For immediate release
Wednesday April 18, 2018
Aviation Museum marks 100 years since Red Baron’s last flight
Death of WWI German ace played fateful role in Edmonton’s aviation history
When Baron Manfred von Richthofen picked a dogfight with a rookie Canadian fighter pilot over the skies of western France on April 21, 1918, little did they know that the future path of Canadian aviation was hanging in the balance.
The World War I fighter pilot in the sights of the Red Baron’s signature red Fokker triplane was none other than Canadian flying legend Edmonton’s Wop May. And he was in big trouble.
“His guns were jammed, he was running for home, That was his first fight in combat, he was scared out of his mind,” says May’s son Denny, who still lives in the city.
But fighter pilot May was lucky. Another Canadian, Roy Brown, joined the fight. von Richthofen himself was soon on the run and was eventually shot down. Who fired the fatal shot is still the subject of controversy.
Wop May went on to spearhead the development of aviation in Alberta and northern Canada, take a leading role in the construction of Blatchford Field and help train thousands of Commonwealth aircrew for World War II.
Join Denny May and members of his family as he discusses his search for the truth about that fateful dogfight, including a visit to France to fly the route where his father’s life almost ended so prematurely. Help the museum celebrate this important anniversary with a day-long family-friendly event. Decorate one of one-hundred “Red Baron” Airplanes . Try your hand at the “Earn Your Ace” kids game or dress up like a World War I fighter pilot and have your picture taken. Tour the museum to check out its ever-evolving exhibits.
When: Saturday April 21, 10 am to 4pm
(presentation at 1pm)
Where: Alberta Aviation Museum, 11410 Kingsway NW
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