A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

Four days before Christmas 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 in 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—2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17—and the German—2nd 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 1,000 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 8th Air Force would later classify as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention or else face a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search for one another, a last mission that could change their lives forever. 

Title:A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780425252864
Format Type:

    A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II Reviews

  • Jerry Bransford

    I just completed reading Adam Makos' A Higher Call and I can only say I was absolutely stunned after finishing its final page. I sat quietly for several minutes, staring at the book and flipping throu...

  • Jon

    What's better than a good novel? A great story that is a true and inspirational one!I never write reviews but this book was so good, I thought I had to do so. So many things had to go just right and t...

  • Karen

    A Higher Call is mostly the story of Franz Stigler, an ace WWII German fighter pilot who came upon a heavily damaged and helpless American B-17 bomber struggling to return to England. Stigler could ha...

  • happy

    Starting with an encounter between a badly shot up B-17 and an ace German fighter pilot on Christmas Eve of 1943, the author tells the story of the pilots of the 2 airplanes. In telling the story he a...

  • Linda B.D.

    I bought this book for my husband. I usually read time travel, romance, and apocalyptic books. I read the cover and it sounded interesting. I've always loved non-fiction-especially history concentrati...

  • Pamela

    "Can good men be found on both sides of a bad war?"If there is any honor and beauty to be found in war, this is it: A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skie...

  • A.L. Sowards

    I really enjoyed this book. After looking at the cover and reading the back, I expected it to be the story of a US bomber crew and a German fighter pilot. In reality, the majority of the book was abou...

  • Pramodya

    This book was phenomenal...I knew from the very first few chapters, that I was gonna end up enjoying this book very much. This blend of beautiful and harrowing experiences, written together with incre...

  • Laurel

    I just finished reading A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II. I was a little skeptical about the use of the word "incredible" in the tit...

  • Paul

    This was a great book. At Christmastime in 1943, a German – who was already one of the leading fighter pilots at that point of the war – comes across a severely damaged B-24, barely able to fly, b...