A year later, they were friends. Charles Brown was an American military pilot with the United States Army Air Corps who was stationed in Great Britain to bomb targets in Nazi Germany while Franz Stigler was a veteran fighter pilot with a record of 28 kills.
Upon dropping bombs one day in 1943, Brown’s plane was ambushed by 8 German planes and an anti-aircraft fire. His plane and crew both sustained heavy damages, and soon enough Brown just blacked out.
He awoke to the news that when Brown’s crippled plane was found by Franz Stigler, he could have pulverized it in a matter of seconds. But upon seeing the crew members trying to help their wounds, Stigler refused to fire and escorted the bomber to safety.
They parted ways after the next year, and then reunited again, becoming fast friends and making television appearance together. It’s nice to know that even a war can’t always tear apart the basic goodness of people.