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The fatal bullet

The fatal bullet was removed from the Baron's body in an examination by medical orderly E.J. (Ted) McCarty from No. 3 Squadron. P.J. Carisella claims that McCarty destroyed the bullet with some papers he burned at the death of his mother. The bullet was a .303 calibre which could have come from a Lewis Gun. a Vickers Gun or a Lee-Enfield .303 rifle.  These guns all used .303 calibre bullets.  There never has been any doubt at all that it was delivered from the RIGHT side.
This evidence is most important in reaching any conclusion about who fired that fatal shot.

Frank Wormald
had a clear view of the chase. Below is a quote from a sound track recorded by Frank Wormald for the family of Robert Buie.


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“... all at once. May (the pursued pilot) is over our heads. The breeze of him almost knocked my tin hat off... The Baron is perhaps 70 yards behind him and say 50ft. higher. Then the Baron dives; he’s in the perfect position to get May. When he dives he exposes his body from the waist up and that’s the moment that both Buie and Evans want. (WJ Evans No.598, 53rd Battery). Bob Buie is on my right, perhaps four yards away, and I see bullets leave his machine gun and fly up and hit the Baron right in the chest ... It’s just a red streak from Buie’s gun to the Baron’s chest. I saw the Baron shrug and sort of sit up. I could see him as plain as daylight”’









Gunner Robert Buie:
"I was manning one (Lewis) gun at the time and Digger Evans the other. As they neared us, Evans opened fire, but the plane came on.

I could not fire at the same time as I did not have a clearance, but as soon as our plane was out of the line of fire, I started firing direct at the German pilot, through my peep sight. Fragments flew from the plane and it lessened speed. It came down a few hundred yards away. When the place was reached, Richthofen was dead. This was on the left of Corbie, on the ridge overlooking the Somme, and the plane came to earth near Vaux-sur-Somme. Richthofen’s plane did not fall in a heap as some would suggest, it came down as if he was bringing it down; although on landing, the wings and fuselage were badly damaged."

Buie vehemently stated that Brown's Camel was not in the Vicinity when the Baron was downed: "No planes pursued Richthofen. There was only Lt. May chased by Richthofen. Two planes only! There was no third plane in my line of vision when I saw the two planes crossing the front lines two miles away."

Sgt. Popkin

"The two planes were about 100 feet above me, and I had to let the British plane pass before I could open fire on the German plane. I fired about 80 rounds and the Baron banked to the right before making a sharp U-turn and diving back towards me. I fired another 70 rounds and he banked sharply to the left and crashed into a ridge less than half a minute later ...... As to pinpointing without doubt the man who fired the fatal shot the controversy will never actually be solved’.

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iThe flight paths of May, Brown and Richthofen as shown at right are from a German Book. This configuration is supported byFranks and Bennett in their thoroughly researched book.

Clearly, Brown makes his approach from the LEFT side of Richthofen making it impossible for him to have fired a bullet into Richthofen's RIGHT side.