View Full Version : B-17 'Ye Old Pub'....Real Event!!!

01-09-2008, 03:20 PM
This was sent to me via email. I don't know its authenticity. Thought you guys might like it.

True Aviation History - Charlie Brown 's Story

Charlie Brown was a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot with the 379th Bomber Group at Kim bolton , 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 Kim bolton. After flying over an enemy Airfield, a 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 hole s everywhe r e.

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.

Research shows that Charlie Brown lived in Seattle and Franz Steigler had moved to Vancouver , BC after the war.

When they finally met, they discovered they had lived less than 200 miles apart for the past 50 years!!

01-09-2008, 04:13 PM
Yeah Hawk,where ya been? Great story!!! Reminds me of MysticPumas movie,Hawk please check your PMs Thanks!

01-09-2008, 06:28 PM
email sent

01-10-2008, 05:36 AM
Wow, that's an amazing story... the gratitude Charlie must have felt when Franz let him go, chivalry does still exist http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

01-10-2008, 01:16 PM
Hawk,check PMs please.

01-10-2008, 04:31 PM
I found another version of the story. While basically the same, the other version has Stigler ordering the B-17 to land at a German airfield and surrender. The B-17 pilot refused to comply. The B-17 was also headed in the proper direction when intercepted and did not need assistance in finding the proper heading home.


01-21-2008, 03:53 PM
Read about this recently. Apparently the bomber crew thought the enemy pilot must have been out of ammo, when in fact he had just taken off, fueled and fully armed.

The German pilot tried to get them to turn back, or even to Sweden, which was not so far away as England at that point. When the bomber carried on, he thought they were fools and that they would die in the North Sea.

IIRC the flight engineer then climbed into the top turret, on seeing this Hanz then waved (he was perched near a wingtip), and dived away.

A true and remarkable story, I wonder if or how many we never heard about because the bomber did not make it across the north sea?

01-21-2008, 05:12 PM
An oldie but a goodie. I've seen this posted over in GD a couple of times.

The best web site I've seen is this one: http://flyingcarrot.com/Brown%20And%20Stigler.htm

It includes photos from their reunion, interviews, and a painting of the unlikely meeting by R. Harper.

This picture wasn't captioned but I believe the gentleman standing is Charles Brown and Franz Stigler is seated.