Battle of the Bulge

On December 17, 1944, the second day of the Battle of the Bulge, American P-47 pilot Ed Cottrell’s engine was shot up. In the same battle, German pilot Karl-Heinz Bosse’s Messerschmadt 109 was shot down. Cottrell steered to his base and expertly managed a dead-stick landing. Bosse ejected and parachuted down but was seriously injured and hospitalized.

Enemy Pilots

Seventy-nine years later (in December 2023) at the site near Bonn, Germany where Bosse’s plane had crashed, these two pilots and former enemies had a four-hour visit all these years later, sharing their stories with the help of a translator.

Former Enemies now Forever Friends

This April 13th, Lt. Col. Ed Cottrell, USAF (Ret.) will tell the story of meeting his former enemy–two pilots whose historic mission was to destroy each other’s planes—and perhaps lives. Cottrell will tell the story of how these former adversaries developed a quick friendship, ending their meeting “forever friends.”

A Tribute

After his talk, Cottrell will be honored with the presentation of a United States flag flown over the NC Capitol, by NC Representative Mike Clampitt, along with a tribute from the citizens of North Carolina.

Concluding the program, Brevard Mayor Maureen Copelof will unveil a new painting depicting Cottrell’s encounter with two Me-109 pilots on Dec. 17, 1944. The painting, titled, “I was waiting for the bullets to come,” was commissioned by Valor Studios, who will make a limited number of prints available for sale.

Attendees will be invited to talk with Cottrell and have photos taken with him and the painting. He will be available to sign a copy of the museum’s book, “We Shall Come Home Victorious”, which tells his complete story.

Light refreshments will be served. The public is invited to this free program on April 13 at 11:00 AM at Grace Brevard Church, 55 E. Jordan Street, Brevard, NC.