On Dec. 20, 1943, a young American bomber pilot named Charlie Brown found himself somewhere over Germany, struggling to keep his plane aloft with just one of its four engines still working. They were returning from their first mission as a unit, the successful bombing of a German munitions factory. Of his crew members, one was dead and six wounded, and 2nd Lt. Brown was alone in his cockpit, the three unharmed men tending to the others. Brown’s B-17 had been attacked by 15 German planes and left for dead, and Brown himself had been knocked out in the assault,
Comments: Story of chivalry and humanity amid chaos.
I´d read this before. It is a famous story in the Air Force community. Would Stigler have been disciplined? I suspect his commander would have determined his guns had jammed and swept it under the table - just as Brown´s commander did.
I knew some Luftwaffe veterans; this doesn´t surprise me at all. Many of the men in the German military were drafted; they didn´t want to be there, but they had no choice. Only a small percentage of Germans actually belonged to the Nazi party. Canada was one of the few countries which would accept them after the war, so many immigrated there.
Adolph Galland was much the same way. Surviving pilots shot down in his area were brought for a meal in his personal mess before being transferred to a Stalag Luft. He once allowed the British to drop a new artificial leg for a British pilot who lost his in battle in Galland´s territory.
When he died there were more British and American pilots at his funeral than German.
My dad´s best friend was a Lt. in the Army in Europe during WWII. He said the captured common german soldiers seemed like guys you´d have a beer with. But the captured SS officers were a different story. The tragedy of WWII was that only a handful of bad guys got control over the majority and got them into that war. Japan too. And history can repeat itself.
Most career Military Officers and Diplomats were men whose families had served Bismark and the Kaiser ................ men whose loyalty was to Honor, Tradition and Germany .......... and not the National Socialist Party usurpers of their nation.
The July 22 ´44 plot was not the first act of humanity by these men ............ and I´m not surprised few Germans honored Galland, the man noted above.
I traveled to the site where some of these Heroes were executed with piano wire [no one in Berlin could tell me how to get there]and the caretaker lamented how few Germans came, and that they had few brochures left in English.
NOTE. Admiral Canaris´ widow was paid a US pension until her death, for his services to the Allies throughout the War ........ many not noted in the Jewish Virtual Library synopsis of his complex life.
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