Interesting little story via email

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Gren, Jul 2, 2009.

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  1. Sadly, being an IT brainless moron, I cant get the piccies to transfer over.

    But the story is as follows.

    Charlie 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.

    Despite having 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.

    Aware 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.

    More 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 reunions.

    They 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.

    When 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 parachute.”
    Both men died in 2008.


  2. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    When I saw the snopes link I thought that this was a Wah; but it's true! It's also very very touching.
  3. Dusty in here....
  4. sure it wasn't Rhudolp Hess on his way to Scotland?
  5. Yes, one of them proudly wore one with a swastika on it, the other unrestrictedly bombed urban population centres, by day. The German failed to obey a legitimate order. Wipe your eye...
  6. Top story. For anyone like me who gets a rush of blood to the nether regions about the B17 there's a book out called 'They Never Returned' about ill-fated aircraft and crews who perished in accidents, missions and freak circumstances. One aircraft whilst on a bombing run took a direct hit and exploded mid-air, The tail gunner who was parachuteless due to the cramped confines of his turret (they removed their parachutes for ease of movement found himself in free fall at 15000ft desperately clutching at falling wreckage, wing parts etc. The piece of 'wreckage' he finally grabbed was one of the waist gunners under a canopy. Both men survived the landing although injured and saw the war out as POW's. They were the only survivors. Fascinating reading.

  7. Since when were the Luftwaffe nazi's?

    I take it you are a labour voter? that said, go play on the PC threads you treehugging tw@
  8. No of course, they were all gallant knights of the air going up-diddley-up-up and quaffing champagne from silver goblets. Only ever happy when toasting brave allied airmen in their mess, or of course destroying aircraft - never people.

    Also you need to get your mystic powers of interpretation checked out; you have incorrectly deduced my politics so I suspect they are out by 180 degrees. As for PC, did I say that bombing of Germany was "wrong"? After all I had a perfectly affable relationship with my father who carried out unrestricted bombing by night! War is war and there isn't much room for chivalry. Humanity yes, chivalry not so much...

    Why not go and play on pprune, where every pilot is an intrepid aviator, every RAF crash since 1945 was steered away at the last moment from a school and glider pilots can sound like Harrier Force aces?

    Yours ever etc.
  9. There wasn't 25 crew on a B17 was there ?
  10. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Their children and grandchildren who would not have been born had the protagonists died, perhaps?
  11. It's the deification of in no particular order a)Waffen SS, b)Luftwaffe and c)U Boat commanders that really grips my sh1t. A snazzy uniform, some tactical competence and clear blue eyes do not excuse a questionable political ideology and a disregard for the LOAC!

    However I do not expect a single member of that Fort crew or their families to have a problem with Herr Stigler!

    What in WW2? You do realise it wasnt all honor and glory right? What about the german SS who shot jewish people behind a mass grave tied togehter to "save bullets". Or the Jewish babes they gassed? The SS also wore their uniform with pride...

  13. FFS what is it with some of the tw@'s on this site?

    This was an email I was sent, I merely posted it, because it was a nice story, from what was, a shitty war.
    I know who did what and who was who and the outcome of the war, this post is not about who was what or who secretly was a nazi or any of the shite you lot seem to have to mention regardless of the topic.

    This is about a one off action, that for once, showed the good side of people in battle.

    I dont care if the next week they all went and shot/bombed the crap out of people, the point is, they did this on this day, nothing more.

    If you lot cant just accept the post for what it is, dont reply to it, this isnt in the NAAFI, so go crayon over some bollocks post instead.

  14. This from the guy who reckons that Ronnie Biggs is a hero 8O !!!!!!

  15. Try cleaning your gaff then. Emotional wreck.