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They Were Supposed To Be Enemies, But This Pilot's Rescue Made Him Their Hero Instead

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jenobr / Imgur

It's incredible to think that even under the worst circumstances imaginable, the good in people's hearts can still shine through.

That's what happened on a cold December day in 1943 when American pilot 2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown was flying his B-17 bomber over Germany. Brown's mission was to destroy a German aircraft factory, but things went bad quickly.

2nd Lieutenant Charlie BrownCNN

Germans on the ground tore apart the bomber, which was nicknamed "Ye Olde Pub," turning it into a flying scrap heap. One engine was totally destroyed, while another was badly damaged. To make things worse, the plane's nose was full of holes, letting -76 degree air whistle through the cabin.

Ye Olde Pub after the attack.USAF

The attack injured Brown and left one of his crew members dead, while their first aid kit was frozen and mostly useless. To top all that off, the plane's radio was broken, its machine guns were almost all frozen and their compass was malfunctioning, so they were actually flying further into enemy territory.

This was the state things were in when a the bomber was attacked by fighter planes. Miraculously, the Pub survived a 10 minute onslaught before the planes finally moved on - probably because they assumed the bomber was already doomed.

As if things couldn't get any worse, an Ace fighter pilot named Franz Stigler pulled up alongside the plane, with orders to shoot it down. But Stigler had something else in mind.

Learn what happened next on the second page!

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