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A Higher Call

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

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.



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.


From Publishers Weekly

Dec 10, 2012 – Military historian and aviation enthusiast Makos, along with WWII biographer Alexander (In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers), delivers a top-notch narrative of the unlikely encounter between one of Germany s leading fighter aces, Franz Stigler, and the rookie crew of an American bomber in the frigid skies of Germany in December 1943 upon engaging the already damaged American plane, Stigler had mercy on his enemies and escorted them to safety. Building on the events of that encounter, Makos crafts a multifaceted story, relating the career of Stigler from his first taste of combat in North Africa to his final assignment flying jet fighters in the waning battles of the war in Europe. He also follows American Lt. Charlie Brown and his crew through training and to the successful completion of their combat tour in April 1944. Based on thousands of hours of interviews and an evident knowledge of his subject, Makos details the frantic life of the German fighter pilots living on the edge, and the American bomber crews, far from home, fighting to survive. The book is a riveting story of humanity and mercy set against the ghastly backdrop of war.

Customer Reviews

A Higher Call

A truly excellent book, well written.
For anyone interested in WWII history it is a must read.

Gripping, unforgettable and heart-wrenching!

If you're an aviation fan and/or WW2 history buff, you owe it to yourself to download this book. This is a story that might have never been told had the two men at the center of the story not found one another 46 years later.

I'm grateful to the author for working so diligently to capture every fact and detail, bringing everything together into a very well written account of an amazing moment of humanity and compassion amid the din of a world full of death and destruction.

I'm an American expatriate living in Cologne, Germany. I will see everything around me and experience life here each day with a bit more respect for the history made in the skies above me after reading this story! Thanks again Adam, great job!!


It has been years since I have finished a book I start. Life always seems to get in the way and the book is literally put on the back shelf. Not this one however. I was gripped by the men in this book and the lives they lived. I was emotional thinking about the stories my grandfather told in vague clips about his time as a B-17 belly gunner. This book brought those stories to life and gave me a much greater appreciation for all service members.

A Higher Call
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Military
  • Published: Dec 19, 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings