A German pilot who shot down 28 allied planes during the war recently learned one of his "kills" was his favorite writer, French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the Sunday Daily Mail reported.
"If I had known it was Saint-Exupery, I would never have shot him down," said Horst Rippert, 88. "I loved his books."
Rippert said Saint-Exupery was below him.
"I saw this markings, maneuvered myself behind him and shot him down," Rippert recalled. "I am shocked and sorry."
The author published eight books before his death, including "The Little Prince."
Rippert learned that he shot down Saint-Exupery from a historian who is writing the author's biography, the Sunday Daily Mail reported.
"Who knows what other great books he would have gone on to write?" Rippert said.
The incident happened in July 1944 over the skies of southern France.