane didnt exist until may 1916. I seen a picture with him standing in front of a newer Albatross C also so he probably flew an CIV for a short time.

In july and August he flew a Fokker eindecker over Verdun and got his first official victory (he had one unconfirmed in a 2 seater also). After that he got an invitation from Oswald Boelke to join his new elite unit Jasta 2 (later Jasta Boelke).

So if Manfred really flew a Roland it must have been in may or june 1916 over Verdun but all records I seen say he flew an albatross and all pictures also.

I wish the planes had a small book with when the plane in question was in duty and a few words about the crew. If possible, a serial number also helps.

 

However Lothar von Richtoffen was an observer during Verdun so it is likely that he flew the Roland and not Manfred. But they should really at least write the whole name of the pilot. Getting a plane with the name "Wolff" or Von Richtoffen do start some confusion, I know of 3 Wolffs and 3 Richtoffens and it might have been more..






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