Walter Beck was a German veteran of World War II, and briefly met Jackson Gibbs over German-occupied France during the war.
A fighter pilot in the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) during World War II, Beck first "met" Jackson Gibbs when the latter was lost over German-occupied France on a mission. Beck could have shot the lone P-51 Mustang down, but instead brought his Bf-109 alongside and, using hand gestures, he guided Jackson Gibbs towards the English Channel, and thus to friendly territory. Gibbs later relayed this story to his son, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, while working on model planes with him, although he neglected to mention that Walter Beck was a German.
Eventually, Beck was afflicted with posttraumatic stress as well as immense guilt for killing several enemies for an ideology he never even personally believed in, and later sent a letter to Gibbs in reply to an earlier correspondence. He was dying, and requested that Jackson Gibbs see him. He was brought over to the Blue Skies hospice (something that he implied but not directly stated in the letter). Gibbs then had his son brought along and after some miscommunications and delays were eventually reunited, with Beck meeting the younger Gibbs. Beck died peacefully, having finally met the man he spared in person.