Four days before Christmas in 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail - a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.
This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day - the American - Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17 - and the German - Second Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.
A Higher Call follows both Charlie and Franz’s harrowing missions. Charlie would face takeoffs in English fog over the flaming wreckage of his buddies’ planes, flak bursts so close they would light his cockpit, and packs of enemy fighters that would circle his plane like sharks. Franz would face sandstorms in the desert, a crash alone at sea, and the spectacle of one thousand bombers, each with eleven guns, waiting for his attack.
Ultimately, Charlie and Franz would stare across the frozen skies at one another. What happened between them, the American Eighth Air Force would later classify as top secret. It was an act that Franz could never mention without facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for 40 years until, as old men, they would search for one another, a last mission that could change their lives forever.
©2012 Adam Makos (P)2013 Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
“This book grips you like a movie. It’s part Top Gun, part Valkyrie, and more!”(Marcus Brotherton, New York Times best-selling author
“It is often said that ‘war is hell’ - and it is - however, this story reveals how the human spirit can shine in the darkest hours. A Higher Call is an eye-opener.” (Col. Charles McGee, Tuskegee Airman, WWII)
“‘Can good men be found on both sides of a bad war?’ The author asks the question and delivers the answer. A powerful, haunting read.” (Chuck Tatum, author of Red Blood, Black Sand)
I've listened to this book 3 times, because it's so special and chalked full of interesting details. for me it's a tear jerker and a remarkable story. I'll keep this book forever and share it with others looking for a great story!
Im not sure if I could go through the emotional roller coaster again......
The two pilots meeting each other in person for the first time.
Every emotion took place and Im not a guy who cries.
Everything about this book was amazing!
What an amazing story! This is the way kids should learn about history. All parts of the story seem to be covered which gives an emotional attachments to the lessons we need to learn from our history and the people who lived it.
An excellent story about one time enemies of WW II and their heroic acts over the skies of Europe. The rest of the story tells of the chivalry and honor among the elite few of Germany's fighter pilots. Honor that characterizes the The Greatest Generation regardless of country or origin.
The author opens your eyes as you realize not everyone fighting for Germany during world war II was a Nazi. Honorable men flew in the sky's. The narrator does an excellent job, keeping you intrigued and wanting to listen to more.
author, women's aviation
The ending brought tears -- good ones.
Battle sequence and last flight of Ye Old Pub riveting.
Franz's story truly heroic.
Narrator gets 5 stars as well.
Truly loved this book.
One of the best testaments of the greatest generation! This book is well written, well read and well dramatized with different voice intonation for each character. The author has portrayed the character of the men in a honest and poignant manner. It is an emotionally charged book, one that is hard to put down. I will definitely listen to this again!
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