WW2 enemies meet again as friends

Discussion in 'Stories' started by v2, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    BILL Pearce remembers the exact moment his friend Walter Telsnig tried to kill him.

    It was 1.20am, February 22, 1945, and they were both 6km above Dusseldorf in Germany. Walter's Messerschmitt had sneaked under Bill's Lancaster bomber and sent a spurt of 20mm cannon fire into the fuselage.

    Bill, flying with 174 other aircraft on his 41st mission with Bomber Command, knew immediately the shot was lethal.

    His rear gunner lay dead and the starboard engine had exploded in a ball of fire about 2m from him as he hunched over his wireless operator desk in the main cabin.

    The skipper gave the order to bail out, so he ripped off his oxygen mask, pulled on a parachute and peered out the rear starboard door at a black German night lit by the blazing wing of the doomed Lancaster.

    "I knew there was no welcoming committee waiting for me on the ground," he said. "It wasn't a good time to be in Germany."

    World War II has provided some extraordinary stories of derring-do but few have such amiable endings as the tale of Walter and Bill.

    More than 60 years after the two desperately tried to destroy one another in the skies over Europe, they now chat on the phone. "We're mates," Bill says. "It's silly, 60-odd years ago we were trying to kill each other."

    The chance encounter has been documented by Royal Air Force records which collaborate Bill and Walter's recollections.

    The two were put in touch by a third party in Britain several years ago. Speaking at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra this week , Bill, 85, said while he knew the gravity of his situation, the lack of oxygen made him strangely optimistic or "happy drunk".

    He landed safely, one of four out of the crew of seven who survived.

    Eventually captured by a civilian in a paddock near Cologne, he was handed over to the Luftwaffe before one of the tanks of flamboyant US General George S. Patton crashed through his prison gates and liberated him a few months later.

    source: Daily Telegraph
     

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  2. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Thanks V2 for posting this story. I like this kind of stories as I feel it as a message for the future generations.
    I´m happy I got in touch friends of mine Joe Owsianik and Willi Reschke. They were trying to do their best to kill each other as well back in 1944. And few weeks ago they drunk a beer at the same table....
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Good post, thanks for sharing it.
     
  4. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    ah V2 and guys Walters name is not correct if it is indeed him, for that night it should either be Ofhr. Frank with a Lancaster or Fw. Tahler a Lancaster. the first record is at 23.23 hrs, the second at 23.36 hrs. the first kill northwest of Neuß, the second : ??. both German pilots this was their first kills. and both from III./NJG 11 flying Bf 109G-14/AS or G-10's
     
  5. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    the Daily telegraph is full of crap, I knew I had seen the RAF officer photo somewhere.......... the LW ace was Hauptmann Breeves in a Bf 110G-4

    something is a definate wrong here......

    Lost Bombers - World War II Lost Bombers
     
  6. Instal

    Instal Member

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    I have a similar story to share. My dad was a communications officer in the Middle East during the war. They had it pretty good as they were never that close to the front lines, as a matter of fact he was only under fire once during the whole war. His camp was strafed by what they thought must have been a very lost 109. No one was hurt but it was pretty exciting for them. Many years later in the Airforce club of Windsor the fellas were sharing war stories and yes you guessed it there was that pilot. They are not 100 % sure but the dates match and other details seem to support the coincidence. The two became friends untill the German pilot passed on but it is one of my favorite stories to hear my dad tell.
     
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