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

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Hardcover, Berkley Trade Pub, 2012, ISBN13 9780425252864, ISBN10 0425252868

About this item

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.

About this item

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.

Specifications

Contributed by: Alexander, Larry
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Publish Date: Dec 2012
ISBN-13: 9780425252864
ISBN-10: 0425252868
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 392
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.4
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.5 x 9.25 x 1.25
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Customer reviews

Customer Reviews | 2 reviews | 4 out of 5

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2 reviews | 4 out of 5

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2 reviews | 4 out of 5

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As a vet, this true event gave me hope
12/13/2013

Customer review by NYChief

5.0 stars 12/13/2013 by NYChief
by NYChief

These two men, although fighting on opposite sides were able to see past the war just for a moment, and rise to a higher calling. This books gives us all hope.

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NYChief
Rochester, NY
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Age:45 - 54
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Gender:Male
Usage:Once per year
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Facetious Marketing, Disappointed
2/9/2013

Customer review by MsKath

3.0 stars 2/9/2013 by MsKath
by MsKath

I bought this book for a great story based on the books statement: " An Incredible true story of combat and chivalry in the war-torn skies of World War ll". That very short part wasn't even discussed until at least half the book was read. This book is really all about WW ll fighter pilots and lots of detail regarding the planes and reality of what happened up there. At the very end were a few pages of what this story was supposed to be about. I think this book should have based more on the chivalry portion vs. all the fighting and jealousy among fellow pilots regarding who got what awards etc. The only reason I would recommend it is because of the scant ending which was awesome.

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MsKath
CA
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Age:55 - 64
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Gender:Female

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