In Jim Cook's Archive


I have this oil painting depicting something unbelievable that happened in World War II.  A B-17 was returning from a bombing raid over Germany in 1943. It had been heavily damaged by flak and by fighters. The tail gunner was dead and most of the tail and stabilizer shot away. None of the guns were working. The waist gunner had lost a leg. One engine was out and another acting up. The nose was torn apart and the plane had plummeted thousands of feet to a low level with little chance of making it the 240 miles back to England.

A German fighter pilot with 27 kills to his credit had shot down one B-17 that day and had landed for fuel and ammunition. Suddenly, the crippled B-17 flew directly over his airstrip. He quickly taxied onto the runway and took off after the crippled bomber. As he approached from behind he could see the dead tail gunner and through the holes in the side of the plane he saw the wounded crew huddled together. This would be an easy kill.

He pulled up above the pilot and copilot and looked down at them. They looked up at him in fear. They knew they had no chance. After flying beside them for a few minutes the German pilot suddenly saluted them, peeled off and let them go. A few hours later the badly damaged bomber made it back to England.

Fast forward 40 years to a reunion in Florida. The German pilot and the American pilot met with tears in their eyes. The American crew knew that the German pilot had risked his life by letting them go that day. Twenty five children and grandchildren of the surviving crew gathered around the German pilot and thanked him for their lives.

The painting is on the cover of a book that was published recently telling this story. It is titled A Higher Call, by Adam Makos. The book and the painting were also featured in the New York Post. I started to read it on a recent flight. It’s a beautiful, interesting story.

In describing the German pilot’s early life I found some interesting facts. Hitler had only received 44% of the vote in 1932. A majority voted against him. Nevertheless, the Nazis escalated a reign of terror, killing all who criticized them. The leaders of the Catholic Church in Germany placed themselves in grave danger by criticizing the Nazis. The pilot who let the B-17 go was grilled by the S.S. during the war for his family’s Catholicism.  It got so bad that a woman was killed for telling the following joke: “Hitler and Goering were standing on a tall building. Hitler asked Goering what he could do to help the German people. Jump, replied Goering.” They hanged her.

There were no checks and balances in Germany. They had no constitution with separation of powers. Their legislative, executive and judicial branches did not balance one another. Had Germany a constitution similar to ours, Hitler couldn’t have happened. Russia’s communists had a sweet sounding constitution based on social justice, but that did not keep the murderous Stalin at bay. Two important branches of their government were weak.

Our Constitution is the most important document on earth. It has proven itself time and again. That is why when liberals want to change it into a so-called “living document,” we must resist. Typical of liberal mischief is a recent bill in the Senate supported by every Democrat that would alter the first amendment. Our forefathers knew what they were doing. If the left manages to change our constitution it opens the door to barbarism. Spread the word, the liberal agenda is the blueprint for national ruin.

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