Charles L. Brown
BROWN, CHARLES L. Scientist, Inventor, World War II hero and Air Force Cross recipient Charles L. Brown, Lt. Col USAF, (ret) 86, passed away Nov. 24, 2008. He was a Miami resident since 1972. Col. Brown was the loving father of Carol Dawn (Warner) and Kimberly Elaine (Arnspiger), the father-in-law of Michael Arnspiger and the late Andrew Warner, grandfather of Christopher, Dallas, and Charles (Michael). He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 58 years, Delores (Jackie) Brown on March 24, 2007. For extraordinary heroism in military operations in WWII he was awarded the Air Force Cross our nations award for valor second only to the Medal of Honor. He flew 29 combat missions as a B-17 pilot. His many other military decorations included the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat. Upon being offered a position with the United States Department of State he took early retirement from the Air Force and continued to serve his nation as a senior Foreign Service Officer spending six years in Southeast Asia (1965-71) as Inspector-In- Charge, Agency for International Development, U.S. Dept. of State. During his diplomatic career he received several U.S. and foreign decorations, awards and citations, ending his career in 1972 with 30 years of government service. In 1974 Charlie founded an energy and environmental research center and received national and international recognition in the field of "smokeless diesel" engines. In 1987 he was named National Inventor of the Year by the Palm Beach Society of American Inventors and in March 1980 was named as one of six top energy inventors in the U.S. by the research staff affiliated with NBC News "Today Show." In 1992 he was the recipient of the Distinguished West Virginian Award by the Governor. In 2007 during the annual Military Appreciation Day, he was honored by the Florida House of Representatives for his service in W.W. II. At age 21 on his first mission as pilot in command, his plane was badly damaged by German fighters and flack; he and six of his crew were wounded. Upon limping back to England they were intercepted by yet another enemy fighter over Germany. Recognizing their helpless state, the German pilot did not shoot them down but signaled Charlie to land, surrender and be taken prisoner. In the face of certain death Charlie refused two such demands because his crew needed critical medical care. The chivalrous German pilot, recognizing the courage of his fellow airman, escorted the crippled bomber to the coast, pointed a compass heading to England and saluted his adversary. Forty five years later the two pilots were re-united and became as close as brothers. Their story continues to receive international acclaim. The chivalrous German pilot, Luftwaffe Ace Franz Stigler passed away on March 22, 2008. The family will receive friends on Friday evening Dec. 12, 6-9 p.m., at Van Orsdel Funeral Home 11220 North Kendall Drive. Burial with full military honors will take place on Saturday Dec. 13, at 1 p.m. at Woodlawn Park South, 11655 SW 117 Avenue in Kendall. To visit this Guest Book Online, go to
Published by the Miami Herald on Dec. 7, 2008.
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118 Entries
What an amazing life you had here on earth! Stories of your life will be passed down through countless generations to come. Thank you for everything you have done to make the world a better place.
April 15, 2021
JESUS was with Charles L. Brown on that faithful day. He also put compassion in the heart of the German airman. God is so Good! He blessed both men with a beautiful long life. ❤
Josephine Reitkopp
December 2, 2019
This is more or less a duplicate message as I have posted about these two fine gentlemen (Charlie & Franz). Prayers for the both of them. It was wonderful that they both survived the war and were able to become life long friends after the war was over. It does not get any better than that.
J. Crosby
December 1, 2019
What a gallant man, who did every possible thing, flying a severely damaged B-17, to save his crew from a determined German fighter aircraft attack on his first mission during WW2. And to be spared by a lone chivalrous German fighter pilot leaves nothing but respect and honour.
August 8, 2019
P Gregg
December 29, 2018
I went to the same high school as Charles Brown. He was 8 years older than me but I'm, sure my older brothers knew him. A great honor to know he was from Weston, WV. We had other heroes from Weston in WW2.
Richard Morrison
December 18, 2018
I hope more stories like this one are published and affect others like it has for me. Courageous acts of compassion need to be retold until 'we' raise our consciousness to learn to work together rather than harm each other.
Thank you for posting !
Don Keath
July 2, 2018
I just had to send my condolences to the Brown family after reading about Chales Browns' experiences during and after WW2. A true hero who lived a remarkable life. His connection with Franz Stigler was just extrodinary. The story of two pilots on opposites sides of World War 2 coming face to face over worn torn Germany only to be reunited years later was simply fascinating. I wish I had of met Mr Brown before his passing. God bless him and his family
Wally Nowlan
June 21, 2018
I was sent an email regarding the story of Your beloved Father and his special Brother Franz. I was so touched I decided to look up more information regarding what had happened on that fateful day. Absolutely inspiring Vale to both your Dad Charles and Franz may they both still be telling their story forever in Heaven.
Carol Ritikis
June 5, 2018
Thank you for your service, your many contributions to society, and of course, many thanks for sharing the touching story about the incident and friendship with Franz Stigler. RIP Sir.
June 14, 2017
Charles and Franz were two men who demonstrated nobody wants war. Charles later discovered keys to prove nobody needs war. I was familiar with "A Higher Call" but in discovering how Charles Brown went to Congress, met a Senator in the Science & Technology committee, and met the General Counsel where he proved he could improve gas mileage, and lower emissions by 40%. Instead of thanking him, Charles test vehicle was stolen, his equipment and notes taken. His project at the Maritime Administration also proved too successful, and was cancelled. This is all outlined in the book, UNACKNOWLEDGED, published in May 2017 by Dr. S.M. Greer. As a tribute to you, Charles, and your friend Franz, whose selfless act gave you and your men 60 more years to live & invent things to bless our world, I give thanks. To all men like you, I hope everyone searching for truth will read UNACKNOWLEDGED, especially pages 70 to 73 which tell your story after the war. Every American, every German, and every human being on this planet needs to know the truth, so your children and your children's, children's children will have an earth to inherit one day. Thank you for your service, and your example. May your family be forever blessed.
My father also served, in Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Midway, the Solomon Islands and Korea. I include his photo in tribute, and with thankfulness to all who serve.
Kjirstin Youngberg
June 10, 2017
Just read a higher call.I salute you Charles and respect your commitment to your country.R.I.P.I have amazing respect for your generation.
Declan Kerins
March 7, 2017
I heard this story from my grandfather in 2002. He also served in the Jagdgeschwader 27. the two have known each other. Franz did not tell the incident at the time. Long after the war one could talk about it. My grandfather told me about Franz and Charlie. It was beautiful and sad at the same time. Nice that there were pilots like franz who also acted humanly. And sad that many good men have fallen into a senseless war. Since 2002 I have seen many news and features on the II WW. It shocked me. What happened there was terrible. With YouTube came the videos of the guncam or cameras on board of tanks and aircraft. I find it infinitely sad how many men had to die there. on both sides. I would like to undo everything but I can not. I was even a soldier in the German Bundeswehr but never had to go to war. Luckily. I never want to experience such a thing. But I would like to express my greatest respect and gratitude to the soldiers who liberated Germany and Europe in 1945. Thanks to the soldiers who had to die. And thank you to pilots like franz to place humanity for hostility. Words can not tell how grateful I am to the soldiers of WW II who have finished the war. I salute before them with my greatest respect. You can write to me. Am always interested in stories of soldiers from the war period. Photos, diaries or anything. Everything is treated anonymously. I do not publish anything. I just want to know a lot from the time. Rip Franz and Charlie. You showed that enemies can become friends. I live in address for contact: [email protected]
Mathias Koch
November 22, 2016
Just realized your great story, rest in peace Charles!
Romeo Pavoni
November 3, 2016
After seeing Mr. Brown and Mr. Stigler's story, I was filled with a deep sense of loss, for I will never have the opportunity to meet what can only be called "Men of Honor". Each man's family should be proud of the legacy they have left for the human race. I can only hope that I can live up to the standards (honor, respect, love, valor, and unselfishness) that they have set. Fly on the wings of glory in the bluest sky Mr. Brown, because you will never be forgotten. RIP
Shon Brown
December 28, 2015
Just saw his story of courage and his brotherhood with Mr.Stigler. Two wonderful men. Their story fills my heart with love for two men that I will never get to meet, but will never forget. May you RIP Mr. Charlie, my namesake.
Charnese Miller
December 27, 2015
Dear Brown family,
My 6yr old boy and I read A Higher Call this year. We are sad we never got to meet Charlie and Franz, but their story will live forever with us. After reading what Charlie went through that first mission, reading what kind of guy Charlie was, after the book we felt as if we knew Charlie and he was part if our family. We even have his picture up with Franz.
Blessing to you Charlie and your family.
Jeannie Hernandez
November 4, 2015
No ordinary hero; God bless you Sir!
Jay Fritts
August 27, 2015
I look up to you and your fellow pilots
June 1, 2015
What a story of foes that became brothers. I salute them both.
Doc Greenbranch
May 28, 2015
May you rest in peace and may God bless your were a true gentlemen
Jeffrey Crosby
April 4, 2015
Charlie and Franz, flying in sunlit skies, brothers in eternity.

Colin McMeekin
December 20, 2014
A higher call is a story that invokes true inspiration for myself and I am very proud to talk about that story with others. Thank you for sharing your story Charlie, and being able to find some good in the most terrible years of World War 2. Franz, thank you for helping Charlie find peace after all those years of nightmares, and allowing all those extended family's to prosper.
MCpl Pete Van Eykeren
November 4, 2014
Mr. Charlie Brown boy you taught me a lot for the short time I got to know you.

You were one of the smartest men I knew.

Your wife is so awesome and I loved eating her food!

You will be missed Sir and I will never forget you or your family or your stories of world war II and the Sate Department under McNamara.

You will be missed and I wished more people knew your story..for today is your day too!

God Bless you
Marcus Giavanni
June 6, 2014
I have just finished the book"THE GREATEST GENERATION"..How true those words are.I was born in 1943 .These two wonderful men make all of us so proud
of them and their ethics and values.
May 27, 2014
May 27, 2014
I just completed reading the book "A Higher Call". Thank you to you and your family for your service.
April 4, 2014
I have previously seen the UTube
and now read the book. AS retired AForce and a Military School Graduate, I can only admire and express most sincere appreciation for the battlefield heroics of these pilots. Now reading the book, and having spent significant time in Germany with my later career, am so much more to know that these experiences left you with humanity and respect for your opponents. My total respect and admiration for such a true officer and gentlemen.
Lloyd Stafford
February 28, 2014
Thanks for what you did so many years ago in WWII to protect our and other nations' freedoms and their people. We live in peace today because of this and the selflessness of the Greatest Generation. We should never forget.
Paul Donner
January 24, 2014
~ You fly now... side-by-side... as - "heroes" - and do so - in peace...
January 13, 2014
Rest in peace. God love you
December 9, 2013
A gentleman and a true hero. What you did to look for Franz Stigler is so commendable, as not all people will do that. Two great heroes now with our Creator. God bless both your families and may your principle in life continues to your next generation and we all learn from it.
Dave Paculan
September 3, 2013
Fantastic story ! R.I.P.
Sam Zacum
August 29, 2013
My deepest respect.
July 26, 2013
A true American hero! They don't make gentleman like you anymore! R.I.P
Wayne Murphy
July 8, 2013
What a wonderful story about two of that war's great heroes. I know they are sharing their eternity with many other heroic men from both sides. God bless the families of both. I know Father's Day is always a little bittersweet when your father is no longer with you, but what a wonderful legacy he left you.
June 15, 2013
Rest in Peace
gregory welk
May 11, 2013
Franz Stigler saga is that of a true son of God. I pray for when he passed away all angels scorted him to a safe place in heaven, just as he did for his american brothers.
Felipe Garcia
February 9, 2013
good on you
donald woodward
February 2, 2013
Rest in Peace, Charlie. You are finally with your friend, Franz.
William Morando
January 1, 2013
Having just signed Franz Stigler's Guest book, I only recently just found out about this amazing true story. God bless him and for god looking out on you that day.
December 9, 2012
God bless you and your gallant Luftwaffe
saviour-may you both be flying high and smiling together in sunlit skies. I wish I could have met you fellow flyers
Duncan Stuart
November 21, 2012
Never have I read such a touching, thoughtful, considerate, respectful account.
Jerry Deibert
September 19, 2012
Happy Memorial Day! We honor you and your band of brothers who gave us so much--our freedom. America is truly the land of the free because America is also the home of the brave! God Bless You!
May 26, 2012
An honorable pilot who would was given a chances to do great thing with the rest of his life and did
August Dauel
May 14, 2012
Having worked with Charlie in the Clean Diesel project thru failure and success I can say he was truly an American. It was truly my good fortune to have the opportunity to know him.

R A Belden
Ralph Belden
May 8, 2012
I just recently learned of the heart-rending and fascinating courage, compassion and heroism entwined in the Charlie Brown-Franz Stigler story and forwarded it to family and friends as a 2012 Easter greeting. I am glad I still have the opportunity to extend deepest condolences to the Brown and Stigler families and express such LOVE AND ADMIRATION for their humanity and the courage to pursue their convictions.
Kcenia Artymiak
April 22, 2012
When two fine spirits meet, they can bring light even into the darkest hours. Thank you Charlie and Franz for showing us, that a superb character can prevail when the going gets tough.
Dirk Pfeiffer
October 24, 2011 are a true man, a man we can learn from. Thankyou for giving me my freedom.
I aspire to make WW11 heroes like yourself and my grandfather proud. I salute u all
Mark Harris
May 23, 2011
I followed your story from a friend that knew Franz. Both heros Thank you R.I.P. May your wings be sliver. And your spirit fly high
James McRoberts
May 19, 2011
God Bless you for your service.Rest In Peace.
Mike Golch
April 10, 2011
As the son of a B-17 pilot, who died when I was 18 months old, I thank you for being a shining example of the type of man we should all strive to be.
Bruce Tolley
February 2, 2011
Rest In Peace Charlie and Franz.
Manni Kirst
January 12, 2011
Rodney Madorsky
Rodney Madorsky
December 25, 2010
We are all thankful for for his service to our country.

L. Michael Gozia
L Michael Gozia
December 17, 2010
Mike Denton
November 25, 2010
Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story and life with the public. God's mercy was truly evident on that fateful day in 1943. May the Holy Spirit bring comfort to his family.
Jo Reitkopp
November 10, 2010
My name is Rodger Barnes. I served in the 8th Air Force, 7th Bomb Wing, and served in Vietnam in 1966-68. Thank you, Mr. Brown, for your service to our country.
October 19, 2010
My name is Julius Dan Pleasaince Jr. and a Vietnam veteran. Reading the story of the two Airman was very moving. What a wonderful story of compassion for one who could not fight back,and of one who could, but wouldn't.

Again, kudos to both Airman's families.

June 10, 2010
Rest in peace, Mr. Charlie Brown
Bill and Joanne Dempsey
May 14, 2010
My name is Ronald Bereman II my father Ronald Bereman was a B-17 Pilot with the 486(H) 8th Air Force. I use to attend Florida 8th Air Force reunions with my Dad and met Mr. Brown on several occasions. Dad always spoke highly of Mr. Brown. My Dad and Charlie Brown were good men who fought the good fight.
Ron Bereman
March 23, 2010
My connection to WWII is my uncle Staff Sergeant Lowell Wamick who was a turrent gunner on a B-17. His plane was shot down over France, he went down with the plane. He was later reburied in Arlington. I'm grateful for men like Sergeant Wamick and Lt Col Brown that answered the call to duty during a dark hour in our nation's history.

Staff Sergeant Brian Dickinson
Ft Lewis, WA
February 6, 2010
The spirit of Manfred Von Richtohofen living in the body of Franz Stigler provided Col. Brown with a life of honor as both men showed honor until the left this earth unsupported by aircraft.
Lance Bottari
January 21, 2010
Col. Charlie Brown: You certainly earned everything you received AND More....What a wonderfuly story of you and Franz Stigler. It proves that there are still chivalrous events taking place in this world .
May you and yours be blessed. Kathy King - Palm Harbor, FL
January 12, 2010
May we all aspire to live our lives like you had Col. Brown, God Bless you and your family.
Scott Snyder, US Army
Scott Snyder
January 8, 2010
In the film Saving Private Ryan the entire meaning of the film can be summarized by the two words EARN IT.
Charlie most certainly earned it every day of his life, and not just for that moment in time that the public remembers of a limping B-17 and of Franz's Me-109.
Frederick Pierson
December 8, 2009
Mr. Charlie Brown Sir. The angel of god was with you and your crew and Angel Gabriel is beside you leading to your safe return.
November 16, 2009
My condolences to the family, what a great man, God Bless him.
Erasmo DeLaPena
November 2, 2009
Very touching that Franz considered you a special brother ... I love to hear stories where the greater good was accomplished. May God comfort your family at this time of loss.
Kasimira Baxter
October 31, 2009
I am so inspired by your story! What a wonderful man...may he rest in peace with all the honor he deserves. My condolences to his family, As an American, I am deeply grateful for Col. Brown's service, and your sacrifices.

~Pam Considine, Troy, N.Y.
Pam Considine
September 5, 2009
Humanity in war is the essence of honour. May Franz and Charlie now rest in peace together.
Ian Dockreay
August 18, 2009
To the family of Charlie Brown:
We live in such a divisive age. So many things seem to divide us, while precious few unite us. The story of this great man has, once again, inspired me to do all I can to function with integrity and courage, while blessing all those around me with kindness and love. I have shared similar sentiments with the family of Franz Stigler. As I said to his family, my only prayer is that the heart of Charles Brown lives on in the hearts of his family. Thank you again for making me a better person with your story.
David Guerrin
August 17, 2009
There is not much else that I can add to this other than to say that it is because of men like this that I am porud to say I am an American.
August 6, 2009
This story moved me to tears. My uncle was a bomber pilot flying the Wellington aircraft at Honington RAF stationed at East Wretham. I have heard a many stories of the war time, but this one make me cry. GOD BLESS THEM ALL. P.D. Ontario Canada
Peter Doktor
June 19, 2009
What a wonderful person, husband and father and what an exceptional story. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. Both families have a right to be so proud of these truly heroic honorable men.
Beth Whelan
June 11, 2009 God.... I love it....It make me cry. God bless there souls...
izabel venturini
June 8, 2009
What a happy story between two brave men.
I will tell this one to my children.
You and Franz make us proud.
God bless both of you.
June 7, 2009
One of the most inspirational stories I have read, was the account of Mr. Brown's and Mr. Steigler's meetings during and after the war. This is a story which I will share with my children, and I'm sure will be shared for many generations to come. After reading of some of Mr. Brown's life accomplishments after the war, it's obvious that God had one hand on a shoulder of each of these men on that day in back in 1943. My condolences to Mr. Brown's Family.
Dave Westoby
June 7, 2009
So glad you both met and he spared you to go on to other things and enjoy your family. Isn't that really something. fact.

Shelley, Ottawa, Canada
June 6, 2009
I had the honor of meeting Charlie and Franz in August of 2000 at the warbirds convention.They both did me a great favor which I will cherish as long as I live.Then they left before I could thank them.My squad mates told me they didn't want to be thanked.
God bless and thank you both.
Kevin Brower
June 5, 2009
Honor and service to ones country is one of the greatest measures of a persons worth. May God bless you and your family
Jim Sellers
June 5, 2009
Happy flying....
Glenn G
June 5, 2009
Some good people as said to be blessed with a guardian angel. It is apparent Capt. Brown was blessed with such an angel dressed in wolf's clothing. Two remarkable men met at the same time, in the same place, and forever bonded as brothers.
John Menefee
June 5, 2009
I salute you sir, and your brave crew. God Bless you all.
Kenan Walker,USAF(Ret.)
June 4, 2009
I truly think this was a great story of heroes, and warriors. This story shows that all men bleed the same color blood, and all have a family of some sort back home! God Bless, and i wish that only man kind of all cultures could realize that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Brandon Petkauskos
June 3, 2009
Godspeed to a man of courage, honor, and intelligence.
Ivan Abrams
June 3, 2009
What a great person and man he was. God Bless him.
Linda McCreight
June 2, 2009
If men like these two ran their countrys, there would never have been a world war 2. God bless them both.
Danny Brotherson
May 31, 2009
Truly a great story and admiration for a man of honour - Charles Brown. May we hear of many more stories such as this. May the Lord grant him eternal rest and may his soul rest in peace.
Penny Smith
May 31, 2009
To Charlie Brown "I say thank - you", a true American hero.Franz showed his love and compassion that day in 1943 and you found him years later to share your love and compassion. Truly a great Memorial Day story.
God Bless you Charlie Brown
Joan Borst
May 27, 2009
A man of my Father's generation ''' Men of Honor
Richard Wayne Andrepont
May 24, 2009
May 22, 2009
I was so touched to read the story about Col. Charlie Brown and his heroic effort that he made to get his injured crew back to England at the risk of his crippled B17 being shot down by the German fighter. My uncle, Sgt.Jack Hyatt, was a B17 tail gunner, who with his fellow crew members, was shot down over Holland. He was captured by the Germans and was a prisoner at Stalig 17. He survived the death march and was liberated by U.S.Forces.
My thanks go out to all of those great men that gave their service to their country. To the family of Col. Charlie Brown, God bless you. He will not be forgotten.
Jack Pope
May 22, 2009
A true and honorable man in every way. Thank you for allowing his story to be told.
Sondra Johnson
May 18, 2009
I just ready the story about Charlie Brown...WOW...what can I in a million. To be able to say he was my father, grandfather, or uncle and to tell the proud you must all be. God Bless...
May 18, 2009
What a wonderful story!! Thank God for placing such people as Charlie Brown in our midst!! I was trained in the RAF 10 years after the war by men of his calibre - men who helped to form my character and guide me forever! God bless his family!!

Stan Nicholls (UK)
Stanley Nicholls
May 17, 2009
Our Nation, and the world, has lost a true American hero. He and his deeds will not be forgotten. May God bless his family at this time.
Paul Moshay
May 11, 2009
My condolences to his loved ones and the brothers-in-arms he loved so well on that day and brought home safely to England through his determination, courage, skill and the merciful decision of a honorable pilot of the ME109. Lastly I wish to Thank Lt Col Brown for his service to our great country in her hour of need.

Godspeed to you...
D Wemyss
April 9, 2009
I have lived my Childhood in Germany 1933 till 1959 , thank you Charlie Brown for adding your part to a free Germany , Thank you from my heart ! You will be in my prayers !
Agnes Taylor
April 1, 2009
I have lived safe and well in England for 67 years thanks Charlie Brown and men like him.
Thank you Charlie. I salute you.
Thanks also to the German pilot who put chivalry and honour before glory.
Eddie Cappleman
March 29, 2009
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