View Full Version : Cool War Story

11-24-2005, 05:39 AM
Have you guyz heard this one? It my first time.

Saved by a Luftwaffe Pilot
By Civic Centre, Bedford

People in story: Franz Steigler (Luftwaffe), Charlie Brown (USAAF)
Location of story: Somewhere over Europe
Background to story: Royal Air Force

This story was submitted to the site by Chris Chandler of the 8th Air Force Historical Society. He has a video and pictures of the event, and can be contacted on 01234 211026 or at usaaf379bg@aol.com.

Charlie Brown's story

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 over an enemy airfield, a pilot called 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 c/o 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.

Here's the site I found it on.



11-24-2005, 05:48 AM
0_0 guess this one for previuos chivilary thread guess much good story.

11-24-2005, 05:54 AM

11-24-2005, 05:55 AM
I was looking for interesting war stories to post and came across this one.


11-24-2005, 06:07 AM
Thanks Fritzy, that is beautiful mate! Really brightened my day up alot. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

11-24-2005, 06:32 AM
Here's one about humanity in the midst of chaos.

"The crew of a stricken aircraft had a one-in-five chance of escaping alive.......they tried desperately to avoid baling out over the immediate target area, for they had heard many stories of bomber crews killed by enraged civilians or soldiers, a fate not unknown to Luftwaffe airmen in the London blitz. Luftwaffe men on the ground in Germany often showed astonishing fellow-feeling for baled-out RAF crews, saving them from mobs, treating them with intense kindness. When Stewart Harris of 50 Squadron became a prisoner, he was forced to travel through Dusseldorf with the three men of his Luftwaffe escort. The city had suffered appallingly at the hands of Bomber Command. The mother of one of the escort came to meet them at the station. Her home and the factory in which she worked had already been destroyed. Yet she brought four packed lunches."

Max Hastings. Bomber Command. ISBN 0 7181 1603 8.

That one just got to me the first time I read it.

11-24-2005, 06:46 AM
Did the story tell if he claimed a victory or not ;.)

11-24-2005, 12:14 PM
Herr Steigler emigrated to Canada after the war and lives about an hour from me in Langley.

11-24-2005, 01:24 PM
Beautiful Fritz http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. Thank you.

11-24-2005, 02:52 PM
Really good story Fritz.

11-24-2005, 06:42 PM
That story reminds me of someone's quote, I can't remember who, but something about the enemy guiding a stricken plane to safety.

My favorite "good" war story is the one from Christmas in WW1 where the soldiers from both sides stopped fighting and celebrated xmas together.

If anyone knows of more "good" war stories, please post them.