Academic journal article Military Review

Beyond the Call: The True Story of One World War II Pilot's Covert Mission to Rescue POWs on the Eastern Front

Academic journal article Military Review

Beyond the Call: The True Story of One World War II Pilot's Covert Mission to Rescue POWs on the Eastern Front

Article excerpt

BEYOND THE CALL: The True Story of One World

War II Pilot's Covert Mission to Rescue POWs on the Eastern Front

Lee Trimble and Jeremy Dronfield, Berkley Caliber, New York, 2015, 352 pages

Beyond the Call is a son's discovery of his father's role in rescuing Allied prisoners of war trapped in Eastern Europe prior to the end of the war in Europe. Lee Trimble knew that his father, Capt. Robert Trimble, served in World War II, and that he flew thirty-five missions as a B-17 pilot with the 493rd Bomb Group of the United States Eighth Air Force. It was during a 2006 conversation at a nursing home that his father let it slip that his role in the war did not end upon completing the magical thirty-fifth combat mission on 30 December 1944. Capt. Trimble embarked on a new covert mission to recover Allied prisoners of war located behind Russian lines in Eastern Europe.

The author takes the reader to the beginning days of the Cold War as the alliance between the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union began unraveling in the concluding months of World War II. As Russian forces advanced toward Berlin, Allied prisoners of war were set loose from German prison camps throughout Eastern Europe. Soviet policy on repatriated prisoners, paranoia toward foreigners, and desire to hide the Soviet-planned conquest for liberated areas all placed Allied prisoners in danger of being sent to Russia, where they would be used as political pawns for future concessions and for the return of repatriated Russian army prisoners who sought asylum in the West. …

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