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Red Baron Nemesis May Get Monument

February 3, 1998

GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) _ A replica of the Red Baron’s blood-red triplane may be erected as a memorial to an Australian postmaster some credit with shooting down the World War I flying ace.

The town of Tyalgum will decide next week how to honor Sgt. Cedric Popkin, a land-based gunner who has been credited with having fired the shot that brought down the German flying ace.

The book ``The Red Baron’s Last Flight″ disputes the conventional theory that Canadian pilot Roy Brown brought down Baron Manfred von Richthofen, who was credited with shooting down 80 Allied planes.

The news was no surprise to Popkin’s family, although his daughter, Yolanda Stewart, believes he would have been embarrassed by the fuss.

``He never had any doubt that he shot the Red Baron but he never talked about it because it was an act of war and the loss of a young life,″ she said.

Popkin had his left leg amputated because of a shrapnel wound and returned to Australia in 1919. He was appointed Tyalgum postmaster in 1928, and died in 1967 at age 77.

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