Dear Stigler Family,
My father also was a 8th Air Force flyer during WWII. His name was 2LT James W. Hammond, a Bombardier in a B-24. He was shot down in November 1943. He experienced kindness from German soldiers as well. He had been wounded by flack during his bail-out and was captured. Two Wehrmacht officers took him from his home guard capturers, and took him to the only medical service offered in the small town. It was a veterinarian. The vet cleaned and stitched his wounds, and gave him sulfa for infection. The two officers paid for this out of their own pockets. They then took him to the train station, bought him some food and drink, and stayed with him until turning him over to the Luftwaffe guards for his trip to Stalag Luft I. He never forgot their kindness and respect. He went to attention and saluted them as he left. They returned the salute.
It is a wonderful thing that during the chaos of war that real men can maintain their humaness and honor.
My father died in 1995. In his name, and for myself, I therefore honor Franz in this way.
He was a real man of honor ,and deserving of respect from both friend and foe. Franz Stigler, I salute you. May you rest in peace in God's hands.