We started our day off by driving over lake Pontchartrain to New Orleans again. We brought Gunner to a boarding place for the day so we wouldn’t have to worry about him at all. We then went to the WW2 Museum where we would spend the rest of our day.
I had a lot of fun at the museum where I saw things like the M1 rifle, the C-47 Skytrain, and the Higgins landing craft, made in New Orleans. In the building full of planes, I saw a B-17 Flying Fortress, that reminded me of the true story of a plane called “Ye Olde Pub.”
Charlie Brown was flying his plane on a bombing raid over Bremen, Germany when he fell out of formation and went on his own. A dozen Nazi fighters were attacking it for nearly 10 minutes when his plane went into a flatspin, causing everyone onboard to pass out. Luckily, Charlie was able to regain consciousness and keep the plane in the air. Everyone onboard was injured and their tail gunner was killed. Thinking they had downed the plane, the Nazi fighters went back to their base. That’s when Luftwaffe ace Franz Stigler comes in. He came up behind the plane and faced a big decision. Shoot down the crippled bomber or let it fly away. Franz Decided to help. He flew up on the side of the plane and caught Charlie’s attention. He escorted him back past a coastal flak battery. After that, they saluted each other and each went their own ways. After he landed in England, Charlie told others about what happened but it went against almost all propaganda teachings of the time so it was covered up for almost 40 years.
In the mid 1980s Charlie was at a combat pilot reunion where he was asked to share some of his stories. He thought for a minute but then he decided to share this story. When he got home, he decided to look for that pilot that saved his life many years ago. He searched through records upon records to try to find out who that pilot was but he wasn’t turning anything up. He then decided to write a letter to a combat pilots newsletter and a few months later, he received a letter from Stigler saying he was the one. When they spoke on the phone, Franz recalled what happened and that was all Charlie needed to know. They met up and became good friends until they both died within weeks of each other in 2008.
In all, I had a great time at the museum and I would definitely go again.