November 10, 2013 - 4:06 PM
PENTICTON - Snoopy and Capt. Roy Brown have two things in common. They both flew Sopwith Camels and both shot down the Red Baron although everyone's favourite beagle did it in a song. Brown did it for real in the skies above France.
Pentictonite Julia (Daphne) Trefry, 72, said she never met her uncle, Capt. Roy Brown, but she's proud of his accomplishment.
"The Red Baron was really bad," she said. "I'm so glad Uncle Roy squashed him like a bug."
The Canadian pilot was an accomplished ace but his most notable aerial kill happened over the Somme River on the morning of April 21, 1918. A novice pilot under his command came under attack by a German triplane prompting Brown to intercept. He fired his guns and a moment later the enemy aircraft went down.
Brown didn't realize when he took off that day he would fly into the history books as the man credited with shooting down the infamous Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen, who had 80 air combat victories to his name.
Trefy said not many people know her uncle. Many have heard of the Red Baron but few have heard of Brown. When veterans learn who her uncle was they come away impressed just like her first boyfriend who wouldn't stop talking about it when told him all those years ago.
Brown's named is on a plaque at the Wright Brothers airstrip in Ohio where he trained to be a pilot. Trefy said her uncle was keen to fly and enlisted when war broke out.
Trefy and husband Dick will honour her uncle and his brother and all the others who died in the war on Remembrance Day this Monday at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013