A Higher Call
An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World W ar II
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
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THE NEW YORK TIMES AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
December, 1943: A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly over wartime Germany. At the controls is twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls up on the bomber’s tail. The pilot is German ace Franz Stigler—and he can destroy the young American crew 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.”
The U.S. 8th Air Force would later classify what happened between them as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention for fear of facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search the world for each other, a last mission that could change their lives forever.
Adam Makos is a journalist, historian, and author of the book Voices of the Pacific. In his fifteen years of work in the military field, Makos has interviewed countless veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and present-day wars. He has flown a B-17 bomber and a T-38 fighter with the Air Force, and was one of the few journalists privileged to examine Air Force One with its pilots. The high point of his work occurred in 2008, when Makos traveled to Iraq to accompany the 101st Airborne and Army Special Forces on their hunt for Al Qaeda terrorists.
Larry Alexander is the author of the New York Times bestselling biography Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, the Man Who Led the Band of Brothers. He is also the author of Shadows in the Jungle: The Alamo Scouts Behind Japanese Lines in World War II and In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers: A Return to Easy Company’s Battlefields with Sgt. Forrest Guth. Alexander has been a journalist and columnist for the Intelligencer Journal in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for nearly twenty years and has won numerous state-level awards for excellence in journalism.
“From the horrors of the most savage war in history emerges this beautiful story of a brotherhood between enemies. Simply told, splendid and well worth the read.”—Joe Galloway, coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestseller We Were Soldiers Once...and Young
“This book grips you like a movie. It’s part Top Gun, part Valkyrie, and more!”—Marcus Brotherton, author of the New York Times bestseller We Who Are Alive and Remain
“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.”—Colonel 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