Amazing B-17 Flying Fortress Stories Of WW2 You Might Have Missed

#2: Franz Stigler and Charlie Brown: How a Bf-109 Saved a B-17

With “Masters of the Air'' playing on Apple TV+ right now, here’s another cool B-17 story. After a raid on Germany, Lt. Charlie Brown’s B-17 was severely damaged with several crew wounded or killed. Desperately trying to get the B-17 back to Allied airspace, he noticed a lone Bf-109 Messerschmitt enemy fighter flying alongside him. The enemy fighter paced the #B17 all the way back to Allied airspace where it took off. Unknown to Charlie at the time, the Bf-109 pilot, Franz Stigler, had told his fellow pilots and anti aircraft ground crew not to fire on the wounded bomber as he escorted it out of German airspace. It was a Christmas miracle for the B-17 crew who were ordered never to discuss it. Later, after the war, Franz and Charlie met up and became good friends, with Franz being awarded the Star of Peace.

Franz had risked much in protecting the B-17, including execution, but his Honor and Valor are not in doubt and live on to this day. Valor is in you. Set it free.

Back to blog |