Mr Albert E Woodbridge




RFC in WWI - he was responsible for Baron von Richthofen's head wound in 1917.

richthofen with head wound

After WWI he left the RAF, but rejoined and was drafted 'out East'. With Imperial Airways, he spent about six months piloting the cross-Channel service, then transferred to the Cairo- Karachi section.

Lived in Westcliffe-on-Sea

Died September 1929: "Three people were killed and two passengers burned when an Imperial Airways air mail liner crashed in flames while attempting to land last night at Jask Airdrome, in Persia, on the route to India from Croydon.

The dead are Mr. A. E. Woodbridge, the pilot; a passenger, Mr. G. Bell; and a mechanic, Mr. J. Court, says British United Press. The airplane and the mail were destroyed. Two members of the crew of the machine, Mr. H. Bourne, wireless operator, and Mr. H. C. Amor, flight engineer, were burnt, but not seriously, and are progressing favourably.

From reports reaching Karachi it appears that the air liner was making a landing by the light of flares set on the tips of the wings when the disaster occurred. Suddenly the wings were seen to burst into flames, and the flames spread rapidly, rendering the escape of the occupants of the machine impossible. The injured pilot of the air liner was rushed to a house two miles from the airdrome, but he died there soon after arrival.

When the news was received at Karachi, Capt. Attwood, pilot of the air mail liner which leaves there for England to-morrow, set out in his machine with a doctor and nursing orderlies to bring the injured pilot to Karachi, but returned when wireless news received reporting the death of the pilot of the burned air liner.

FAMOUS PILOT. Mr. A. E. Woodbridge was a very distinguished air-fighter during the war. He brought down the famous German, Baron Richthofen, in June, 1917."

Actually, 2nd Lt Woodbridge had managed to wound von Richthofen in the head. When the Red Baron returned to duty, he was still unfit to fly - his head wound had not healed - and this is thought to have been a contributory factor when he was shot down nine months later by an Australian gunner.


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