Freedom Fighters: Earl Downey - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Freedom Fighters: Earl Downey

(KLTV) -

Earl Downey was only 19 when he was assigned to pilot a B-24 Liberator in World War II.

His crew of ten were all teenagers with only six months of training. It was on a bombing mission over Vienna, Austria, that Downey's plane was hit 105 times, knocking out one engine and crippling the plane.

When two German fighters spotted him as he left for home base, the crew thought they were goners. However the two German pilots escorted the American planes as far as the Alps and then waved goodbye. Downey says they saved his life.

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