Tuesday, March 18, 2008

War is hell... on writers

"Sorry, world, for offing a great writer. My apologies. I thought he had the WMDs."
Messerschmidt pilot Horst Rippert, 88, said he would have held his fire if he had known the man flying the Lightning fighter was renowned French novelist Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

The fliers clashed in the skies over southern France in July 1944.

"He was below me," said Rippert. "I saw his markings, manoeuvred myself behind him and shot him down.

"If I had known it was Saint-Exupery, I would never have shot him down. I loved his books.

"I knew he was a French pilot, but he was probably my favourite author at the time."