You're a spared man, Charlie Brown
April 10, 2008 1:56 PM   Subscribe

In 1943, over Allied bomb ravaged Germany, US pilot Charlie Brown's B-17 was badly damaged and straying further from friendly territory. Luftwaffe ace fighter pilot Franz Stigler pursued the bomber intending to shoot it down, but refrained when he saw the extent of the damage and directed Brown and his crew out of harm's way. The two pilots were reunited 46 years later. [via]

Herr Stigler passed away last month.
posted by Burhanistan (71 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
In an startling coincidence, something quite similar happened in WWI.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:06 PM on April 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow. Just wow.
posted by tkchrist at 2:11 PM on April 10, 2008


Thank you. Excellent story.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 2:17 PM on April 10, 2008


This kind of reminds me of the German prisoner that is set free in "Saving Private Ryan" and then comes back to kill his former captors in battle. After returning to England in the damaged aircraft, he was reassigned to a new plane which would go on to complete another 125 missions. Presumably Brown himself flew at least 24 more missions over Germany to complete his tour. Mercy in this case just meant 1 more enemy pilot free to flight again another day.

Makes for a nice story today though, I guess.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:20 PM on April 10, 2008 [11 favorites]


Amazing. Thank you.
posted by Skorgu at 2:22 PM on April 10, 2008


Presumably Brown himself flew at least 24 more missions over Germany to complete his tour. Mercy in this case just meant 1 more enemy pilot free to flight again another day.

That is an interesting twist. Stigler wasn't thinking that far ahead and was caught up in the moment of seeing the bloodied and damaged B-17. Strange how compassion works...
posted by Burhanistan at 2:24 PM on April 10, 2008


Great story, thanks.

Stigler wasn't thinking that far ahead and was caught up in the moment of seeing the bloodied and damaged B-17. Strange how compassion works...


If only it worked a little better, we wouldn't have these fucking wars.
posted by languagehat at 2:33 PM on April 10, 2008 [20 favorites]


Reminds me of the WWI Chistmas Truce.

I'm no "pacifist" - but, golly, if enemies could feel compassion for each other in the heat of battle ... what if ...?
posted by jabberjaw at 2:36 PM on April 10, 2008


I didn't quite understand the motivation until I read this part:

"I didn't have the heart to finish off those brave men," Stigler later said. I flew beside them for a long time. They were trying desperately to get home and I was going to let them do it. I could not have shot at them. It would have been the same as shooting at a man in a parachute."

The last line makes me understand why he didn't shoot them down.
posted by cell divide at 2:37 PM on April 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


US pilot Charlie Brown's B-17 was badly damaged and straying further from friendly territory...

And meanwhile the Allies looked to Snoopy!
"The news had come out in the First World War
The bloody Red Baron was flying once more
The Allied command ignored all of its men
And called on Snoopy to do it again. "
posted by ericb at 2:38 PM on April 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Reminds me of the WWI Chistmas Truce.

And the film Joyeux Noël.
posted by ericb at 2:42 PM on April 10, 2008


Or what MrMoonPie said!
posted by ericb at 2:43 PM on April 10, 2008


Great post and good story. And ericb, thanks for the blast from the past. I'd forgotten all about the Christmas version of that song, a couple verses later:

"The Baron had Snoopy dead in his sights
He reached for the trigger to pull it up tight
Why he didn't shoot, well, we'll never know
Or was it the bells from the village below.

Christmas bells those Christmas bells
Ringing through the land
Bringing peace to all the world
And good will to man"
posted by marxchivist at 2:45 PM on April 10, 2008


For once, someone wasn't picking on Charlie Brown.
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:46 PM on April 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Great story. Thanks.
posted by homunculus at 2:50 PM on April 10, 2008


Good grief!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:51 PM on April 10, 2008


Great post and good story. And ericb, thanks for the blast from the past. I'd forgotten all about the Christmas version of that song, a couple verses later...

Ah, found this:
"What many do not realize is that although the song is obviously fictional, it does have its roots in fact.

During World War I, in 1914, an event known as 'The Christmas Truce' took place between the Germans and the British, initiated not by the commanders, but by the soldiers themselves."
So, our collective "brings to minds" seem spot on.
posted by ericb at 3:09 PM on April 10, 2008


It's a touching story, and it also made me think of the Christmas Truce.

This was in 1943, and the war was to go on for another year and a half. I assume Charlie Brown went on to pilot more bombing missions after being saved?
posted by Auden at 3:11 PM on April 10, 2008


"I could not have shot at them. It would have been the same as shooting at a man in a parachute."

A sentiment not shared by German ground troops who had no trouble shooting down parachutists (and gliders) that comprised the first wave of the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II.

One American recalls that evevning jump.
posted by ericb at 3:20 PM on April 10, 2008


*recalls that evening jump*
posted by ericb at 3:21 PM on April 10, 2008


Yeah, but I would argue that there is a bit of a difference between someone parachuting from a stricken plane, who is doing so to save their life, and someone who is using a parachute as a way of forwarding their assault.

As an enemy, I could see making the decision to fire on one and not on the other.
posted by quin at 3:30 PM on April 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


quin -- good point.
posted by ericb at 3:36 PM on April 10, 2008


"...listen, I have a hole in my head, don’t rile me up”
1st link
Great line.

Great post.
posted by Cedric at 3:47 PM on April 10, 2008


Oh, the humanity!
posted by basicchannel at 3:55 PM on April 10, 2008


Reminds me of the classic Wilfred Owens poem (WWI):

“Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!
“But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.
“I shot him dead because—
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That’s clear enough; although
“He thought he’d ’list, perhaps,
Off-hand like—just as I—
Was out of work—had sold his traps—
No other reason why.
“Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You’d treat, if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown.”

There are many - but far too few - tales of men who decided to party with the enemy rather than to kill them.
posted by kozad at 4:08 PM on April 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


"I could not have shot at them. It would have been the same as shooting at a man in a parachute."

Obviously lacking in schadenfreude.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:09 PM on April 10, 2008


The story about trying to use the Me-109 as a dive bomber is kind of interesting too. Reminds me of the batshit decisions to try to use the Me 262 as a bomber or night fighter.
posted by Artw at 4:26 PM on April 10, 2008


hey, they knew what they were getting into when they signed on.
posted by quonsar at 4:27 PM on April 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


(I was kind of releived to see no one went on to bomb Dresden or anythign, which would have been a bit of a bummer twist)
posted by Artw at 4:28 PM on April 10, 2008


A sentiment not shared by German ground troops who had no trouble shooting down parachutists (and gliders) that comprised the first wave of the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II.

A parachuting pilot is helpless and likely to continue to be so when they hit the ground. A parachuting airborne soldier shares the former hazzard, but not so much the latter (barring the lost equipment issues that happened on D-Day, yeah yeah, I know.)
posted by Cyrano at 4:41 PM on April 10, 2008


Plus, ya know, one of those things was a fucking invasion!

Scale. See also: Sense of.
posted by Cyrano at 4:43 PM on April 10, 2008


eponoseterical!
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:56 PM on April 10, 2008


Kozad: the poem that you quote is Thomas Hardy's "The Man He Killed," not anything by Owen.

Oh, and great post.
posted by notswedish at 5:16 PM on April 10, 2008


I presume the residence of Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Bremen etc are eternally grateful to Franz Stigler for his chivalry.

This is such and example of the victors writing history. Could you imagine what would happen to a hypothetical Wing Commander Arthur "Boffo" Farnsworth, ace spitfire pilot and devil-may-care if he actively escorted a limping Heinkel out of hostile territory?

His name would be mud.
posted by mattoxic at 5:23 PM on April 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I presume the residence of Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Bremen etc are eternally grateful to Franz Stigler for his chivalry.

You make it sound like Franz Stigler escorted the entire Eigth Air Force home one day.
posted by Cyrano at 5:34 PM on April 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


If not for Franz Stigler, Lucy would have had no one to yank the football from.

Funny how an act of kindness resulted in so much cruelty.
posted by bwg at 5:39 PM on April 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Based on the description in the Valor link, Stigler thought the bomber was going to ditch in the North Sea, and with that hole in the nose, it wasn't going to be on top of the water very long.

Sure, the guy deviated from doctrine. His judgement was that it wasn't his place to finish the kill, but maybe God's, if you'll forgive a borderline atheist projecting a bit.

Fascinating story. Geman fighter doctrine was first laid out by Oswald Boelcke in WWI, and refined by the men who, in turn, inherited his leadership position. In order, they were Manfred von Richthofen and Hermann Goering. Yes, that Goering, and von Richthofen is of course better known as the Red Baron. All three men emphasized the military aim of removing the enemy plane and pilot from combat availability, which meant shooting to kill whenever possible. Within this doctrine, however, is the strategic goal of forcing the enemy plane down where it, and the airmen, can be captured.

It sounds to me very much as though Stigler simply expected the almost operatically damaged B-17 to go down, and was attempting to accomodate what he saw as the inevitable.
posted by mwhybark at 5:44 PM on April 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


"I could not have shot at them. It would have been the same as shooting at a man in a parachute."

It's that kind of attitude that loses wars, and avoids atrocities. I wish we lost a few more wars.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:51 PM on April 10, 2008


You make it sound like Franz Stigler escorted the entire Eigth Air Force home one day.

All it takes is one bomb from one bomber to kill someone.
posted by mattoxic at 6:17 PM on April 10, 2008


You make it sound like Franz Stigler escorted the entire Eigth Air Force home one day.

All it takes is one bomb from one bomber to kill someone.


I can dig that, but we're talking WWII here. Waves after waves of bombers. Scales beyond the actions of one man, really. If Stigler had shot down Brown's plane and 200 more that day, the Americans would still be cranking out the B-17s and the outcome would've been the same. Sounds slightly metaphysical but true anyways.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:08 PM on April 10, 2008


Whichever way you look at it, duty is a bitch.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:21 PM on April 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I presume the residence of Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Bremen etc are eternally grateful to Franz Stigler for his chivalry.

Well it's not like anyone built a statue of him.
posted by Artw at 7:28 PM on April 10, 2008


If this story wouldn't make Curtis Lemay spin in his grave, nothing would
posted by Senator at 8:12 PM on April 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


notswedish: me not swedish either, but me feel stupid. Thomas Hardy, of course.

Owens' Dulce est Decorum Est is one of the best antiwar poems in the canon. The last lines (and title) are translated as "It is sweet and beautiful [to die for one's country]." The term "irony" is thrown around with dishrag abandon these days, but it is pretty much defined in this horrific poem.
posted by kozad at 9:02 PM on April 10, 2008


A similar story, not related, just similar.
I learned to read at maybe 4, (about 1951 or 52). and we used to visit Grandma out of state. Grandma had a lifetime supply of Reader's Digests, stacked in large piles behnd the coal oil stove,which kept one room warm. (It was not a bedroom.) When we visited, I taught myself to read them, because they were much higher levels and more interesting than what we had in school.
There was one wonderful story, of a flyer who was forced to bail at some incredibly high altitude. I believe the story went he was forced to chose between burning to death in the plane and jumping without a chute, so he jumped.
He was captured by the Germans and spent the rest of the war in a prison camp, but his captors wrote and signed documents they gave him, testifying that he had fallen without a parachute from some ungodly height. (30, 35,000 feet?) He had fallen into deep pines and then deep snow,which broke his fall. He broke some bones in one or both legs. (Bear in mind, I was maybe 5 or 6 by this time so my memory of the details is not 100% clear. I was a kid.)
Jumping forward, I lived in a town called Sandwich, IL, and it was about 1978 or so. I was between gigs, and used to go to the local newsstand, which had newspapers, breakfast, and tobacco products. I'd read the paper, and sort of half eavesdropped on the local farmers, who often had good stories if you just listened. One morning, this story came up in conversation. One of the farmers,who looked just like all the other farmers, commented that was him. He pulled up the legs of his overalls and showed us the scars. He talked about it a little, and the details I remember were identical. I thought of it as one of the best stories I had ever heard, and I never heard him mention it again.
If the mods deem this not worthy or not interesting and delete it, I understand. Just a tiny bit of dying history, and not strictly relevant to this exact story (Just because I found the story fascinating does not mean everyone else does.)
posted by unrepentanthippie at 9:11 PM on April 10, 2008 [10 favorites]


Thank you for sharing. Seriously, thank you, my late dad told similar stories of WWII.
posted by BillsR100 at 9:15 PM on April 10, 2008


Why would that awesome story get deleted, unrepentanthippie? I recall hearing about that one as well. Thanks for dropping in!
posted by Burhanistan at 9:40 PM on April 10, 2008


That's a great story. Can anyone find reference to it online? The closest I can find is this story with basically the same facts, but it's a British pilot.
posted by Dasein at 10:51 PM on April 10, 2008


There's an online collection of parachute-less jump survivor stories. I'll try to dig it up later. The one I remember is a guy who jumped out of a flaming bomber and crashed through the skylight of a train station only to land at the feet of several German soldiers. They rushed him to the hospital, and he survived.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:21 PM on April 10, 2008


The closest I can find is this story with basically the same facts, but it's a British pilot.

Yes, I've always heard the story as being the British rear gunner of a Lancaster - the details of falling through pines and into a snow drift are the same, as is the point about the Germans not believing him but then finding his parachute harness separately in a field, and subsequently affirming that he had actually fallen to earth. His name was Nicholas Alkemade: Wikipedia has an article about him. However there does appear to be a similar story involving a B-24 navigator, Olen Cooper Bryant, who fell into deep snow and survived.

I think I first read about Alkemade in a book called Into the Silk, which documents notable parachute escapes as well as escapes where no chute was involved. However, re-reading I'd be dubious about some of the stories, particularly where no names are given. The book doesn't quote its references and while some seem to be well-documented elsewhere, others have the feel of aircrew mythology passed around crews rather than something real.

Still it's a great read. More on Into the Silk here, and about the author here.
posted by greycap at 11:32 PM on April 10, 2008


The idea of the romanticism is nice and all, but I seriously doubt any soldier in WWII was trying to figure out if a parachutist was escaping his plane or landing for an assault. And while its great this guy didn't shoot down the B-17, I'm sure he shot down a lot of Allies in defense of the Nazis, no?
posted by owillis at 12:24 AM on April 11, 2008


It sounds to me very much as though Stigler simply expected the almost operatically damaged B-17 to go down, and was attempting to accomodate what he saw as the inevitable.

And save his precious ammunition and fuel to chase another, more healthy aircraft and crew.

The bit about "sparing" the other pilot seems to have been invented after the fact. As others have noted, the basic doctrine on both sides was to kill or capture enemy flight crews. Letting them live to fight another day (and drop more bombs) could never have been the honorable thing to do.
posted by three blind mice at 12:27 AM on April 11, 2008


I seriously doubt any soldier in WWII was trying to figure out if a parachutist was escaping his plane or landing for an assault

Captured enemy air crew are valuable as an intelligence source. Standing orders were mostly to bring them in for questioning. Capturing them is fairly easy, less so with the 101st Airborne...
posted by Harald74 at 12:38 AM on April 11, 2008


Since the Germans on the ground during the D-Day airdrops had been told that the troopers of the American Airborne were psychotic ex-prisoners, murderers and rapists one and all it's no surprise that they were more than a little willing to shoot them before they landed.

There is the story of the men of the 101st being told by an intel colonel that they should no longer cut their hair into mohawks or wear war paint during the drop as the Germans had been fed propaganda of their barbarous atrocities and advised that these tell-tale signs identified one of these airborne maniacs. An unofficial "no quarter" policy was in place for any man with these identifying marks. They were even referred to as "Sing-Singers" for the prison that they had allegedly been recruited from.

The pathfinders who went in before the main landing and many of the men of the 101st still wore their mohawks and warpaint, figuring that scaring the bejesus out of the Germans was worth the risk. That reminds me of some of the Ghurka stories that came out of the Falklands conflict. A number of stories had been circulating around the Argentine lines that the Ghurkas ate human flesh and in at least one instance rumours that they were facing the Ghurka Rifles caused an Argentine retreat with nary a shot fired.

As to this tale of airborne mercy, maybe he was following the aircraft down to ensure it was a definite "kill" and not just a "possible" but if that were the case why didn't he just put a burst through the cockpit and make sure? I'd prefer to think that maybe sometimes in war that the human side can come out and result in mercy. Possibly once the aircraft had been damaged to a certain extent the men inside the machine became clear. It's a lot harder to shoot a man than an object.
posted by longbaugh at 2:28 AM on April 11, 2008


This post needs a NSFW tag, once again I've got wet eyes at my desk.

Thanks for posting.

. for Stigler.
posted by allkindsoftime at 3:31 AM on April 11, 2008


Yes, I've always heard the story as being the British rear gunner of a Lancaster

The Lancaster's rear gunner's position was to cramped to accommodate gunner wearing a parachute, the 'chute hung on a hook on the opposite bulkhead. The poor rear gunner had to make a mad scramble through the door, don his 'chute and find the nearest exit.

My high school history teacher was an Australian Lancaster pilot who was shot down over Germany. When the crew were rounded up and waiting for transport in a German police station, the rear gunner was bought in with a bloody swollen broken nose. The rest of the crew were sure that he had been beaten up by the Germans, but the gunner had to admit that on the scramble out of the bomber he'd slipped over on the empty shell casings that were littering the floor, and had gone face first into the bulkhead door.
posted by mattoxic at 3:51 AM on April 11, 2008


It's that kind of attitude that loses wars, and avoids atrocities. I wish we lost a few more wars.

I don't really want to get into the whole 'just war' debate, Blue Beetle, but remember that it was victory in WWII that liberated the concentration camps. I can't share your wish that the Allies had lost the war.

Regarding this story-- it's a lovely story. Who knows what the 'truth' is, but the idea that enemies can see each others' humanity during battle is beautiful.
posted by miss tea at 4:12 AM on April 11, 2008


Great post. Thank you.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 6:41 AM on April 11, 2008


I can't share your wish that the Allies had lost the war.

You're completely misreading the comment, and in a nasty way. The wish was not that "the Allies had lost the war" but that "we lost a few more wars," and I heartily share that wish. The history of the US is in large measure the history of brutal and unnecessary wars; read Anderson and Cayton, The Dominion of War. Maybe if we hadn't found it so easy to kick the asses of Native Americans, Mexicans, and Filipinos (to name just a few victims of our imperial splendor), we wouldn't be the increasingly paranoid, unfree, and broke nation we are today.

As always, it astonishes me to see people rush to attack a story like this: "Bah, he saved the life of an enemy, he should have shot him down, lol dumb German." But I guess that attitude is why we have wars.
posted by languagehat at 7:04 AM on April 11, 2008


I agree with the sentiment that T.D. Strange 1st posted. At least some of this crew flew more missions and presumably were responsible for the deaths of more people (sorry at work cant read all the material). He could have saved their lives by escorting them to a German airbase (presumably closer) where they would have been taken prisoner.

Languagehat, should the attitude of the allies have been to escort all damaged German bombers back to Europe after bombing runs over London?
posted by batou_ at 7:33 AM on April 11, 2008


(sorry at work cant read all the material)

That precludes you from making accurate statements about this story. Brown said “When Franz tried to get me to surrender, my mind just wouldn’t accept that. It wasn’t chivalry, it wasn’t bravery, it was probably stupidity. My mind just didn’t function in a clear manner. So his choice then was to kill us or try to get us to go to Sweden, since we wouldn’t land.”

Again, it sounds kind of unscientific to say, but America's was a massive war effort undertaken directly by millions, indirectly by the moral and logistical support of hundreds of millions, and lead by politicians and generals who had no intention of stopping until Germany (and Japan) were completely sunk. If Stigler shot down and killed this particular crew, that wouldn't have changed the outcome of the war. Perhaps in some kind of butterfly effect, a different crew flying Brown's replacement plane might've bombed a different house and spared a family that Brown might've killed. The timeline of those people who lived instead would alter the course of humanity/history in subtle or overt ways, but in either case Americans wouldn't be speaking in German today.

So, long story short, Stigler's isolated decision to not gun down these men (true, he had no problems shooting down other Allied planes before and after---that was his job) serves us today as a reminder that the "enemy" is also a human more or less exactly like "us", and that in the most disgusting realms of human activity, some light can be seen. Take it at face value!
posted by Burhanistan at 7:47 AM on April 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Languagehat, since you didn't post the original comment I am not sure how you think you know what the person meant. Regardless, I don't think it is a nasty misreading to extrapolate, while reading a thread about World War Two, to think that the statement "I wish we lost a few more wars" might be applied to the war currently being discussed? My intention was not to be nasty but to point out a certain amount of tension between the general statement and its application. I'm sorry you misread my intention that way, and felt the need to lecture me on the fact that there have been many unjust wars and brutal occupations. I'd point out to you in turn that that history is not limited to those perpetrated by the United States, but I assume that you know that.

Moreover, is there a specific comment you directed your (fairly vituperative) comment:

As always, it astonishes me to see people rush to attack a story like this: "Bah, he saved the life of an enemy, he should have shot him down, lol dumb German." But I guess that attitude is why we have wars.

I haven't seen anything even close to that kind of attitude in this thread.
posted by miss tea at 7:55 AM on April 11, 2008


Is there something about the internet that encourages people to bitch about this dude sparing this guys life. That's all this boils down to.
posted by chunking express at 8:02 AM on April 11, 2008


miss tea: See chunking express's comment; obviously I am not the only one who has noticed this. And see batou_ a's comment, with the knee-jerk leap from one man's compassion on one occasion to "should the attitude of the allies have been to escort all damaged German bombers back to Europe after bombing runs over London?" I'm sorry, but I can't fathom that mindset.
posted by languagehat at 8:09 AM on April 11, 2008


I haven't seen anything even close to that kind of attitude in this thread.

It was the first comment (mine). It was deleted by one of the mods. It wasn't intended as an attack on the story (astonishing!). It was intended to highlight the friction between one's sense of extra-national brotherhood and one's fidelity to patriotic duty in the context of war. It was probably deleted because it was too short and too snarky to carry that message and instead read as "lol dumb German." It should have been written to look more like TD Strange's insightful comment, which covers the same ground with more precision and less sneer.
posted by notyou at 8:16 AM on April 11, 2008


Thanks for the clarification.
posted by miss tea at 8:31 AM on April 11, 2008


languagehat, sorry this was not clearer, but my comment on German bombers was a reaction to this:


As always, it astonishes me to see people rush to attack a story like this: "Bah, he saved the life of an enemy, he should have shot him down, lol dumb German." But I guess that attitude is why we have wars.

I and others are looking at the story from another perspective. To suggest that this is why we have wars is ridiculous.
posted by batou_ at 8:43 AM on April 11, 2008


I think that the perspective of prioritizing large-scale geopolitical issues over the here-and-now possibility of acting humane is in fact one of the main reasons we have wars. But we can agree to disagree.
posted by languagehat at 8:55 AM on April 11, 2008


This story is a combination of Joyeux Noël and Porco Rosso - very touching.
posted by Wavelet at 9:50 AM on April 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


One more on the posts in the upper part of the thread condemning Stigler's actions: my detailed response covering German fighter doctrine was created with the intent in my mind of defusing the comment parade that had popped up. My thought was that clarifying the training the pilot had received and attempting to illuminate what must have been an intensely ambiguous decision making process might help get past the rhetorical positions enunicated prior to the comment.

Happy to help.
posted by mwhybark at 7:47 PM on April 11, 2008


Many years after they invented the internet, I did Google some sites about landing without a parachute, and I found several of them. (Within the last 5 years.)
I never found my story, but I did find that every such site had notes about there being many other similar stories, and not of all of them had any details available. Apparently, there are many other such stories that are not well documented, and I never found my exact story on the 'net. Having seen the scars and heard this man tell the same story I read as a child, I never questioned it.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 7:09 PM on April 16, 2008


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