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Franz Stigler Man of Honor

Article about: Franz Stigler was an Oberleutnant that flew in Galland"s JV44 and J6-27 squadrons. On Dec. 20, 1943, he flew up on "Ye Olde Pub", an American B-17 that had been shot to hell.

  1. #1

    Default Franz Stigler Man of Honor

    Franz Stigler was an Oberleutnant that flew in Galland"s JV44 and J6-27 squadrons. On Dec. 20, 1943, he flew up on "Ye Olde Pub", an American B-17 that had been shot to hell. Stigler saw the 17 as an easy kill, and as he approached from the rear,he waited for the tail gunner to take aim on him. As he closed in the tail guns didn't move. As he got closer he saw that the tail gunner was obviously dead. He flew next to the bomber and could see that almost every crewman was wounded, with large holes throughout the fuselage. Stigler said he had never seen a plane in such bad shape. Stigler motioned to the B-17 pilot, Charlie Brown to land in German Territory. Brown in a subtle way ignored him. Brown erroneously figured that Stigler's 109 was out of ammo. In reality Stigler's plane was completely full of ammunition. Stigler said he felt if he shot the B-17 down, it would be like shooting a man in a parachute, because he felt the Americans didn't have much of a chance of making it anyway. Brown had one of his crewmen crawl into the top gun turrent and start to point his guns at Stigler's 109. Stigler had frantically been trying to point the B-17 towards neutral territory, but Charlie Brown was wounded and too dazed to understand. Once the gun turret started his way, Stigler pulled away and headed back to base, after showing great compassion for his fellow warriors. Stigler had already shot down two other B-17's that day. If he had finished off "Ye Olde Pub" he would have been awarded the Knights cross.

    Franz Stigler flew 500 combat missions before the end of the war. He was shot down 17 times, had 28 kills with another 30 probables, including 11 four engine bombers. He spent time in every fighter Germany had, but spent most of his time in the ME109 and ME262. After the war Franz moved to Canada and was fortunate enough to meet with Charlie Brown, the pilot of the helpless B-17.

    Franz signed many photos as well as paintings of the amazing event over Germany in 1943. In 2003, I was fortunate enough to speak with Franz's great grandson and obtained two autographed photos of Franz Stigler. Franz passed away in 2008 at the age of 93. Hopefully the chivalry of Franz Stiglar will never be forgotten.
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Franz Stigler Man of Honor

    Thanks sitges 1990 for that story that is the kind of story i like to read and it remind me that even in germany soldier pilot or navy they were human .I would like to hear more about this gentlemen and especially about the meeting he had with Charlie Brown how well it went and if Charlie B remember him .

    Frenchy

  4. #3

    Default Re: Franz Stigler Man of Honor

    Frenchy if you pull up Franz Stigler on the internet there are many articles about him. Indeed he and Charlie Brown the pilot of the B-17 became good friends and talked frequently with each other until Franz's death. If you look at the bottom pictures I included above, the color photo in the middle, is of Charlie and Franz in uniform. Yes indeed, Charlie remembered Franz very well. It just goes to show you, that even in the deadly world of combat, human goodness can triumph.

    Take care,
    Jay

  5. #4
    ?

    Default Re: Franz Stigler Man of Honor

    Great story Jay and a fine example of a fighting mans respect for his adversary
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  6. #5

  7. #6

    Default Re: Franz Stigler Man of Honor

    What Paul said - Great story.........!
    Regards,


    Steve.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Franz Stigler Man of Honor

    Great story thanks for sharing, I imagine not many fighter pilots would pass up a kill in the midst of battle, regardless of Nationality.

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