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On Dec. 20, 1943, a young American named Charlie Brown was on his first World War II mission. Flying in the German skies, Brown’s B-17 bomber was shot and badly damaged. As Brown and his men desperately tried to escape enemy territory back to England, a German fighter plane pulled up to their tail. It seemed certain death. Instead of shooting the plane down, however, the German pilot, Franz Stigler, escorted the Americans to safety. In his new book, “A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II,” author Adam Makos describes the fateful wartime encounter, and how the two men found each other nearly 50 years later.
Four days before Christmas 1943, in the darkest hours of WWII, a miracle took place. Two enemies—an American bomber pilot and a German fighter ace—met in combat over Germany and did the unexpected: They decided not to kill one another. Even more incredibly, as old men, they found one another and became best friends.
Excerpt from "A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II" by Adam Makos. Copyright 2012 by Adam Makos. Reprinted here by permission of Berkley Hardcover. All rights reserved.