THE NEW YORK TIMES AND INTERNATIONAL
December, 1943: A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly
over wartime Germany. At the controls is twenty-one-year-old Second
Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on
this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls
up on the bomber's tail. The pilot is German ace Franz Stiglerand
he can destroy the young American crew with the squeeze of a
What happened next would defy imagination and later be called the
most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II."
The U.S. 8th Air Force would later classify what happened between
them as top secret." It was an act that Franz could never mention
for fear of facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would
haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men,
they would search the world for each other, a last mission that
could change their lives forever.