Manfred von Richthofen, or the Red Baron was a German fighter pilot during World War I. He was considered the top flying ace (someone who shoots other planes down) of the war, being credited with 80 air combat victories.
Originally, he was a cavalryman, and he transfered to the Air Service in 1915, becoming the head of "Jasta 11" (Jasta was a fighter squadron) in 1916. Later, he became the head of the larger "Jagdgeschwader", which was the combination of Jastas 4, 6, 10 and 11. It became known as the "Flying Circus".
By 1918, he was a national hero, and was well-known amongst opposing countries. On April 21st, 1918, he was shot down and killed near Amiens, France. He remains one of the most well known pilots of all time.