When Steiger landed, he told his German commanding officer that the plane had
been shot down over the sea. He never told anyone what had happened. The
American, Charlie Brown, and the remaining members of his crew, told the
entire story at their debriefing after they landed in England. They were
ordered never to speak about it.
More than 40 years later, Charlie Brown wanted to find the Luftwaffe pilot who
saved his crew. After years of research, he found Franz Seigler. Neither of
them had ever talked about the incident, not even at post-war reunions.
They finally met in the USA at a 379th Bomber Group reunion, together with 25
group members who are still alive.
Charlie Brown lives in Seattle, and Franz Steigler had moved to Vancouver, BC
after the war. They had lived less than 200 miles apart for the past 50
The remaining crew of Ye Old Pub owed their lives to Franz, who never fired
his guns that day.
Story source: www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories