carefully at the B-17 and note how shot up it is - one engine dead,
tail, horizontal stabilizer and nose shot up.. It was ready to fall
out of the sky.. (This is a painting done by an artist from the
description of both pilots many years later.) Then realize that
there is a German ME-109 fighter flying next to it. Now read the
story below. I think you'll be surprised.....
Brown was a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot with the 379th Bomber Group
at Kimbolton , England . His B-17 was called 'Ye Old Pub' and
was in a terrible state, having been hit by flak and fighters. The
compass was damaged and they were flying deeper over enemy territory
instead of heading home to Kimbolton.
After flying the
B-17 over an enemy airfield, a German pilot named Franz Steigler was
ordered to take off and shoot down the B-17. When he got near the
B-17, he could not believe his eyes. In his words, he 'had never
seen a plane in such a bad state'. The tail and rear section was
severely damaged, and the tail gunner wounded. The top gunner was
all over the top of the fuselage. The nose was smashed and
there were holes everywhere.
ammunition, Franz flew to the side of the B-17 and looked at Charlie
Brown, the pilot. Brown was scared and struggling to control his
damaged and blood-stained plane.
pilot Franz Stigler
pilot Charlie Brown..
that they had no idea where they were going, Franz waved at Charlie
to turn 180 degrees. Franz escorted and guided the stricken plane
to, and slightly over, the North Sea towards England . He
then saluted Charlie Brown and turned away, back to Europe .
When Franz landed he told the CO that the plane had been shot
down over the sea, and never told the truth to anybody. Charlie
Brown and the remains of his crew told all at their briefing, but
were ordered never to talk about it.
than 40 years later, Charlie Brown wanted to find the Luftwaffe
pilot who saved the crew. After years of research, Franz was found.
He had never talked about the incident, not even at post-war
met in the USA at a 379th Bomber Group reunion,
together with 25 people who are alive now - all because Franz never
fired his guns that day.
German Ace Franz Stigler, artist Ernie Boyett, and B-17 pilot
asked why he didn't shoot them down, Stigler later said, "I didn't
have the heart to finish those brave men. I flew beside them
for a long time. They were trying desperately to get home and
I was going to let them do that. I could not have shot at
them. It would have been the same as shooting at a man in a
men died in 2008.
WAS BACK IN THE DAYS WHEN THERE WAS HONOR IN BEING A WARRIOR...THEY
PROUDLY WORE UNIFORMS, AND THEY DIDN'T HIDE IN AMBUSH INSIDE A
MOSQUE, OR BEHIND WOMEN AND CHILDREN, NOR DID THEY USE
MENTALLY RETARDED WOMEN AS SUICIDE BOMBERS TO TARGET AND KILL
INNOCENT CIVILIANS...HOW TIMES HAVE