Ye Olde Pub, a B-17 piloted by LT Charlie Brown was one of those badly shot up. His tail gunner was dead and most of the flight crew were wounded by the mauling that Me 109 and FW 190s that tried to finish off what the German Flak had started.
One of those fighter pilots was Franz Stigler, a veteran and Ace who, with 22 kills only needed one more to see his name submitted for the Knight's Cross. But Stigler was a true knight, in the most chivalrous sense of the term:
Remembering the words of one of his commanding officers from the Jagdgeschwader 27, Gustav Rödel, during his time fighting in north Africa – “You are fighter pilots first, last, always. If I ever hear of any of you shooting at someone in a parachute, I'll shoot you myself." Stigler later commented, "To me, it was just like they were in a parachute. I saw them and I couldn't shoot them down."Instead, Stigler escorted them to the English Channel, where they flew back to England and safety. 47 years later, they met each other a second time:
We never know whether we will measure up to our own aspirations until we are tested by flame. At that moment we find our true mettle.