Martin James Monti

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Martin James Monti
Martin james monti.jpg
Born (1921-10-24)October 24, 1921
St Louis, Missouri, United States
Died September 11, 2000(2000-09-11) (aged 78)
Missouri, United States
Allegiance United States United States
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch United States Army Air Forces
Waffen SS
Years of service Army Air Corps 1942-1944, 1945-1948
SS 1944-1945
Rank United States Army Air Corps-Second Lieutenant
SS-Untersturmführer
Unit SS-Standarte Kurt Eggers
Battles/wars World War II

Martin James Monti (October 24, 1921 – September 11, 2000) was a United States airman who defected to the Axis powers and worked as a propaganda broadcaster and writer. After the end of World War II, he was captured and sentenced to long terms, first for desertion, then for treason. Monti enlisted in the Army Air Forces as an aviation cadet. He reported for training and later was commissioned as a flight officer. He subsequently qualified in the P-39 Airacobra and the P-38 Lightning, and was promoted to second lieutenant, when he was sent to Karachi, India (now in Pakistan). Attached to the 126th Replacement Depot, by then a first lieutenant, he deserted the Army Air Forces. He hitched a ride aboard a C-46 to Cairo, Egypt, and from there he traveled to Italy, via Tripoli, Libya. At Foggia he visited the 82nd Fighter Group, and then he made his way to Pomigliano Airfield, north of Naples, where the 354th Air Service Squadron prepared aircraft for assignment to line squadrons. He took note that an aircraft, a reconnaissance version of the P-38 Lightning, needed work and required a test flight after repairs. He stole the aircraft and flew to Milan. There, he surrendered, or rather defected to the Nazis, and subsequently began work as a propaganda broadcaster under the pseudonym of "Captain Martin Wiethaupt".

At the end of 1944, Monti made a microphone test at the recording studio of the SS Standarte ‘Kurt Eggers’, a propaganda unit of the Waffen-SS, under the direction of Guenter d'Alquen, in Berlin, Germany. He later joined them as a SS-Untersturmführer and participated in writing and composing a leaflet to be distributed by members of the German military forces, and among Allied prisoners of war.

At the end of the war, Monti was in Italy when he surrendered to the Americans (still wearing his SS uniform). In 1946, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison on the charge of desertion, but was pardoned within a year on condition he join the army. He was serving as a sergeant when the FBI rearrested him in 1948. He was charged with treason, as his propaganda activities as "Martin Wiethaupt" had been discovered by the FBI, and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Monti was paroled in 1960.

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