On This Day: Martin Monti - American Traitor

The first ever U.S. officer to be convicted of treason, Army Lieutenant Martin J. Monti Jr., defected from the Air Service to the Nazis on 13th October, 1944.

After a stint in radio propaganda, he joined the Waffen-SS, was recaptured by the Americans, and then claimed to be a prisoner of War. His family petitioned his Senator to go lightly on his crimes, the full extent of which only became clear when he sensationally confessed to treason in court.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly attempt to understand Monti’s repeated flip-flopping; uncover the hidden community of German-born Americans who returned to the Motherland to support Hitler; and explain why even Roosevelt was predisposed to believe Monti was just an ‘eager beaver’...  

Further Reading:

• ‘How a North County boy became the first U.S. military officer ever to be convicted of treason’ (St Louis Magazine, 2020):


• ‘A Deserter and Confessed Traitor: The Amazing but True Story of Army Lieutenant Martin J. Monti Jr.’ (American Bar Association, 2017): https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/publications/litigation_journal/2017-18/fall/a-deserter-and-confessed-traitor-amazing-true-story-army-lieutenant-martin-j-monti-jr/

• ‘The Only U.S. Pilot to Defect to the Waffen-SS during WW2... in October 1944’ (House of History, 2020):


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The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.

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