williambanzai7's picture


Today is Veterans Day, and I would like to pay due respect to all Zero Hedge readers who are in active service or are veterans, including my parents.

The following was originally related to me by my father who served in the USAF. It is an amazing story. It bears repeating simply because it is one of many stories that should not be forgotten. 

I know he loves this story, so here it is for those of you who have never heard it.

We live in a time when we are constantly being strafed and bombarded with news of the despicable behavior of those who seem truly lacking in the kind of honor and character exemplified by these men.

It is a welcome breath of fresh air.




An Artist's rendering. Note the dead engine, obliterated nose and tail sections.



On December 20, 1943, the 379th Bomb Group (H) of the Eighth Bomber Command (U.S. Eighth Air Force) attacked Bremen, Germany. During that attack, Lt. Charles Brown from Weston, West Virginia, flying B-17F number 42-3167, witnessed an extraordinary act of chivalry by Franz Stiegler, the pilot of a Bf-109, who had taken off to attack him. 

As Brown guided his B-17, Ye Olde Pub, toward the target, an aircraft factory, it was buffeted by flak. "Suddenly," he later recounted, "the nose of the B-17 was mangled by flak. Then three of the four engines were damaged. The entire left stabilizer and left elevator were gone, ninety percent of the rudder was gone, and part of the top of the vertical stabilizer was gone. I quickly pulled out of formation so we wouldn't damage our other planes if we exploded.

It didn't take long for the Germans to pounce on us. Eight fighters came at us from the front and seven more from the rear and we were in no condition to fight them off. I headed straight at one of them. I had given up. I really didn't think we would get through this one. I had the plane in a tightening circle when I blacked out. Our oxygen system had been shot up." 

Brown's plane then plunged from 25,000 feet to 200 feet at which point he regained consciousness. Incredibly, Ye Olde Pub was flying straight and level directly over a German airfield. At that moment, Oberleutenant (1Lt) Franz Stiegler, who had been on the ground reloading his guns, spotted Brown's mortally wounded aircraft. He leaped into his Bf-109 and took off in pursuit. Eager to score a kill, Stiegler closed in from the rear to within ten feet of the B-17. 

As Stiegler described the encounter, "The B-17 was like a sieve. There was blood everywhere. I could see the crew trying to help their wounded. The tail gunner was slumped over his gun, his blood streaming down its barrel. Through the gaping hole in the fuselage, I could see crewmen working frantically to save a comrade whose leg was blown off. I thought to myself, 'How can I shoot something like that? It would be like shooting a man in a parachute.'

When I was flying in North Africa, my commander said, 'You are a fighter pilot. If I ever hear of you shooting someone in a parachute, I'll shoot you myself.'"

Stiegler then flew wingtip-to-wingtip with the crippled bomber, close enough for the two enemies to see each other clearly. The German pilot escorted the struggling B-17 to the North Sea. Then, to Brown's amazement, he saluted, put his plane into a crisp roll and flew away, allowing Brown to make it back to a British airfield.

On board the B-17 were Brown and nine other crewmen, four of whom were wounded and one was dead. Brown had a bullet in his right shoulder but it was not discovered until 40 years later.

Stiegler, who was shot down 17 times, is one of only 1,200 of Germany's 30,000 fighter pilots to survive the war. During the war, he shot down 28 aircraft. Originally from Regensburg, Bavaria, he now [lives] in Canada.

Years later, while attending a meeting of the American Pilots Association, Brown was asked if anything interesting had happened to him in the war. He replied, "I think I was saluted by a German Luftwaffe pilot one time.

Brown had not thought about this for years, but subsequently began to search for the German pilot. With the assistance of Lt Gen Adolf Galland he made an inquiry via the German Fighter Pilots Association and Stiegler responded. The two men eventually met in Seattle. On December 20, before encountering Brown, Stiegler had already shot down two B-17s. For a third, he would have been awarded the Knights Cross. Had the German Military discovered that he had let Brown's aircraft escape, he would have been court-martialed and shot.

[Source: Travis Air Museum News]


Stigler           Brown


Both men passed away in 2008.

For a detailed report: Steigler/Brown


And here is a short Veteran's Day salutation for all those Scion of Swindle out there...


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Mediocritas's picture

It's sad when good men get put into bad situations by bad men. These two pilots should have been on the same side, bombing the banksters who created the war in the first place. The world would be better for it.

Jumbotron's picture

Thank you for that Bonzai.

How insanely digusting is it that that particular NAZI had more honor, even to the point of endangering his own life,  than most of our politicians and captains of industry and finance here in America.

Home of the Free and the Brave......BULLSHIT !

Bob's picture

Now that was the crazy shit right there, WB17.  Step back away from the bomber icon image. 

That was incredible. 

pain_and_soros's picture

Great story...

I'm sure many have heard the story of the Christmas truce of 1914 in WWI (the end of which gave birth to Veterans Day)

onlooker's picture


Thanks for a happy story William. Lord knows we need anything that is not depressing. I have a pact with a friend of mine that if either one of us hears good news, we call each other. This is now emailed to him to also brighten his day.

Randall Cabot's picture

Have you seen the evidence that Eisenhower deliberately murdered about 1 million German soldiers after Germany had been defeated in World War II?     



pain_and_soros's picture

Are you referring to the US Treasury Secretary Morgentau's plan for the post-war occupation of Germany per chance?

From Wikipedia,

Joseph Goebbels said that "The Jew Morgenthau" wanted to make Germany into a giant potato patch. Goebbels used the Morgenthau Plan for his propaganda machine extensively. The headline of the Völkischer Beobachter stated, “ROOSEVELT AND CHURCHILL AGREE TO JEWISH MURDER PLAN!”[37]

The Washington Post urged a stop to helping Dr. Goebbels: if the Germans suspect that nothing but complete destruction lies ahead, then they will fight on.[38] The Republican presidential candidate Thomas Dewey complained in his campaign that the Germans had been terrified by the plan into fanatical resistance, "Now they are fighting with the frenzy of despair."[39]

General George Marshall complained to Morgenthau that German resistance had strengthened.[40] Hoping to get Morgenthau to relent on his plan for Germany, President Roosevelt's son-in-law Lt. Colonel John Boettiger who worked in the War Department explained to Morgenthau how the American troops that had had to fight for five weeks against fierce German resistance to capture the city of Aachen had complained to him that the Morgenthau Plan was "worth thirty divisions to the Germans." Morgenthau refused to relent.

A new document was drafted, the Joint Chiefs of Staff directive 1067 (JCS 1067). Here the US military government of occupation in Germany was ordered to "…take no steps looking toward the economic rehabilitation of Germany [or] designed to maintain or strengthen the German economy" and it was also ordered that starvation, disease and civil unrest were to be kept below such levels where they would pose a danger to the troops of occupation.

The directive was formally issued to Eisenhower in the spring of 1945,

On March 20, 1945 President Roosevelt was warned that the JCS 1067 was not workable: it would let the Germans "stew in their own juice". Roosevelt's response was "Let them have soup kitchens! Let their economy sink!" Asked if he wanted the German people to starve, he replied, "Why not?"[44]

On May 10, 1945 Truman signed the JCS 1067.

In occupied Germany Morgenthau left a direct legacy through what in OMGUS commonly were called "Morgenthau boys". These were U.S. Treasury officials whom Dwight D. Eisenhower has "loaned" in to the Army of occupation. These people ensured that the JCS 1067 was interpreted as strictly as possible.

"It seemed obvious to us even then that Germany would starve unless it could produce for export and that immediate steps would have to be taken to revive industrial production".[47] Lewis Douglas, chief adviser to General Lucius Clay, U.S. High Commissioner, denounced JCS Directive 1067 saying, "This thing was assembled by economic idiots. It makes no sense to forbid the most skilled workers in Europe from producing as much as they can in a continent that is desperately short of everything"

In July 1947 JCS 1067, which had directed the U.S. forces of occupation in Germany to "...take no steps looking toward the economic rehabilitation of Germany [or] designed to maintain or strengthen the German economy", was replaced by JCS 1779 which instead stated that "An orderly, prosperous Europe requires the economic contributions of a stable and productive Germany." [11]

In 1947 the U.S. Congress warned that the continuation of the present policies

...can only mean one of two things, (a) That a considerable part of the German population must be "liquidated" through diseases, malnutrition, and slow starvation for a period of years to come, with the resultant dangers to the rest of Europe from pestilence and the spread of plagues that know no boundaries; or (b) the continuation both of large occupying forces to hold down "unrest" and the affording of relief mainly drawn from the United States to prevent actual starvation.[52]

Conditions in Germany reached their lowest point in 1947. Living conditions were considered worse in 1947 than in 1945 or 1946. At an average ration of 1040 calories a day, malnutrition was at its worst stage in post-war Germany. Herbert Hoover asserted that this amount of rations was hardly more than the amount which caused thousands in the Nazi concentration camps to die from starvation.[53]

In view of increased concerns by General Lucius D. Clay and the Joint Chiefs of Staff over communist influence in Germany, as well as of the failure of the rest of the European economy to recover without the German industrial base on which it was dependent, in the summer of 1947, Secretary of State George Marshall, citing "national security grounds," was finally able to convince President Harry S. Truman to remove JCS 1067, and replace it with JCS 1779

The "Morgenthau boys" resigned en masse when the JCS 1779 was approved, but before they went the Morgenthau followers in the decartelization division of OMGUS accomplished one last task in the spring of 1947, the destruction of the old German banking system.[56] By breaking the relationships between German banks they cut off the flow of credit between them, limiting them to short-term financing only, thus preventing the rehabilitation of German industry and with immediate adverse effects on the economy in the U.S. occupation zone.[56]

By February 28, 1947 it was estimated that 4,160,000 German former prisoners of war, by General Dwight D. Eisenhower relabeled as Disarmed Enemy Forces in order to negate the Geneva Convention, were used as forced labor by the various Allied countries to work in camps outside Germany: 3,000,000 in Russia, 750,000 in France, 400,000 in Britain and 10,000 in Belgium. [4] Meanwhile in Germany large parts of the population were starving [5] at a time when according to a study done by former U.S. President Herbert Hoover the nutritional condition in countries that in Western Europe was nearly pre-war normal". [6] General George S. Patton opposed the forced labor, finding the practice to contravene the ideals the United States fought for in its Revolutionary and Civil wars.[67] German prisoners engaged in dangerous tasks, such as clearing mine fields.[68]

According to some scholars, the Marshall Plan, which was extended to also include Western Germany after it was realized that the suppression of the Western German economy was holding back the recovery of the rest of Europe,[83] was not the main force behind the Wirtschaftswunder.[84][85] According to them, the amount of monetary aid (which was in the form of loans) received by Germany through the Marshall Plan (about $1.4 billion in total) was far overshadowed by the amount the Germans had to pay back as war reparations and by the charges the Allies made on the Germans for the ongoing cost of occupation (about $2.4 billion per year).[84] In 1953 it was decided that Germany was to repay $1.1 billion of the aid it had received. The last repayment was made in June 1971

Eagle1's picture

Thnank you WB

"Absent Friends and Fallen Comrades"


From one who served and behalf of all who served

Odin's picture

Seriously just got goose bumps reading this... I like to believe that good men with strength, honour, and courage are still in existence... We will need leaders with that sort of constitution going forward...

Pitchman's picture

Great story.  Thanks! I just forwarded it to my Vet cousin.  To all Vets: Thank You!

the balf's picture

Way to go, Banzai7, it's good to see my favourite bloggers know when to be serious.

Uchtdorf's picture

Let there be peace among us, mein friends. There are others who need our wrath.

QuantumCat's picture

Thanks, WB7!  I appreciate the discernment of respect for those who serve honorably, and often with begrudging deference to the decisions of our elected leaders.  I served as a Navy pilot and throughout my years of service, I have questioned our foreign interventions and military adventures for questionable, if not nefarious, interests.  Open-ended and subjective wars are the tools of tyrants and oligarchs.  Societies sufficiently diminished in virtue that allow such men to conduct these campaigns are doomed to be ruled by them.  Humanity will always exist at the individual level... it is our collective self that often rises up and attempts to destroy it.

cynicalskeptic's picture

If only the leaders of nations were as honorable as so many of those that fight for them......  most wars are not only unnecessary but completely avoidable.  Perhaps if the politicians had to enter the ring PERSONALLY, or at least lead troops from the front as in times past, we might avoid needless slaughter. 

WWI was a pissing contest between cousins over whose navy was larger and whether or not Germany would be able to scrape together an Empire of their own.  WWII occurred because the Western democracies were pissing in thier pants over the prospect of another WWII - so they allowed Germany to bluff their way to a point where they WERE strong enough to acually fight while giving the formerly 'good' Asians' ( aftger all they tried so hard to be like Europeans) in Japan the free run of China until having second thoughts and cutting off their oil.   We often create our own worst enemies and then pay dearly in trying to undo the damage we originally caused.  The US and its involvement in Iran and Iraq is a prime example.....'blowback' to an unparalleled degree.

I am from a family of citizen soldiers going back to before the American Revolution.  I lost my idealism early on, Thank God, in following those footsteps.  USMA '76 (resigned - along with 40% of my class)   My sons will not be following in family footsteps.  They can serve their nation and the world far better in staying alive and not adding to the anger already in place at American Imperialism (and to think theat the US is acting in any other way is truly naive).

My heart hurts for those that served and gave so much - too often in wars that never should have occurred.  The best way to honor their sacrifices is to make sure that they occur as infrequently as possible (and by that I do NOPT mean using Predator drones to kill from a distance but to NOT fight unneeded wars in the first place)

The Heart's picture

Thank you Mr B-7 for as always, your great works.

I am reminded of my grandfather that served in WW II under Patton. He was a tank guy in the rolling W from Ft Carson, CO.

He had two tracks blown out from under him and lived. He was also captured twice and escaped. He was Willie, the full blooded Apache/Navaho Indian that made it back to continue to serve for a total of thirty-three years.

What was it that got him through all those hard times and countries? My grandmother and her support. We must not forget the women of WW II and all that they did to support those who then, thought what they were doing was for a just cause.

Can we learn from all that they all gave and understand that war only works for those who profit from it and perpetuate the underlying population control agenda? Do we really all have to go through another cycle of world war?

Desert Irish's picture

Thank you William.

It's Rememberence Day where I come from and every year I remember a picture with a quotation from somewhere in my childhood.

"What if they had a war and nobody came"

honourable men both



High Plains Drifter's picture


ezra pound, probably if not the best , one of the best american poet to ever live, told the world and any american that would listen what he thought about getting into that stupid world war 2 and why we were doing it. for his trouble , and his continuing dissent during the war, in his radio broadcast of truth from italy, he was charged with sedition. and after the war, he was confined to a mental asylum for over 13 years until after the heroic actions of one , eustace mullins, who finally won his release..............his crime. going against the jewish bankers..............yep its true. all true............ so moral to the story is this. anyone that tells the truth, the real truth is a sick person that needs to be committed.......

Gringo Viejo's picture

HPD: I hope someday you will find something, anything, that you will find uplifting to your Spirit. I mean it...without criticism or condemnation.

High Plains Drifter's picture


charles lindbergh anti war speech given on  9  11  1941.........hmmm, interesting date no? 



yids got pissed at him for daring to go against them so they kidnapped his son and killed him and then they got the cops to hang the crime on another poor innoent german guy who had nothing to do with it..


whatever happened to that boy, only God knows for sure. I can speculate but nobody would believe me.......

I am more equal than others's picture

"whatever happened to that boy, only God knows for sure."


He went to Penn State.

LasVegasDave's picture


I hear the yids used the Lindbergh baby's blood to make their matzohs

Scheißekopf's picture

I always wondered about the Roosevelt administration having something to do with the kidnapping. We could both be right.

Got my Towel's picture

Thank you very much for this story.

I visited Normandy in 2009.  The American cemetery made an enormous impression on me, and it is something I will never forget.

I also visited a German cemetery in the area, and it was one of the saddest places I had been to up to that point.  It seemed nearly as large as the American cemetery, but whereas there were hundreds of visitors to the graves overlooking Omaha Beach, I was completely alone during my visit to the German site.  They were no less human than anyone else, after all.

This story is a beautiful reminder of that.

Whoa Dammit's picture

Thank you WB7.

It's nice in this time of me first greed to be reminded that men can and do behave honorably.

Scheißekopf's picture

This story makes me proud to be both an American, and being of German descent.


Gringo Viejo's picture

I'm in my 60s, an ex-Marine. My story is about my father's generation; not mine. My father was in the 82nd Airborne but oddly, this story is not about him. It's about a man named Bill; don't know his last name and never met him. What I do know is that he was engaged to my mother and as a young Marine, was KIA during the amphibious assault at Tarawa. I wouldn't exist today were it not for his sacrifice; and not a Veteran's Day has gone by in the last 40 years that I've not thought of him. Bless them all..............

X.inf.capt's picture

thank you, WB7

and if i may be so bold...

you are providing an invaluable service, through your art, in attacking the institutions that have hyjacked this once great country and corrupted our government.

thank you for YOUR service, billy....

High Plains Drifter's picture


the allied policy of total anilhilation and destruction during ww2 in germany .   using firebombing campaigns against german cities killing women and children. this, ladies and gentlemen , is nothing less than a war crime of epic proportions.  so there , mostly white anglo men are , flying in bombers over germany , dropping bombs on white women and children , who are distantly related to them. does this make any sense?  to some it did, that is for sure. the purpose of this war was to destroy white western european culture and use the stupid americans to do it..........and after 50 million war dead, the job was mostly successful........

darteaus's picture

It's called: Total War. You have had the privilege of not having to know what it is, so it makes no sense to you.

Lt. Sunflower's picture

Don't forget the Robert Johnson story

After running his ammo trays dry the German pilot spent 30 minutes guiding a burnt and half-blinded Johnson to the French coast.  Presumably he could have used his radio to bring in a fresh German fighter.

yabyum's picture

Thanks pop.1916-2004 94th division

TomJoad's picture

Thanks Banzai!

 The rest of you, can we lay off the batshit bullshit until tomorrow? It's Veteran's Day for fucks sake.


Mercury's picture

The Luftwaffe included a lot of amazing and honorable men, many of them WW I vets. This era was also an exciting period in aviation history which the Germans dominated in many areas.

williambanzai7's picture

Lots of them wound up on the company payroll.

Lt. Sunflower's picture

Don't forget the Robert Johnson story.


williambanzai7's picture

To me this is a very simple story. No need to complicate it.

Two pilots both of whom acted heroically that day. One gave up his medal to save the enemy crew as a matter of principle and risked his life doing so.

The other miraculously brought his crew home and was denied his medal because the government did not think it would be a good idea to reveal the humanity of the enemy pilot.

Years later it turns out the two of them have been living a stones throw apart and become best friends.

They both die in the same year.

I don't think they argued with each other about the horrors of war while they were alive. Why would they? They both knew all too well.

rosiescenario's picture

Thanks for posting this piece it is something to reflect on...our tendancy is to too often demonize our enemies and overlook the evil in our so called 'friends'. There were plenty of Germans who wanted to see Hitler dead but were powerless to do so. This reinforces why it is so important that Americans protect their right to bear arms so if our country ever finds itself taken over by such, we will not be in a powerless position.

blueRidgeBoy's picture

"To me this is a very simple story. No need to complicate it."

my feelings exactly. I personally don't feel the need to poison this story with talk of Jewish conspiracies, past or present.  Seems like we should be able to give that a rest, if only for the 5 minutes it takes to read this story.

LongSoupLine's picture

Great story WB.



On a personal note, Happy Veteran's Day to all whom have served, and especially to my Dad who, to this day, not only carries many vivid memories of front line battle horror, but sets off metal detectors at security points because of mortar shrapnel he carries with him for the rest of his life.  Does he complain? No. God Bless You All!

s2man's picture

Thanks, William.

High Plains Drifter's picture

gee.  i wonder when this happened. was it when our planes were flying over germany fire bombing german civilian centers?  oh those wascally germans tried to shoot them down. how dare they do such a terrible thing.....


ok, flame suit firmly in place...................

blueRidgeBoy's picture

it's Veterans Day...why you gotta be like that?

High Plains Drifter's picture

because i am tired of my people going and fighting and dying for the jewish bankers.......that is why i am like this.  veterans day is a time when the stupid goyim celebrate their idiotic acts in war, wars that are fought for the jew.  when was the last time this country ever fought a constitutional war?  george w bush was said to have stated one time that the constitution is just a god damn piece of paper. well maybe it is and maybe it isn't but it is you and i that give it,  its teeth and that its power is in the knowledge and wisdom of careful and watchful citizens.  when leaving the constitutional convention, ben franklin was asked what they were doing in there. he replied. we are working on a constitutional republic if you can keep it. the question is can we keep it?  can we keep it?  i suggest we are close to losing it if we have not lost it already. don't get me wrong. i have respect for the veterans. i am one myself.  i have nothing against them personally. but i shall not bow low to them simply because they are who they are. the truth must come out about this stuff. how many must die before this nonsense is ended once and for all. now we fight wars based  upon lies and yet after ten years they still fight and die for nothing. what must one do about all of this? remain silent?  i shall not. i shall not remain silent. i shall speak until the day they come for me and that day may come soon who knows.........but i shall not remain silent. for most of my life i remained silent. but the time for talking is over now. we must act. the country is dying. who shall help her and keep her and support her and love her now when she needs us the most?  who?

LasVegasDave's picture

Its obvious Grifter that you are envious of the Jews.

They have the knowledge, success and wealth you will never have.

Now back to your Ezra Pound suite at the nuthouse