Franz Stigler and Charlie Brown: A B-17 saved by a Bf-109

Act of Mercy during war leads to lifetime friendship

When Lt. Charlie Brown’sB-17 was crippled by Bf-109 fighter attacks on a WW2 mission over Germany, he was escorted by an enemy fighter to safety. Franz Stigler (the German Bf-109 pilot) saw how crippled and shot up the B-17 was, flew beside the bomber for a better look and knew it was not a threat. Feeling sorry for the wounded crew of the US bomber, he escorted them to the border so none of his fellow fighters and ground crew would shoot it down. Warned his commanding officer to never shoot down parachutists, he took pity on the bomber and aided their return. Lt. Brown,upon returning to base was told never to speak of this Christmas miracle, and kept it quiet till years later when he and Franz Stigler met up. They became lifelong friends after the war and Stigler was awarded the Star of Peace after the war. Valor takes many forms. Stigler risked everything to save someone he didn't know.

Valor is in you. Set it free. Merry Christmas.

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