A Higher Call by Adam Makos – A Book that Lives Up to the Hype

Book Cover
Book Cover

I was skeptical at first, the hype being a bit over the top, but the book looked interesting, so I gave it a try.

What I liked immediately was that seldom do you get to read about World War II from opposite perspectives.  I’ve read a number of books by Germans and Americans, but this was really the first that juxtaposed the two adversaries over the shared incident.

Having lived in Germany for 4 years, and still having some dear friends there, I was interested in seeing it from the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) perspective.  Interestingly enough, this is one aspect that Hollywood depicted rather well in the Great Escape, which highlights the conflict between the Luftwaffe and the SS and Gestapo.  I think Stalag 17, did also, but I frankly don’t remember it as well.

Speaking of movies, two other must see WWII bomber films are Twelve O’clock High and Command Decision, both great movies that deal with both the aircrews and the commanders who must keep them going no matter what. If you have not seen those three movies, shame on you.  Since you (and I) did not live through it, it helps put our lives and our freedom in perspective.  Nothing valuable comes cheaply. I wonder if President Obama has seen them??

Moving on.

I liked the detail and it was clear that the writer, Adam Makos, did a massive amount of research for this book.  He has managed to write an engrossing story that is hard to put down.  You felt the fear and terror the aircrews went through.

In one gripping scene, our American pilot, only 20 years old and the Aircraft Commander, Charlie Brown, is taxiing his B-17 on a very foggy, dark morning, there are still two B-17’s in front of him, taking off at intervals of 30 seconds. As he gets close to the runway, they can hear the first bomber speeding down the runway, when all of a sudden they see this large yellow glow at the end of the runway and then hear the explosion.  Realizing that the plane just crashed and exploded on takeoff, they wait in stunned silence for instructions.  Within seconds, the word comes over the radio to continue takeoffs.  As they continue to taxi they see the yellow glow again of an explosion, this time higher in the sky, a midair collision.  One of the planes that just took off collided with another plane in the dense fog.  Within 2 minutes, three bombers and 30 aircrew are gone, just like that.

You’ll have to read the book for the rest of the story, but suffice it to say, you will not be bored and maybe you too will come away inspired and thankful.



Author: Richard on Dauntless

I’m an eclectic person, who grew up in New York, lived overseas for many years and have a boat, Dauntless, a 42 foot Kadey Krogen trawler yacht. Dauntless enables me to not only live in many different parts of the world, but to do it in a way that is interesting, affordable, with the added spice of a challenge. Dauntless also allows me to be in touch with nature. As the boat glides through the ocean, you have a sense of being part of a living organism. When dolphins come to frolic, they stay longer if you are out there talking to them, watching them. Birds come by, sometimes looking for a handout; sometimes grateful to find a respite from their long journey. I grew up on the New York waterfront, in the West Village, when everything west of Hudson St. was related to shipping and cargo from around the world. For a kid, it was an exciting place of warehouses, trucks, and working boats of all kinds: tugs and the barges and ships, cargo and passenger, they were pushing around. My father was an electrical engineer, my mother an intellectual, I fell in between. I have always been attracted to Earth’s natural processes, the physical sciences. I was in 8th grade when I decided to be a Meteorologist. After my career in meteorology, my natural interest in earth sciences: geology, astronomy, geography, earth history, made it a natural for me to become a science teacher in New York City, when I moved back to the Big Apple. Teaching led to becoming a high school principal to have the power to truly help kids learn and to be successful not only in school but in life. Dauntless is in western Europe now. In May and June, I will be wrapping up the last two years in northern Europe, heading south to spend the rest of the year in Spain & Portugal. Long term, I’m planning on returning to North American in the fall of 2017 and from there continuing to head west until we’re in Northeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, where we will settle for a bit. But now, my future lies not in NY or even Europe, but back to the water, where at night, when the winds die down, there is no noise, only the silence of the universe. I feel like I am at home, finally.

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