Dec 2

SC EP:812 A Higher Call

A little Holiday show for everyone. On 20 December 1943, Franz met the B-17 bomber named “Ye Olde Pub” and its pilot Charles “Charlie” Brown for the first time. Franz had shot down two B-17s earlier that day and he soon caught up to a wounded B-17 flown by Charles Brown.

Lining up to finish the bomber and shoot it down, he noticed the tail gunner never moved the guns. Upon further inspection of the airplane, he saw through large holes in the fuselage a frantic crew trying to save the lives of their fellow airmen.

Franz is quoted as saying “and for me it would have been the same as shooting at a parachute”, in reference to a statement by his commander and mentor Gustav Rödel; “If I hear of one of you shooting a man in a parachute, I’ll shoot you myself!”. Stigler motioned to Brown to land his airplane in neutral Sweden because of the extensive damage. However, Brown didn’t understand, and decided to keep flying towards England. Stigler escorted the B-17 and its crew to the North Sea coast, protecting it from German anti-aircraft gunners.






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89 Responses to “SC EP:812 A Higher Call”

  1. Danny H

    From a couple of old ???? bought at a Goodwill……to this. Dude. Mad props on your production skills Wes. No bs either man. Experience is the only word that comes to mind. It’s not a show anymore, it’s and Experience.

  2. Janice K

    This left me in tears. Especially at this time, when we are fractured as a country, a nation, a world. This is the way forward for all of us. You did a solid when you posted this. Thank you.

    • CJ M

      Agree with your tears and your analysis of the “way forward” for mankind! IMO, it IS what miracles are made of and as I walk through life I look for this. I believe Wes himself is the recipient of a miracle and maybe several for all I know. When Bob Gimlin called him and stood by his side extending love that was needed as his reputation was being called into question, the extension of love changes the course of future paths. There is a song by Alabama called “Angels Among Us” that puts it so well, here is a snippet.

      “Oh I believe there are angels among us.
      Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
      They come to you and me in our darkest hours.
      To show us how to live, to teach us how to give.
      To guide us with the light of love.

      When life held troubled times, and had me down on my knees.
      There’s always been someone there to come along and comfort me.
      A kind word from a stranger, to lend a helping hand.
      A phone call from a friend, just to say I understand.

      And ain’t it kind of funny that at the dark end of the road.
      Someone lights the way with just a single ray of hope.”

      You are Right On!

  3. devon c

    And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.

    That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

    Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!!!

  4. Alyx


    This is Patrick, on my wife’s profile. Just wanted to say thank you so much for including this. I haven’t even listened yet, but I love this book and spent a lot of time researching these men and the event that transpired. Such a beautiful story! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Thanks again and God bless.

    Patrick and Alex

  5. Debbie A

    This is a great account and a perfect time to share it Wes. We all need to see each other as a person, a fellow human being. It’s a very humbling account. The music is quite beautiful as well.

  6. T Q

    Thanks for this wes..
    My grandfather went to Normandy on a June day in 1944 to fight for the free world…he remains there to this day..
    God Bless All…and God bless America..

  7. Colleen B

    Loved this story. Thanks for all your time and effort putting forth such a great podcast. Proud to say not only was this the first podcast I ever listened to but the first one I became a member of. Appreciate you Wes; have great Christmas and God bless you!

  8. Barry S

    Thank you Wes for these stories. My wife’s grandfather was a WW1 & WW2 veteran. My Dad & Father-In-Law were Korea. And my son is a Navy Man. God Bless You & You’re Family. Merry Christmas.

  9. m99

    Hey Wes! Hope you’re doing better (in that injured shoulder) and managed to get some rest and quality time with your family. Thanks for posting this early. I’m waiting to listen to it until he gets home from work. He asked me over the weekend where the shows are? I told him you took off a minute but would post one soon I think. 🙂 You did too!. Bless you Wes. You the Man!

    • m99

      Okay Wesipoo. We just listened while I cooked dinner. I swear man! You made me cry! I’m still very choked up. My husband’s Grandfather came to this country with his dad He recently passed away (he was 94 years old), and they were 100% German. I too have German blood, though I don’t know much about it. Anyway, although we’ve heard this war story, and know the two men met in person, it still makes me cry. I had to stop and tell the Lord how weary I am from all this hate and war. Plus, knowing Charles Schultz used this pilot’s story in creating the Peanuts Ace Pilot (Snoopy, aka Spike), makes me cry too. Life just rolls on, doesn’t’ it? Anyway, we love ya brother. Be Well! _m

  10. William L

    Great story, Wes; especially as we approach the celebration of the advent of our Lord and Savior ????????????✝️Jesus Christ/Yeshua Ha Mashiach✝️????????????


  11. Daren c

    My Grandfather was in WW2 , he actually kept Eisenhower’s closest safe. Pretty cool. He passed away 3 years ago at age 99. We have some voice recordings of him telling stories . One is a German soldier dressed in an Alli uniform mingling with our Soldiers , luckily someone with an Keene eye and ear pegged him as a German and shot and dropped him.

  12. Linda B

    Wes, steve and I haven’t even listened to the squatch episode yet and we have to say after reading the story about the B-17, how awesome it is and how much we appreciate our friendship and all the heart and soul you put into your shows with stories like this one and more! Steve did 15 yrs, around the world 3 times, I did 3 of his 6 mo Westpacks as a navy wife at home and much more (3 month north packs, and duty 4 x week when he was on the ship, not at home). Small potatoes to the men and women in our military who have given so much more, sometimes everything, and their families. Love you man! And now for the story! Woop woop.

  13. Richard W

    Thanks for this incident report. My German people were humanitarian. Great fighters, but compassionate. My American family fought against them . No animosity between our peoples.

  14. Lisa B

    That was absolutely fantastic Wes! Love you telling a story of history. My Rerik was a scout in the army, then went to airborne infantry school. He loves WWII history. He didn’t know about this one. Funny how when it comes down to asking God for help, things work out! Thanks Wes!

    • m99

      Hi Claire! I think so too. He actually told the story perfectly with the appropriate sound effects as well. It was so good it made tears come down my face. Partly because I’m so sad about what’s going on in the world, including UK, Australia, and here. Fascist clowns are trying to take over! Hope you’re well and watching your six. Love you Claire!

  15. Joyce E

    Thank-you Wes, this story is exactly what I needed to hear at this sad time in our country. What ever happened to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? It doesn’t seem to exist anymore.

  16. tony f

    After the war, Brown returned home to West Virginia and went to college, returning to the newly established U.S. Air Force in 1949 and serving until 1965. Later, as a U.S. State Department Foreign Service Officer, he made numerous trips to Laos and Vietnam. In 1972 he retired from government service and moved to Miami, Florida to become an inventor.
    Stigler moved to Canada in 1953 and became a successful businessman.
    In 1986, the retired Lt. Col. Brown was asked to speak at a combat pilot reunion event called a “Gathering of the Eagles” at the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Someone asked him if he had any memorable missions during World War II; he thought for a minute and recalled the story of Stigler’s escort and salute. Afterwards, Brown decided he should try to find the unknown German pilot.
    After four years of searching vainly for U.S. Army Air Forces, U.S. Air Force and West German air force records that might shed some light on who the other pilot was, Brown had come up with little. He then wrote a letter to a combat pilot association newsletter. A few months later he received a letter from Stigler, who was now living in Canada. “I was the one,” it said. When they spoke on the phone, Stigler described his plane, the escort and salute, confirming everything that Brown needed to hear to know he was the German fighter pilot involved in the incident.
    Between 1990 and 2008, Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler became close friends and remained so until their deaths within several months of each other in 2008.[4][18]
    The incident was later recorded by Adam Makos in the biographical novel A Higher Call (released in 2012). The Swedish Power Metal band Sabaton wrote a song for their seventh studio album Heroes, the second track “No Bullets Fly”. Franz’s daughter and grandson both heard the song playing shortly after the release of the album, and sent a video to the band thanking them for honoring the story. They later met Sabaton in person.

  17. Tina A

    Tomorrow I have to say goodbye to my 52 year old identical twin sister who has spent the past 30 years working as an RN taking care of everyone else. She was shot in the head while asleep by her estranged husband who has only taken care of himself every single day of his pathetic life. THANK U FOR SHARING THIS BLESSED EVENT. I cannot effectively express how much I needed to hear this tonight. THANK U!!!!

    • cyndie r

      I just read your post above. I know this is late in coming but please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your twin sister. I cannot fathom how debilitating that would feel. I hope you find peace in warm memories of your beautiful sibling who nursed others to health for 30 years. I pray you can forgive the estranged husband. Not for his sake (he literally deserves a shot to the face) but for yours. Holding on to the hatred will poison your system. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  18. SantiamLady

    Absolutely beautiful. I have always loved the few historical radio plays that you do. My favorite is still the Osterman kidnapping by BF. But this one, this was beautiful. Your narrative was flawless, as always, the musical interludes were soaring and stirring. The sound effects were amazing! I felt like I was on that bomber myself! And hearing the voices of the old Pilots, well that just made tears well up in my eyes. So beautiful. Did they ever find out about each other?

  19. Kyle N

    Great show Wes. This is why futuristic weapons like killer robots and even drones are no good. They take the human part out in battle making killing easier when we shouldn’t be in war or battle with each other in the first place.

  20. John C

    Loved this episode Wes. I know it’s not Sasquatch related but is indirectly related to some of the encounters where it has shown compassion toward humans. Great history lesson too!

  21. Suzanne T

    Hi Wes,

    What a wonderful story teller you are, loved choice of story, and looking forward to hearing more! Thank you for all that you do! Music was awesome too! Can you share the name of that piece?

    Be well and blessings Wes, and everyone!

  22. Cindy S

    Hi Wes,
    Storytelling is a gift! This story was Beautifully told and the music score was perfect! What an Amazing job you did putting this together! It reached right down to my soul???? Thank you!

  23. craig d

    Wes, you rock brother!
    Loved the WWII story.
    Dont listen to the whingers who complain if you dare mention anything off topic. After 800 episodes ( which I have just listened to back to back over the past several weeks – awesome btw!) you’ve earned the right to do whatever you wish.
    I especially look forwards to the off topic episodes, it keeps the show fresh and exciting.
    Wes, you probs don’t read old comments but if you do you deserve a big pat on the back. Well done and keep em comin’
    Been a member since day one of finding SC, money well spent. 10 outta 10 bro.

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