By Larry Alexander, Adam Makos
THE long island occasions AND foreign BESTSELLER
Four days earlier than Christmas 1943, a badly broken American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls used to be a 21-year-old pilot. part his workforce lay wounded or useless. It was once their first project. without warning, a graceful, darkish form pulled up at the bomber’s tail—a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot used to be an ace, a guy capable of wreck the yank bomber within the squeeze of a set off. What occurred subsequent may defy mind's eye and later be referred to as the so much wonderful stumble upon among enemies in international struggle II.
This is the real tale of the 2 pilots whose lives collided within the skies that day—the American—2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who got here to captain a B-17—and the German—2nd Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to prevent scuffling with in global conflict II.
A better Call follows either Charlie and Franz’s harrowing missions. Charlie might face takeoffs in English fog over the flaming wreckage of his buddies’ planes, flak bursts so shut they might gentle his cockpit, and packs of enemy combatants that might circle his airplane like sharks. Franz may face sandstorms within the desolate tract, a crash on my own at sea, and the spectacle of 1,000 bombers every one with 11 weapons, anticipating his assault.
Ultimately, Charlie and Franz might stare around the frozen skies at each other. What occurred among them, the yank eighth Air strength might later classify as “top secret.” It was once an act that Franz may possibly by no means point out otherwise face a firing squad. It used to be the stumble upon that will hang-out either Charlie and Franz for 40 years until eventually, as outdated males, they'd look for each other, a final venture that can switch their lives ceaselessly.
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Extra info for A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II
Some died on the spot. The kitchen was used as a reception area and the dining room as an operating theatre. Two officers operated at the dinner table [Capt Vaughan and the RMO of 7th Bn Parachute Regiment]. ’ The word filtered round the platoons that over 90 bottles of champagne, hidden from the Germans in 1940, were being uncorked by the Gondrées to celebrate the liberation. In conversation with the author, Howard recalled that during the day many of the men in the vicinity found an excuse to make a short trip to the Company Clearing Post to enjoy the hospitality of the delighted and courageous French couple.
Pte Eric Woods, who was number two on the PIAT, recalled: ‘On the road on the opposite side of the bridge was a junction and from this emerged three French tanks which had been commandeered by the Germans. Sgt Thornton, nicknamed “Wagger”, sighted the PIAT and fired, hitting the foremost tank broadside on. It must have been a direct hit on the tank’s magazine, for there was an almighty explosion and ammunition continued to explode for more than an hour afterwards. ’ In March Past, Lord Lovat reports: ‘The road junction at Bénouville dipped into a hollow; the main road continuing inland ...
I found this chap mixed up in the wreckage but I couldn’t get him out to give him a shot of morphia and staggered away. I can hear the groans of the chap even today. I walked away in the direction of the bridge, which was only about 50yds away. ’ With the benefit of hindsight, in 1995, Lt David Wood felt that he had been premature in reporting that he had cleared houses by the bridge. As he was making his way back to report to Howard, accompanied by his batman and platoon sergeant, all three were hit by a burst of sub-machine-gun fire.
A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II by Larry Alexander, Adam Makos