A story from WW2 of the Lufwaffe and USAF

Sailor

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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.

 

MMuthu

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There is no meaning in beating a person who can be compared with dead snake.....
 

Sailor

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There is no meaning in beating a person who can be compared with dead snake.....
Er MMuthu, this needs further explanation, not only for me but other members too. You want to elaborate on that?
 

nitesh

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Er MMuthu, this needs further explanation, not only for me but other members too. You want to elaborate on that?
I think he meant that there is no point in firing on a plane which is already badly hit. It's a really good story. I am sure there are many more stories like that. Will you be kind enough to share with us.
 

Sailor

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Hmmmm? Whatever you say Nitesh. But nice turn of phrase.
 

Yusuf

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Very courageous i would say of the pilot to "NOT" fire his guns knowing what the consequences would have been later on.
Cannot imagine in a war zone where people were slaughtering each other, someone let go an opportunity to down a B-17 and be a hero.
 

Yusuf

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By the way Sailor, you have taken away from me something i had for quite sometime here!!
 

Tankie

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I think he meant that there is no point in firing on a plane which is already badly hit. It's a really good story. I am sure there are many more stories like that. Will you be kind enough to share with us.
I posted the same story on another forum , it was called honor amongst enemies , and i would shake the German guys hand for the honorable way in which he conducted himself .He could have been shot himself for his actions but wisely kept shtumph

There is also a story of a dogfight in the falklands conflict an RAF pilot and an Argentinian , i cant recall the full story but they tried to shoot each other down with no success and after the conflict was over they met in London and became good friends , i will try to get the full story .:113:
 

Soham

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Very inspiring indeed. Thanks for posting Sailor.

I posted the same story on another forum , it was called honor amongst enemies , and i would shake the German guys hand for the honorable way in which he conducted himself .He could have been shot himself for his actions but wisely kept shtumph

There is also a story of a dogfight in the falklands conflict an RAF pilot and an Argentinian , i cant recall the full story but they tried to shoot each other down with no success and after the conflict was over they met in London and became good friends , i will try to get the full story .:113:
Please do. Would love to get a read.
 

Su-47

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A story from WW1

Ernst Udet vs Georges Guynemer - Battle of the aces

In 1916, a German pilot named Ernst Udet is patrolling the skies over France for enemy aircraft in his Albatross D.III, when he comes across a single French Spad VIII. Udet engages the target only to realise it is Captain Georges Guynemer, one of France's leading aces. Earlier that year, Guynemer had killed one of Udet's friends and Udet wanted revenge, so Udet decides to take Guynemer out, even though the French pilot has more combat experience.

What ensued was a dogfight between two insanely talented pilots. Guynemer managed to get a few rounds into Udet's aircraft, and Udet responded by pulling off a spectacular move to put Guynemer in his sights. Tasting victory, Udet pulled the trigger.

Unfortunately for him, his twin MGs jammed. Unhindered Udet continued the dogfight, flying the plane with one hand and trying to unjam is guns with the other. Neither pilots could outdo the other.

And then Guynemer sees Udet trying to unjam the guns, and realises that the German is unable to fight back. Guynemer flies upside down over Udet's plane, and waves goodbye before flying back to his lines.

Udet later commented that many of his colleagues believed Guynemer left him coz he was running out of fuel or ammo, or that he was scared that Udet might ram him in desperation. But Udet said that in his heart he believed that Guynemer just proved that there was still chivalry left in this world.



Its a beautiful story, but sadly, both pilots didn't have a happy ending.

In September 1917, Guynemer went missing during a combat sortie. Later the Germans announced that Lt. Kurt Wisseman, a two-seater pilot, had downed Guynemer. hree weeks later the British launched a ground attack in the Poelcapelle area, preceeded by the usual artillery barrage; then the Germans counter-attacked and regained the area. Perhaps the wreckage of Guynemer's Spad was blasted into oblivion in the fought-over ground. Or perhaps, as a French journalist explained to the schoolchildren, "Captain Guynemer flew so high he could not come down again."

Udet went onto become the famous blue max, shooting down 62 allied aircraft. When Hitler re-armed Germany in the Thirties, the Luftwaffe was an important element. Hermann Göring, 22-victory ace and commander of J.G. Richthofen, was named head of the Luftwaffe. Ernst Udet, now a General, was made head of the Luftwaffe's Technical Office (?in charge of fighter plane development? production?). After the debacle of the Battle of Britain, Goering made Udet the scapegoat for the Luftwaffe's failure, and he was forced to commit suicide in 1941.


Guynemer
Ernst Udet - Second Highest German Ace of WWI
YouTube - Udet Vs Guynemer, "Doghfights" History Channel (its in german, but still very entertaining)
 

Soham

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Hasn't a movie been made on this one ? I think it was called "flyboys" or something like that... Except in that it was the French pilot whose guns were jammed, and the German pilot let him go.

Thanks for sharing.
 

Su-47

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Hasn't a movie been made on this one ? I think it was called "flyboys" or something like that... Except in that it was the French pilot whose guns were jammed, and the German pilot let him go.

Thanks for sharing.
I haven't watched that movie, but i heard it was good. Its the one with James Franco, right?

i got this incident from the program 'Dogfights' in History Channel. Its an awesome program. Must watch for anyone interested in fighter planes. You'll see some AMAZING recreations of dogfights that happened, based on video footages, eye witness accounts and pilot narratives.
 

Soham

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I haven't watched that movie, but i heard it was good. Its the one with James Franco, right?

i got this incident from the program 'Dogfights' in History Channel. Its an awesome program. Must watch for anyone interested in fighter planes. You'll see some AMAZING recreations of dogfights that happened, based on video footages, eye witness accounts and pilot narratives.
I haven't missed one episode :D .The ones that I happened to miss were downloaded within 24 hours.
And yes, the movie's the one with James Franco in it.
 

Su-47

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I haven't missed one episode :D .The ones that I happened to miss were downloaded within 24 hours.
I have missed a few episodes. And I have a 5GB download cap (i know, i know....my service provider bites), so can't download the episodes i missed.

And yes, the movie's the one with James Franco in it.
I have seen it on the Tv a few times, but whenever i saw it, it was already 30 mins into the story. And i don't watch a movie if i miss more than 10 mins of the beginning. So i never got to watch it. Maybe i should rent the dvd.
 

Shiny Capstar

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I posted the same story on another forum , it was called honor amongst enemies , and i would shake the German guys hand for the honorable way in which he conducted himself .He could have been shot himself for his actions but wisely kept shtumph

There is also a story of a dogfight in the falklands conflict an RAF pilot and an Argentinian , i cant recall the full story but they tried to shoot each other down with no success and after the conflict was over they met in London and became good friends , i will try to get the full story .:113:
Didn't the Harrier pilots do a pass before dropping their ordnance so the (mainly conscripted) men could scarper from whatever was being bombed, at least when the men themselves weren't the targets.

While I disagree with this in the principal of they are my enemy, unless they surrender they die (or get incapacitated depending), it is still is good to see an odd spark of humanity among it all.

I suppose these days we are fighting an enemy that has no real honour, I may respect them as fighters but they will not receive mercy as long as they are able and willing to fight. Pretty much the same as back then, but then there was still the odd incident of letting the enemy get home alive when you could have killed them. These days you wont find any of that, although we are not as extreme as many were back then when facing dishonourable but respected in their own way opponents like the SS or Japanese in that we take some prisoners. Even if they are generally only the wounded left on the field.

On a sort of related note they are looking into ways to blunt the empathy of soldiers, I quote, 'If drugs were developed to block oxytocin, the effect might be to reduce a soldier's ability to empathise with enemy combatants or civilians.' Raises a few moral issues and quite a few potential operational problems, but still its rather interesting.

(Forgive the rantish layout and lack of good grammar and the like, its quite a rushed post inbetween paperwork).
 

Sailor

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Good one Su. THANKS. I for one hadn't seen it before. Don't have the History channel.

And Shiny, not too many honorable Japanese let anyone go. In fact I'd say if I was going to be let go, it would have been pretty unlikely in the Pacific theater.
 

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