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German pilot refused to shoot British plane in WWII

Nalwa

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Just came across this wonderful piece of military history from wiki. Thought I'd share it here.

Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler story

Charlie Brown was an American military pilot with United States Army Air Corps who was stationed in RAF Kimbolton, Great Britain and assigned to bomb targets in Nazi Germany. Franz Stigler was a German military pilot with the Luftwaffe.[1][2][3]

On December 20, 1943, Brown was ordered to fly his B-17 Flying Fortress to bomb an aircraft factory near Bremen. After dropping the bombs, Brown's plane was attacked by eight German planes, as well as receiving anti-aircraft fire from the ground.[2] His plane soon sustained heavy damage, and most of its crew members were wounded. Three of the plane's four engines were destroyed or damaged. Brown believed that his gunners destroyed two enemy planes, but after that he blacked out and remembered waking up as the plane was flying low over a German airfield.[2][1]

Brown's crippled plane was spotted by Germans on the ground, including Franz Stigler, who was refueling and rearming at the airfield. In his Messerschmitt ME-109, he soon was able to reach Brown's plane. Stigler got so close that he was able to observe not only the crippled plane, but also, through the holes in the plane's side, crew members trying to help their wounded.[4] To the British crew's surprise, Stigler refused to fire on the plane. He remembered the words of one of his commanders, who said when at war in Northern Africa: "You are fighter pilots first, last, always. If I ever hear of you shooting somebody in a parachute, I'll shoot you myself." Stigler said, "To me, it was just like they were in a parachute. I saw them and I couldn't shoot them down."[4] Twice, Stigler tried to get Brown to land his plane at a German base and surrender, but Brown refused because his wounded comrades were in urgent need of medical assistance.[5] Stigler then flew near Brown's plane, escorting it until they reached the North Sea and departing with a salute.[4]

Brown safely landed his plane in England, and at after-flight debriefing, told about the German pilot who let him go, but was told to forget about it. "Someone decided you can't be human and be flying in a German cockpit," he commented.[4]

After the war, Stigler moved to Vancouver, Canada. After Brown retired and moved to Miami, Florida, he attempted to find the German pilot who saved his life and the lives of his crew members.[6] Brown eventually published a letter about the account in a German veterans' magazine. Stigler saw the letter and began corresponding with Brown. They met in 1990 and later made television appearances together.[1]
Both Brown and Stigler passed away in 2008.[1][5
 

Donatello

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German pilots often refused to shoot down Allied wounded aircraft.


As long as the threat has been neutralized, you don't need to overkill it.....but this case was unique as Brown had already bombed the Germans........but still the German pilot believed in humanity i guess.........
 

Pfpilot

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Thats a really cool story, just goes to show that humanity can be found whenever we make the effort to look for it.
 

GUNS-N- ROSES

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Just came across this wonderful piece of military history from wiki. Thought I'd share it here.

Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler story

Charlie Brown was an American military pilot with United States Army Air Corps who was stationed in RAF Kimbolton, Great Britain and assigned to bomb targets in Nazi Germany. Franz Stigler was a German military pilot with the Luftwaffe.[1][2][3]

On December 20, 1943, Brown was ordered to fly his B-17 Flying Fortress to bomb an aircraft factory near Bremen. After dropping the bombs, Brown's plane was attacked by eight German planes, as well as receiving anti-aircraft fire from the ground.[2] His plane soon sustained heavy damage, and most of its crew members were wounded. Three of the plane's four engines were destroyed or damaged. Brown believed that his gunners destroyed two enemy planes, but after that he blacked out and remembered waking up as the plane was flying low over a German airfield.[2][1]

Brown's crippled plane was spotted by Germans on the ground, including Franz Stigler, who was refueling and rearming at the airfield. In his Messerschmitt ME-109, he soon was able to reach Brown's plane. Stigler got so close that he was able to observe not only the crippled plane, but also, through the holes in the plane's side, crew members trying to help their wounded.[4] To the British crew's surprise, Stigler refused to fire on the plane. He remembered the words of one of his commanders, who said when at war in Northern Africa: "You are fighter pilots first, last, always. If I ever hear of you shooting somebody in a parachute, I'll shoot you myself." Stigler said, "To me, it was just like they were in a parachute. I saw them and I couldn't shoot them down."[4] Twice, Stigler tried to get Brown to land his plane at a German base and surrender, but Brown refused because his wounded comrades were in urgent need of medical assistance.[5] Stigler then flew near Brown's plane, escorting it until they reached the North Sea and departing with a salute.[4]

Brown safely landed his plane in England, and at after-flight debriefing, told about the German pilot who let him go, but was told to forget about it. "Someone decided you can't be human and be flying in a German cockpit," he commented.[4]

After the war, Stigler moved to Vancouver, Canada. After Brown retired and moved to Miami, Florida, he attempted to find the German pilot who saved his life and the lives of his crew members.[6] Brown eventually published a letter about the account in a German veterans' magazine. Stigler saw the letter and began corresponding with Brown. They met in 1990 and later made television appearances together.[1]
Both Brown and Stigler passed away in 2008.[1][5

great post bro. made my day.
 

Ahmad Abdullah Ravian

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Very nice moral story it is just the same as our Islam orders us never to harm an unarmed or wounded Person .Our history is Full of such stories. I just Remembered Sultan Salhudin Ayubi once in a fight found his Opponent French King without his horse (as it got killed ) .Sultan Ayubi Presented him with his own personal Horse to continue the Battle .
 

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