The True Story of One WW2 Pilot’s Covert Mission to Rescue POWs on the Eastern Front


“Snappy and cinematic, Beyond the Call is a gift.”

ADAM MAKOS, author of New York Times bestseller A Higher Call

“Profoundly moving … a truly inspiring book.”

SUSAN OTTAWAY, author of Sisters, Secrets and Sacrfice

Beyond the Call tells the incredible true story of Captain Robert M. Trimble, the American bomber pilot tasked with a top secret mission to rescue Allied prisoners of war stranded behind Soviet lines.

One ordinary man. One extraordinary mission. A thousand lives at stake.

Near the end of World War II, thousands of Allied ex-POWs were abandoned to wander the war-torn Eastern Front. With no food, shelter, or supplies, they were an army of dying men.

The Red Army had pushed the Nazis out of Russia. As they advanced across Poland, the prison camps of the Third Reich were discovered and liberated. In defiance of humanity, the freed Allied prisoners were discarded without aid. The Soviets viewed POWs as cowards, and regarded all refugees as potential spies or partisans.

The US repeatedly offered to help recover their POWs, but were refused. With relations between the allies strained, a plan was conceived for an undercover rescue mission. In total secrecy, the OSS chose an obscure American air force detachment stationed at a Ukrainian airfield; it would provide the base and the cover for the operation. The man they picked to undertake it was veteran 8th Air Force bomber pilot Captain Robert Trimble.

With little covert training, already scarred by the trials of combat, Trimble took the mission. He would survive by wit, courage, and a determination to do some good in a terrible war. Alone he faced up to the terrifying Soviet secret police, saving hundreds of lives. At the same time he battled to come to terms with the trauma of war and find his own way home to his wife and child.

The compelling, inspiring true story of an American hero who laid his life on the line to bring his fellow men home to safety and freedom.


Snappy and cinematic, Beyond the Call is a gift, an untold story from those last days of WWII in Europe when the unthinkable became real – when our ally had turned against us, when our POWs were left to die, and when a veteran pilot would receive a harrowing final mission – to fly against the might of the Soviet Union.

Adam Makos, author of New York Times bestseller A Higher Call

Beyond the Call is the brilliantly told, fast-paced true story of a remarkable young man. Deceived by his superior officers, he found himself in a place where danger abounded and life was cheap … Nerve-wracking, informative, yet profoundly moving, Beyond the Call is a truly inspiring book.

Susan Ottaway, author of Sisters, Secrets and Sacrifice 

Find out more about the book and get in touch with co-author Lee Trimble, Captain Trimble’s son, on Facebook.


Telling the story of Beyond the Call, the documentary includes interviews with co-author Lee Trimble and audio of Captain Robert Trimble himself talking about his secret mission. It also features extracts from the audiobook read by actor Donald Corren. Watch the trailer below, or see the full documentary here.

Copyright © Jeremy Dronfield 2023

Twitter @jeremydronfield
Instagram @jeremydronfield