Manfred von Richthofen petting his dog on an airfield. Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (5/2/1892-4/21/1918), also widely known as the Red Baron, was a German fighter pilot with the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte) during World War I. He is considered the top ace of that war, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories.
In 1941, the U.S. began to form a hand-picked army to fight in Europe; its troops were composed of artists, designers, actors, meteorologists, and sound technicians, and their true mission was not to fight, but to deceive the German army. Their props were inflatable tanks and pyrotechnics; their tools camouflage, “spoof” radio plays, special effects, and sonic deception. Their last “disappearing act” was to vanish from history. Officially they were the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops.