One day Manfred was taking a trip to Metz when he was able to meet the famous fighter pilot Lieutenant Oswald Boelcke. He asked him about how he was such a successful pilot He then realized that he needed to be a pilot of his own and his best bet to be able to shoot down an enemy would be in the Fokker fighter plane. Richthofen then asked his friend Zeumer to teach him how to fly, after many lessons he was able to learn how to fly. He then was able to pass all three of the fighter pilot examinations that were mandatory to be a pilot, and on December 25, 1915 he finally was able to get his pilots license. After spending only a few weeks in his first squadron, he was invited to join the fighter group Jasta 2, and was taught everything that the lead pilot knew. In his first fight with Jasta 2 he was able to be credited for his first aerial victory, after this his tradition of getting a 2 inch high silver trophy with information about his enemy on it began. Later to add to his tradition he would get a trophy twice as large as the others for every 10th victory he was able to achieve. This later however was stopped after his 60th victory because there was a scarcity of metals, and he decided he did not want the trophy unless it was silver. He also would land near his fallen enemies and take a souvenir from his enemies, mostly he would get the fabric serial numbers off of their aircrafts.
There was a bad airplane wreck in the war when two of Germans top pilots collided together, wrecked their planes, and were killed on impact. Manfred decided that he wanted to make his plane noticeable, so he painted it the bright red he is associated with. Everyone thought that he was crazy for this because he was the only one daring enough to paint his plane so bright. The red at first made the British feel like he would be an easy target, but after shooting many enemies down with it, the bright red airplane began to be a symbol of respect and fear. This is when he was given the nickname the Red Baron, they also gave him many other names such as the Red Devil, but to his own people he was known as The Red Battle Flier. After the Barons 16th kill, he was