Monday, 10th December 2012
AMAZING STORY OF TWO WORLD WAR 2 PILOTS - For those who can directly remember World War 2 you will certainly appreciate the hardship and devastation it caused to the people of the United Kingdom, Germany and indeed other parts of the world that was embroiled in it.
In my view very little is achieved through war, simply killing enough human beings just to make a point and until you bring them into submission is nothing much to admire. However, as with all life situations, especially in war, a spark of humanity does shine through.
I remember, many years ago, talking to my father who served throughout the 2nd World War in the Middle East and he pointed out that television and cinema often glamorised or sensationalized aspects that were neither glamorous nor sensational. He himself admitted to having a very close friend, during the war, who was indeed a German Solider. As my father clearly pointed out, you could not simply label every German as if he was SS or Gestapo – in fact the average German Soldier was just like the rest, none of whom really wanted to be involved in such a conflict.
To really make my point clear, here is a story of two 2nd World War Pilots, one a commander of a Bomber while the other a pilot of a B109 attack fighter.
The story in essence is that the American Bomber had finished its bomb run over Germany and successfully destroyed a number of ammunitions factories. On their return trip to the UK they came under heavy attack where a few of the crew members perished.
The Bomber had received massive damage to its wings, tail fins and fuselage and the pilot, Charlie Brown, was having problems keeping the Bomber airborne. The German Fighter, piloted by Franz Stigler, came in to attack and finish off the Bomber but has he drew close he could see the massive damage that the aircraft had already taken and drawing even close could see that the turret guns were no longer operational and a number of crewman could be seen being attended by the other crewman.
Remarkably Franz Stigler simply could not bring himself to shoot down the Bomber and therefore drew up alongside the cockpit of the Bomber and save Charlie Brown a salute. Franz Stigler then escorted the Bomber, as far as he could, in the hope that the Bomber and its crew would reach the safety of the United Kingdom.
This was a remarkable show of humanity on behalf of Franz Stigler and he even was fully aware that if one of his other comrades had spotted and reported his actions he would have signed his own death warrant for an act of treason.
In this video you get to hear about the entire saga and how both Franz and Charlie formed an extremely strong bond due to what occurred that day. It is truly remarkable to hear, even in the face of conflict and what is duty bound on a serving forces person during such conflict, to look beyond the enemy and see a human being and knowing that there are times when a decision has to be made that conflicts your training in order to save others and indeed your own soul.