A memorial day story of Ye Olde Pub

From: Sam
Sent on: Monday, May 26, 2008 6:33 PM
Okay, hopefully this gets through now; I'm sending it through the email
address I registered with on meetup.  I hope you guys all enjoy this one.
It brings a tear to my eye every time I read it.



2nd Lt. Charlie Brown & his B-17F Flying Fortress named "Ye Olde Pub"

           2ND Lt. Charlie Brown was a B-17F Flying Fortress pilot with the
379th Bomber Group at Kimbolton, England. His B-17F was called "Ye Olde 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. Most of the tail & half of the stabilizer were

           After flying over an enemy airfield, a pilot named Franz Stigler
was ordered to take off and shoot down the B-17F. 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 2nd Lt. Charlie Brown, Lt. Brown was scared and struggling to
control his damaged and bloodstained 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 C.O. that the plane had been shot
down over the sea, and never told the truth to anybody. Charlie Brown and
the remainder 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 postwar 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 2nd Lt. Charlie Brown lived in Seattle and
Franz Stigler 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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