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  • It was December the 20th, 1943 and in the freezing air high above Germany,

    1943年12月20日,在德國的寒冷高空上,

  • 2nd Lieutenant CharlesCharlieBrown struggled to keep

    查理·布朗少尉掙扎地嘗試

  • his mortally damaged American bomber on course.

    讓他嚴重損毀的 美軍轟炸機保持在航線上

  • Brown had been wounded in the shoulder,

    布朗的肩膀已受傷

  • his tail gunner Sergeant HughEckyEckenrode was dead,

    他的尾砲手休伊·"Ecky"·艾肯羅德中士已陣亡

  • and several other members of the crew were wounded, some severely.

    其他的組員也已經受傷,有些更甚嚴重

  • Their aircraft, B-17 Ye Olde Pub, had been hit twice by flak as it approached its target,

    他們的飛機-B-17轟炸機, 在接近他們的目標物-部屬在德國布萊梅的福克-沃爾夫戰鬥機的時候

  • the Focke-Wulf plant in the German city of Bremen, forcing the crew

    被防空炮擊中了兩次,導致四台引擎中

  • to shut down one of the engines and throttle back on another.

    一台引擎停止運作,並失去油門動力

  • This had left it lagging behind the main formation of aircraft from the 379th Bombardment Group

    這導致他們已經脫離第379遠征作戰小組轟炸機隊形許久

  • and groups of German fighters had closed in like sharks sensing blood in the water.

    而有一群德軍戰鬥機從後襲來像是一群鯊魚在海中 嘗到血腥味般。

  • Up to fifteen fighters had attacked the bomber and the whole tail section was shot to pieces,

    十五架戰鬥機開始攻擊轟炸機,且整條尾翼 已經支離破散

  • the nosecone was missing, the electrical, hydraulic and oxygen systems were damaged,

    失去鼻錐、電力、液壓和氧氣供給系統已損毀

  • the radio was out and the entrails of the crippled bomber flapped in

    無線電也已無法使用,已經搖搖欲墜的轟炸機開始

  • the slipstream through gaping rents in the fuselage.

    搖晃機身並難以操控

  • But B-17s are tough old birds and this one somehow kept on flying despite the damage.

    但B-17是個強硬的老鳥,而這架不知為何 仍然在損壞嚴重的情況下持續航行

  • Brown blacked out for a short time due to pain, loss of blood

    布朗因為過於疼痛、大量失血以及少量的氧氣 而失去意識一陣子

  • and a lack of oxygen and the bomber spiraled towards the ground.

    此時轟炸機正筆直地俯衝至地面

  • Brown came to and realized that the B-17 was only a few hundred feet above the ground.

    布朗醒來過來並意識到B-17離地面不到幾英尺

  • He somehow managed to get it back under control and turned west,

    他不知為何將轟炸機扳回正常高度並轉向西邊

  • towards England and safety, two hundred and fifty miles away.

    安全地航向英格蘭島,差不多兩百五十英里外

  • Brown wasn't able to coax the B-17 much above one thousand feet

    布郎沒辦法讓B-17持續航行在一千英尺上空

  • and he was vaguely aware that he had passed close to the perimeter of a German airfield.

    而他含糊地意識到他已經通過了一座德國戰鬥機場

  • Soon after he realized that a German Messerschmitt Bf 109

    過不久他發現一架德軍Bf 109戰鬥機

  • was flying in close formation beside him.

    就在他機身的旁邊並行

  • It was so close that Brown could see the German pilot

    對方非常的接近以至於布朗能看到駕駛員上的臉龐

  • as he gestured towards the ground, telling Brown to set the bomber down.

    當駕駛員以手指向地面會意布朗將轟炸機降落在 地面上

  • Most of the B-17's gunners were wounded, only a few guns were still working

    大多數的B-17砲手已受傷,只有少數幾把槍能 持續運作

  • and none were able to shoot at the enemy fighter alongside.

    卻沒任何一個人能有辦法射下在機身旁 的戰鬥機

  • Brown could only look at the German pilot and shake his head.

    布朗唯一能做的就是看向駕駛員並搖頭拒絕

  • For a short time the Messerschmitt flew beside the bomber.

    在一小段時間後Bf 109飛離了轟炸機旁

  • Then it slid away, above and behind.

    並滑行至後上方

  • Brown waited for the gunfire that must mean the end of Ye Olde Pub.

    布朗已經準備好被擊落的心理準備了

  • But nothing happened.

    但什麼事卻沒發生

  • He realized to his astonishment that the German fighter was flying escort on the B-17.

    他驚訝地發現這架德軍戰鬥機居然在護送B-17

  • As they crossed the coastline and flew out over the North Sea

    就當他們跨越海岸線時飛到北海上空

  • the fighter remained on station.

    戰鬥機依然保持在原本的位置上

  • Only when they were well out from the German coast

    只有當他們在離開德國海空防線時

  • did the fighter slide in again, close to the bomber.

    戰鬥機又再次接近轟炸機旁

  • Brown looked acrossthe German pilot looked back at him,

    布朗看了一眼-駕駛員也看向了他

  • raised a gloved hand in salute

    舉起了手來敬禮

  • and then swung his aircraft away, back towards the east.

    然後他將他的戰鬥機飛回至東方

  • Brown managed to put Ye Olde Pub on the ground,

    布朗終於將B-17緊急降落在地面上

  • not at their home base in Cambridgeshire

    雖然他們不是降落在劍橋皇家空軍基地裡

  • but at an airbase of the 448th Bomb Group near Norfolk in East Anglia.

    卻在一座位於東英格蘭的 諾福克第448轟炸機空軍基地裡

  • He and all his crew other than the tail gunner survived.

    除了尾砲手外其餘組員奇蹟似的生還

  • At debriefing, Brown told his story about the German fighter which escorted him.

    在簡報時,布朗講述他被 德軍戰鬥機護送時的經歷

  • It was decided that this should be kept secret

    在當時這段消息被列入機密

  • the notion of an honorable German pilot

    一名值得尊敬的德軍駕駛員

  • choosing not to shoot down a damaged American bomber

    選擇了不射下一架損毀嚴重的美軍轟炸機

  • just didn't fit with the message that the USAAF wanted to give out.

    這訊息並不符合美國陸軍航空軍 想要給大眾知道的

  • Charlie Brown survived the war, went home to go to college,

    查理.布朗在戰爭中活了下來, 返回了家鄉完成大學學業

  • and then re-joined the Air Force in 1949.

    然後在1949年再度服侍空軍

  • He served until 1965 when he retired as a colonel.

    他服役至1965年並以將軍的身分退役

  • It wasn't until much later, in 1986, at a meeting of retired combat pilots

    在那不久後,在1986年一場叫做 "雄鷹聚會" 的

  • calledGathering of the Eaglesthat he first spoke about what had happened.

    退役戰鬥機飛行員集會述說了當時他所經歷的事

  • The response was strong, though some questioned

    大家的回應相當的強烈,有些則抱持著疑問

  • whether the whole incident really happened.

    這起事件是不是真的發生過

  • Even Brown began to wonderhis memories of that day in 1943

    甚至讓布朗開始懷疑-在1943年那一天 所發生的事故

  • were hazy due to his injuries, exhaustion and the stress of combat.

    是他在緊張且傷勢嚴重的情況下

  • Could he be remembering it all wrong?

    導致記憶上出了差錯嗎?

  • Brown decided that he was going to find the German pilot involved,

    布朗決定他要找出在那時所參與的德國駕駛員

  • if only to prove that he hadn't imagined the whole thing.

    這樣才能證明他並沒有幻想出這些事故

  • It took four years, but in 1990 Brown finally received a letter

    在將近四年後,也就是1990年, 布朗終於收到了一封信

  • from a man named Stigler who was living in Canada.

    來自一名生活在加拿大名叫斯蒂格勒的人

  • Stigler explained that he had been the pilot of the German fighter

    斯蒂格勒解釋了他就是當時

  • who had escorted Ye Olde Pub.

    護送B-17轟炸機的德國駕駛員

  • On December 20, 1943, Franz Stigler had been a twenty-seven kill veteran pilot.

    在1943年12月20號,弗朗茨.斯蒂格勒已經是名擊殺27名敵人的駕駛員

  • He had flown against American bombers

    在早晨裡,他駕駛他的梅塞施密特Bf 109 G-6

  • in his Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 that morning

    剛起飛擊落完一組美軍轟炸機

  • and he was refueling on the ground when Ye Olde Pub passed close by.

    而當他正在地面上進行燃油補給時, 一架B-17就在上空經過

  • He took off intending to shoot down the American bomber.

    他立即地起飛並嘗試射下這架美軍轟炸機

  • However, as he closed with the limping aircraft,

    然而,當他靠近這架滿身瘡痍的飛行載具時

  • he could see just how badly it had been hithe would later say that

    他能清楚的看見這架轟炸機早已千瘡百孔-在那之後他敘述道

  • he had never seen a more severely damaged aircraft still flying.

    他從未看見一架損毀地這麼嚴重的轟炸機依然持續飛行

  • Stigler's commander had told his pilots never to fire at an enemy

    斯蒂格勒的指揮官曾經告訴過他千萬不要射下

  • who was descending on a parachute.

    已經開啟降落傘的敵人

  • While the crew of Ye Olde Pub hadn't bailed out,

    在當下B-17上的組員還未跳傘求生

  • they were clearly no longer capable of fighting

    但能看出他們早已無還手之力

  • and Stigler decided that he could not bring himself to attack.

    然而斯蒂格勒決定不展開攻擊

  • Instead, he flew alongside and gestured to Brown to land.

    除此,他還飛到轟炸機旁指使布朗迫降

  • He just simply couldn't imagine that the crippled aircraft

    他單純的只是覺得這架破損嚴重的飛行載具

  • could possibly make it back to England.

    不可能安穩地飛回英格蘭島

  • When Brown refused, Stigler made an extraordinary decision.

    當布朗回絕,斯蒂格勒做了一項令人意外的決定

  • Instead of shooting it down he flew close formation with the B-17,

    沒有將他拿下而是與B-17保持陣型並行

  • hoping that this would deter flak batteries on the coast from firing at it.

    希望這會讓防空炮無法射向他們

  • He flew with the bomber well out over the North Sea

    他持續飛行至直到轟炸機飛至北海上空

  • until it was clear of German airspace,

    離開了德國防空航線

  • and then left it to continue towards England.

    然後讓他持續飛向至英格蘭島

  • Stigler never told anyone about what had happened

    斯蒂格勒從未把這段經歷告訴給任何人

  • sparing an American bomber would likely have led to

    饒恕一架美軍轟炸機可能會導致

  • punishment and perhaps even execution,

    嚴重懲罰甚至或許會被處刑

  • but he often wondered if it had made it back to base.

    但他時常好奇這架轟炸機到底有沒有成功 降落到他們的基地裡

  • Stigler continued flying fighters throughout the war.

    斯蒂格勒在戰爭中仍持續飛行戰鬥機

  • In 1953 he emigrated from Germany to Canada

    在1953年他離開德國移民至加拿大

  • where he started a successful business.

    他成為了一名出色的商人

  • When he heard from Charlie Brown in 1990,

    當他在1990年聽到了查理.布朗的故事時

  • Stigler confirmed every aspect of his story.

    斯蒂格勒驗證了他的故事

  • Franz Stigler and Charlie Brown were astonished to discover

    弗朗茨·斯蒂格勒和查理·布朗驚訝地發現

  • that they had been living less than two hundred miles apart

    自從戰爭結束這麼久已來

  • for much of the time since the war

    他們的家園只離對方不到兩百英里遠

  • Stigler had settled in Vancouver, British Columbia

    斯蒂格勒生活在溫哥華內的英屬哥倫比亞內

  • while Brown was in Seattle, Washington.

    而布朗當時生活在華盛頓州西雅圖內

  • In the later years the two men remained close friends,

    在他們晚年生活裡他們成為了密不可分的好朋友

  • often visiting and talking to other fliers

    時常與對方見面並討論他們的過往

  • about their shared experiences.

    分享他們的經驗

It was December the 20th, 1943 and in the freezing air high above Germany,

1943年12月20日,在德國的寒冷高空上,

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當一架 Bf-109 饒恕一台損毀的 B-17(When a Bf-109 spared a stricken B-17)

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    OolongCha 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 26 日
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