Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
UK_Widowmaker

Slightly OT, WW2

Recommended Posts

Just found this on the net.... you may have read it before, but if not...here it is..

 

Charlie Brown was a B – 17 Flying Fortress pilot with the 379th Bomber Group at Kimbolton,

England. His B-17 was c alled ‘Ye Old Pub’ and was in a terrible state; having been hit both

by flak and fighters. Their magnetic compass was damaged and they were flying deeper into

enemy territory instead of heading home to Kimbolton. After flying over an enemy airfield, a

pilot named Franz Steigler was ordered to take off and shoot down the B-17. When he neared

the bomber, 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 upper gunner was all over the top of the fuselage. The nose was smashed and there were gaping shrapnel holes everywhere. Despite having ammunition, Franz flew close alongside the B-17 and looked directly at the young American pilot. Brown was exhausted, very frightened and battling to maintain control of his damaged and blood-stained aircraft.

 

 

Realising that the B-17 crew had no idea where they were heading, the Me-109 pilot gestured to Charlie to turn 180 degrees. Franz then escorted and guided the stricken bomber back to, and out over the North Sea towards England . He then saluted Charlie Brown and turned away; back to Europe. After landing he informed his C/O that the B-17 had been shot down over the sea and never told the truth to anybody. Charlie Brown, and the survivors of his crew, told of the strange encounter at their de-briefing, but were ordered never to talk about it. More than 40 years later, Charlie Brown decided to discover if the Luftwaffe pilot who had saved he and his crew was living and, if possible, locate him. After years of research, Franz was located. He had never talked about the incident; not even at post-war reunions. They finally met in the USA at a 379th Bomber Group reunion; together with 25 people who exist now – all because Franz never fired his guns that day

Research shows that Charlie Brown lived in Seattle and Franz Steigler had moved to Vancouver , BC after the war. When they finally met, they discovered they had lived less than 200 miles apart for the past 50 years! :salute:

post-22245-12531324864469_thumb.jpg

Edited by UK_Widowmaker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes...an incredible story... I am sure their were many stories of Human compassion towards an enemy that are forever lost to History.

Proof indeed, that Human Beings, in their natural state, are social animals, better suited to helping each other, than killing each other en masse.

 

We as human beings would do well to take note of the actions of Franz Steigler that day!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We as human beings would do well to take note of the actions of Franz Steigler that day!

It is heartening to know that even in a vicious, brutal war, people can rise to incredible acts of decency. But...was there any more information, specifically on Charlie Brown? I was wondering if, after that horrendus experience, did they send him up the next day? Any info on how many more missions he had to fly?

Edited by Hauksbee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A great story, Widowmaker. I'm sure such things happened many times during the war, we just don't know about most of them. Not all people like to talk about what they did or didn't do in the war.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We as human beings would do well to take note of the actions of Franz Steigler that day!

Quoted For Truth. It's an amazing story and somehow tells a lot of what we are.

In combat situations we'll find what is best and worst in the human kind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..