Luftwaffe Pilot Spared B-17 Pilot’s Life



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

A few days before Christmas in 1943, Charlie Brown’s B-17, (called ‘Ye Old Pub’) was in a terrible state after having been hit by flak and fighters. The compass was damaged and the bomber was flying deeper over enemy territory … instead of heading back to Kimbolton (England).

After unknowingly flying over the German airfield, a German Luftwaffe pilot named Franz Stigler … was ordered to take off and shoot down the enemy B-17 bomber airplane. 

When nearing the B-17, Stigler 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…

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