MANFRED VON RICHTHOFEN (1892 - 1918) 'The Red Baron', German aviator of World War I and his country's top ace with over 80 'kills', he was presumably shot down and killed by Canadian A. Roy Brown. A rare and evocative memorial plaque from von Richthofen's home, recovered after the premises were pillaged by the Russians at the end of World War II. The engraved bronze plaque itself measures 9.5 x 12 inches, and was supported on a base by a 6 in. threaded shaft still attached to the plaque. The one-sided piece, displayed indoors, has a Christian cross with its top surrounded by oak leaves and acorns, a symbol of German victory. The very center of the cross displays a 1914 Iron Cross in relief, and a gold Pour le Merite is engraved at top. The name 'MANFRED V. RICHTHOFEN' is engraved and painted in gold across the left and right cross bars. The bottom bears an engraved inscription in German, also painted in gold, attributed to the dead military hero: 'My beloved! Don't cry for me, after many victories and battles I'm on my way towards the heavens to our Lord's airfield, farewell! A letter from Manfred's will to his family' Following his death, Richthofen's mother made the family home in Schweidnitz (now Swidnica, Poland) into a veritable museum dedicated to her deceased son. Displays within included pieces of various aircraft, uniforms, etc. At the end of World War II, as Russians poured into the area en route to Berlin, the house was ransacked. This piece may have been one of those looted, or it may have been preserved by a local or perhaps even the family itself. A few other family items have surfaced over the years, for the most part pieces of china. This is one of the most significant of these items we have seen.