The date is December 20, 1943. A B-17 bomber flown by 21 year old American Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown, (yes, that’s his real name), is on its way back to England, after a first bombing run over Germany.
The B-17 bomber was missing its stabilizer, the rudder was nearly gone, the hydraulics were bleeding from the wings, the nose was open to the sky and the gunner’s position was shattered.
Lieutenant Brown’s bomber was barely staying in the air as it approached the French coast where he knew the shore was heavily guarded by German anti-aircraft guns. The bomber didn’t have a hope.
Suddenly beside them was a German fighter plane. The Americans all expected to die. They were sitting ducks. But the German didn’t shoot. In fact Second Lieutenant Franz Stigler escorted them over the anti-aircraft guns and stayed with them until they were well out to sea.
For years Charlie wondered why the German did it. For years Franz wondered if the Americans had survived. The bomber was so badly damaged Franz couldn’t be certain they had made it home.
A Higher Call is a non-fiction account of the lives of the American and the German from their training days until the end of the war. The book concludes with the two men finally meeting later in life.
This book is a fascinating account of two men who were on opposite sides of the second world war and were both just men doing what their country asked of them.