This is the story of the Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler incident, which inspired our song No Bullets Fly.
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Thanks also to Adam Makos for giving permission to use the footage of the pilots meeting. You can read more about the story in his excellent book “A Higher Call”
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========== HISTORIC FACT ==========
On December 20 1943, a badly shot up B-17 piloted by Charlie Brown struggled to stay in the air.
Franz Stigler, a German pilot, risked his life in three different ways when he was ordered to chase and shoot down the B17 bomber. When he came close enough he realized that the bomber had been severely damaged by anti aircraft fire during the raid and then he decided to escort it out of harms way instead of shooting it down. In doing this he risked both being court martialed, which most likely would have led to execution, and being shot down by the gunners of the B17 as well as being targeted by friendly anti aircraft fire.
========= No Bullets Fly LYRICS =========
From down below an enemy spotted
So hurry up, rearm and refuel
But through the bomber’s damaged airframe
See wounded men, scared to their bone
Look to the right and then look again
And see the enemy in the eye
No bullets fly, spared by his mercy
Escorted out, out of harms way
Fly, fighting fair, it’s the code of the air
Brothers, heroes, foes
Honour in the skies
Said goodbye to the cross he deserved
He risked his life two times that day
To save an unknown enemy
Escort to safety, out of the killzone
A short salute, then departed
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