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With a little help from the 'enemy'

Article about: Hi all, I was reading on another thread about the Russians taking U.S personnel prisoner, and forcing them to work during WW2. Most of these 'POW's' were never seen again! It got me thinking

  1. #1

    Default With a little help from the 'enemy'

    Hi all,

    I was reading on another thread about the Russians taking U.S personnel prisoner, and forcing them to work during WW2. Most of these 'POW's' were never seen again! It got me thinking!

    Yesterday I met up with a couple of WW2 historians from the local US Airbase museum, and they told me a truely remarkable story.

    One was telling me of a B17 that had been on a bombing raid over Germany. After dropping his bombs, the aircraft was badly damaged by flak. The B17 limped away with the pilot struggling to control her.

    He tells me that once the pilot reached the French coast a Focke Wulf 190 appeared from the clouds, and proceeded to ESCORT the strickened B17 across the channel! Once safely across the water, the FW190 pilot saluted the American pilot, turned his aircraft and headed for home!

    I found this story absolutely mind blowing! I'm wondering if anyone else has heard any similar stories?

    Regards,
    Lee

  2. #2
    OKW
    ?

    Default Re: With a little help from the 'enemy'

    I heard that from the luftwaffe interrogation centre for newly downed aircrew that a U.S pilot let slip that just before the ammo in the fighter plane was due to run out there was a load of tracer which gave the pilot the hint it was time to break off combat and return home. This was diseminated to luftwaffe fighter units with orders to attack planes seen firing this tracer burst as it was out of ammo. The interrogator who found out the original secret over heard luftwaffe pilots talking about breaking off combat with U.S planes that had been seen to fire this tracer burst as they didn't think it sporting to shoot down an un armed opponent. One again pulling up along side the U.S plane and waving to the surprised pilot.

  3. #3
    ?

    Default Re: With a little help from the 'enemy'

    Makes a change from the "shot in the Parachute" stories ..

  4. #4

    Default Re: With a little help from the 'enemy'

    Woody,
    Yes I've read about that story, in fact I think many years after the American and German pilot met. I don't know if it was on this site or another but it contained a link to the newspaper story. Very interesting. I'll try to locate it. John

  5. #5

    Default Re: With a little help from the 'enemy'

    Woody. Sorry but I've looked all over and can't locate it. The article was very interesting. Maybe someone else here will remember it. John

  6. #6

    Default Re: With a little help from the 'enemy'

    No, thats brilliant John... thanks for letting us know!

    I'll have to have a good scout around for the story. I think it's astounding, and it brings a smile to my face when ever I think of it!

  7. #7

    Default Re: With a little help from the 'enemy'

    old thread i know but an nice story behind it none the less
    this is what your talking about i presume.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8

    Default Re: With a little help from the 'enemy'


  9. #9

    Default Re: With a little help from the 'enemy'

    Quote by Johnny-D View Post
    Hi all,

    I was reading on another thread about the Russians taking U.S personnel prisoner, and forcing them to work during WW2. Most of these 'POW's' were never seen again! It got me thinking!

    Yesterday I met up with a couple of WW2 historians from the local US Airbase museum, and they told me a truely remarkable story.

    One was telling me of a B17 that had been on a bombing raid over Germany. After dropping his bombs, the aircraft was badly damaged by flak. The B17 limped away with the pilot struggling to control her.

    He tells me that once the pilot reached the French coast a Focke Wulf 190 appeared from the clouds, and proceeded to ESCORT the strickened B17 across the channel! Once safely across the water, the FW190 pilot saluted the American pilot, turned his aircraft and headed for home!

    I found this story absolutely mind blowing! I'm wondering if anyone else has heard any similar stories?

    Regards,
    Lee
    I've heard that story. And I'm not sure but I think the Fw-190 was from Jagdgeschwader 26, known by the Allied aircrews as "The Abbeville boys"

  10. #10
    ?

    Default Re: With a little help from the 'enemy'

    Aviation History - Charlie Brown's Story


    Charlie Brown was a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot with the 379th Bomber Group at Kimbolton, 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 Kimbolton.
    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 holes everywhere.
    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!!

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