After 65 years, Barrie Davis, a World War II fighter ace, later this month is set to meet the Romanian air force pilot who, flying a German-made Messerschmidt Bf-109G fighter, tore up his P-51 Mustang during an encounter over the skies of Romania and nearly shot him down. The Charlotte Observer reported Monday that Davis, now 86, and one of his sons will travel to Bucharest to meet Ion Dobran, now 90, his wartime nemesis, in a meeting arranged by a magazine writer. Neither fighter pilot harbors hard feelings. In fact, during the visit, they will stop at the graves of some of the American aviators who died in the war, according to the newspaper. “I’m just eager to see him,” Davis said of Dobran, adding, “I never saw him or his airplane the day he shot me up.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.