A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-torn Skies of World War II
By Adam Makos
Berkley Books, 2013. 392 pgs. Nonfiction
"A Higher Call" follows the story of two World War II pilots. One, Charlie Brown, a B-17 captain from a farm in West Virginia, and the other, Franz Stigler, a German 2nd Lieutenant flying a fighter for the 3rd Reich. They meet in the air over Germany when Brown's seriously damaged bomber makes a desperate attempt to fly home. Stigler's sense of duty and honor are challenged and an unprecedented interaction takes place between the two airmen.
Books about World War II are plentiful. What made "A Higher Call" stand out to me was Franz Stigler's story. Hearing the experiences and a German pilot fighting for Hitler while despising the Nazis and their policies was incredibly interesting. Both pilots' perspectives show the difficulty of war and its affect on the men and women fighting in it, but also the goodness of mankind and resilience of the human soul. I highly recommend this book to nonfiction readers especially those that enjoyed "Unbroken".