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)
This book and the story it tells are just amazing. While it is a book about WW2 and it doesn't doesn't pull punches about the horrors, it is not so much a good guys vs. bad guys story as it is a story about two men whose lives intersected in the sky over Germany, how they survived the war, and how they found each other much later. It is a book for anyone interested in the war or in flying, but even more, it is a powerful study of human spirit.
Loved the true stories and adventures in this book and learned a lot about the US and German WWII Airforces; it reminded me a bit of "Unbroken: A WWII Story...". The narrator was PERFECT too! Recommended it to all my friends :-).
What an amazing book. The book will bring tears to your eyes in the first section of simply setting up the story. It gives us as bit of kindness from a nasty war in which both sides sacrificed so much. This is a story of good men asked to defend their Country and they choose to do it with honor and dignity. This story happens early in the war and after you hear what both parties lived through and experienced, it is a miracle in itself that both parties lived to tell their stories. War is Hell and this amazing story came from its deepest destruction. Hats off to Adam Makos for giving us their story. For all our veterans and our active military and families, I can only tell you Thank You for your service to this Nation. I am forever grateful.
I can't express how much this story changed my perspective about Germany in WW2. Thank you for writing this book.
A Higher Call should be required reading for every senior in high school along with discussion. Every person should read this book. True honor and love is shown through the pages of this book. Human beings can be remarkable, even in the midst of evil times . I would normally not choose a book of this type; however, I am grateful that I listened . I loved it and the
narrator was excellent. Thank you audible!
This book is absolutely amazing! It is very captivating and I would recommend this story to anyone in the military or who is interested in history or the military. Being a member of the Air Force this book hits closer to home and made me cry several times. This book is more than just a book, it is the living accounts of true acts of chivalry of a greater generation during a terrible time.
I first learned of this story in the late 90's when I toured the 8th Air Force Museum outside of Savannah, GA. If you are a WWII history buff it is a MUST READ (or listen)! Restores one's faith in humanity.
The story is great, and so is the narrator. The perspective is unique. Highly recommended to anyone, and in particular to those interested in war history and World War 2 air war history.
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