Dr1 wing fabric : Baron Manfred von Richthofen, Geschwader 1, German Air Service
B lack German BalkenkreuB
Maker Fokker Aeroplanbau
Place made Germany
It is clear that the Balkenkreuz has been applied 'in the field' over an existing Cross Pattee. The tips of the latter are clearly visible. This would have been done in early April 1918, when the German Air force transitioned from the Cross Pattee to the Balkankreuz. This is a good example of a palimpsest - an item that has been re-worked or over-written to serve another purpose.
Control column from a Fokker Dr I aircraft, serial No 425/17. salvaged from Baron Manfred von Richthofen's Fokker. The head of the control column has been twisted / distorted to the right about forty-five degrees and slightly upward.
Several crude welded repairs have been made to the framework for the right-hand handgrip.
The 'Bowden' housing contains the ends of broken steel cables that have retainers made from lead. The housing has apparently been rotated ninety degrees towards the back of the aircraft, because the cables do not leave the housing downwards at forty-five-degrees towards the front of the aircraft as they should. The machine gun firing toggles are marked 'L' on the left and 'R' on the right. On the left side of the small piston that is attached to the left firing toggle on top of the control column there is a neatly cut end of a piece of pipe.
Lewis Gun Anti Aircraft fore and rear sight from one of the guns which engaged Baron Richthofen's aircraft.
Improvised anti-aircraft sights for a Lewis machine-gun, fabricated in the field from sheet brass. The larger of the sights, which is designed to allow for a 'deflection' shot, is the foresight, while the smaller 'peep' sight is the rear sight. The foresight consists of two elliptical rings, one inside the other, with a bead in the centre. The outer ring gives the necessary 'aiming off' for firing at aircraft flying at an altitude of 1000 feet, a speed of 100 miles per hour, and an angle of sight of 50 degrees. The inner ring is designed for firing at aircraft flying at 200 feet, a speed of 120 miles per hour, and an angle of sight of 15 degrees.
The sights were used on one of the two Lewis guns of the 53rd Battery of the 14th Field Artillery Brigade which engaged Baron von Richthofen's aircraft. The sights were donated by Major Leslie Beavis, commanding the Battery, who staunchly believed it was men from his battery who had brought the aircraft down.
Compass from Fokker Dr I : Baron Manfred von Richthofen, Geschwader 1, German Air Service
Anti aircraft gun sight from machine gun used to engage Richthofen : Gunner R Buie, Royal Australian Artillery
Anti-aircraft foresight for a Lewis machine gun, made and used by gunner Robert Buie of the 53rd battery, 5th Australian Division Artillery in France.
Scratched onto the sight is the inscription:
'5th Australian Divisional Artillery. Foresight and backsight of Lewis gun made by No3801 Gunner Robert Buie of 55th Battery A.F. A. which shot down Captain Baron Von Richthofen on April 21 1918. Presented to Major General Sir Talbot Hobbs KCB VD by members of the 55th Battery 14th Australian Field artillery [illegible] 21st April 1918'
Gunner Buie made the sights out of a piece of 18 pdr cartridge case.
Maker Axial Propellerfabrik G.M.b.H
Place made Germany: Berlin
Portion of the propeller from the aeroplane flown by Captain Manfred von Richthofen, who was brought down at 11-15am on 21 April 1918 near Corbie. Examination in 1995 shows this piece to be made of laminations of mahogany and birch.
Another fragment in the Memorial's collection, retains a portion of the maker's decal, showing the propeller to have been made by Axial. A further fragmentwhich is an entire cross section, shows that each blade was comprised of seven laminations: three of birch, and four of mahogany.
Left flying overboot : Baron M von Richthofen, Geschwader 1 German Air Service
Flier's knee high left overboot, custom-made from narrow sections of pelts, possibly deer, with the fur side being outermost. The pelts have been sewn together vertically with linen thread using the 'top sewing' method. A band of doubled-over leather containing a drawstring leather thong, which is tied at the outside of the wearer's leg, has been sewn around the top of the boot. Red wool trim is sewn around the toe.
Wooden sign with the words "M G Nest Richthofen / Tank M.G."
One of four German Signs marking Machine Gun positions in Warfusee, Abancourt. This sign indicated the position's role as an anti-tank post and was named after the famous Germany Airman, Manfred von Richthofen. The series of German Machine Gun positions were overrun by the 20th Aust. Inf. Battalion AIF inl 1918.