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Five days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a twenty-one-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. Suddenly a German Messerschmitt fighter pulled up on the bomber’s tail – the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger. This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day – the American – 2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown and the German – 2nd Lieutenant Franz Stigler.
A Higher Call follows both Charlie and Franz’s harrowing missions and gives a dramatic account of the moment when they 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 seek out one another and reunite.
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