In fact, only one American is actually documented to have been a volunteer in the German forces, Martin James Monti.
In fact, here is more information on him than you'll ever possibly want to know!!
Information in this article are from papers collected by T.G. Collins, R.E. Collins, and D. Messimer. Mr. Messimer interviewed Martin Monti in 1982. This document has resulted, in part, from that interview. The documents are from the National Archives, Dept. of War, Dept. of the Army, Justice Dept., JAG, FBI, CIC, CID, SID, German Propaganda Ministry, and the Waffen-SS Standarte Kurt Eggers.
10/24/21 Martin James Monti's date of birth, in St. Louis, Missouri
8/24/42 Monti registered for the Draft
10/?/42 Monti made a trip to Detroit to visit Father Coughlin seeking
advice, presumably on how to avoid impending military service.
11/?/42 Monti first applied to the Navy to see if he could pass their
tougher physical exam.
11/29/42 Monti applied for enlistment in the U.S. Army as an Air Force
2/23/43 Monti reported to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, as a flying
6/?/43 Monti was next sent to Santa Ana, California for basic training
3/?/44 Monti graduated with class 44c, as a Flight Officer. Everyone
else became a 2nd Lt. Then he was sent to Ephrata, Wa. for training in a P-39.
Then was sent to Van Nuys, Ca. for training in the P-38.
8/12/44 Monti embarked from Florida for Karachi, India, assigned to the
14th Air Force. While in India he was commissioned a 2nd Lt.
10/1/44 Monti deserted the Army Air Force, hitching a ride aboard a
C-46 to Cairo, Egypt.
10/4/44 Monti arrives by aircraft at Naples, Italy.
10/10/44 Monti hitched a ride by jeep to Foggia, Italy. He found his
friends in the 82nd Fighter Group. He tried to join their unit.
10/13/44 Monti loitered in the hallway at Pomigliano Airport, base
operations, then asked Leading Aircraftsman W.S. King, 1373002, 23 AACU, for
clearance to fly a P-38, model P-38L-I-LO, AAF #44-23725. Monti said he
belonged to the 82nd Fighter Group. Monti filled out the clearance form. His stated
purpose for the flight was purportedly to test an engine.
(12:20 hrs) Monti walked to the P-38 carrying a parachute and climbed up
the wing. Cpl Sam R. Johnston, 354th Air Service Squadron, climbed up on the
opposite wing to question Monti. Monti told him he was the test pilot for
the plane. Johnston checked the Form with a red diagonal, and the test flight
requirements, He watched Monti perform the cockpit check, start the engines,
and taxi away, all performed perfectly.
Monti took off in the P-38 from Pomigliano Airfield at 12:29 hrs,
reporting an estimated 2 hour flight.
After Monti took off, he checked a map he had acquired, and noted a
location of a small airfield near Milan. He located the small grass airfield
behind German lines, and landed. Several Italian civilians and a German
soldier came toward his plane, and the soldier took a shot at him, but missed.
Monti was driven to an unknown location and placed in a locked room.
Finally, a German ex-fighter pilot, Lt. Friedrich Joseph Boenninghaus,
who could speak english, came to see him. Monti was then transferred by
train, in the custody of German soldiers going on leave, to a POW camp near
(14:58 hrs) Regional Flying Control (RAF, Pomigliano) picked up an
aircraft distress signal from an aircraft 20 miles due east of the Airdrome and two
minutes later, another distress signal at only 12 miles from the same
direction. No crash site was found.
10/13/44 to 10/31/44 At Oberursel, Germany, Monti offered his services
to members of the military forces of the German Government.
10/14/44 Orders for Monti's arrest were sent to all Allied units.
10/25/44 to 11/15/44 At Berlin, Germany, Monti offered his
services to a representative of the German Radio Broadcasting Corporation.
11/7/44 Monti was confined in a POW camp in Wetzlar, Germany. Monti was
frequently taken from his room for private interrogation and apparently
received special consideration.
11/14/44 Monti was taken to Dulag Luft, northwest of Frankfurt, where he was
11/15/44 to 12/15/44 At Konigswusterhausen, Germany, Monti conferred with
officials of the German Radio Broadcasting Corporation concerning his
future duties as an enplane of that corporation.
11/?/44 Heinrich Maurice Schafhausen, acting head of the USA Zone of the
German Short Wave Radio, was ordered by Horst Cleinow, Superintendant of
the German Short Wave Radio at Benediktbeuern, Germany, to go to the Hotel
Auto in the west end of Berlin for a meeting with Luftwaffe Lt. Bonninghaus
and Monti, now known as Martin Weithaupt. He was originally given the code name
Roberts and didn't like it for the simple reason if he was killed no one
would know who he really was, so he took the name of Weithaupt, his mothers
maiden name, for identification). He found that Monti's ideas were strongly
influenced by the teachings of Father Coughlin, and was rabidly anti-communist,
but on the whole, Monti was immature and lacking in general education.
11/?/44 Edward Vieth Sittler, (a Polish citizen in some papers and a
German National in others) commentator for the German
Short Wave Radio, USA Zone, was sent by Sendeleiter Herr Houben
to interview Monti at an Army garrison. but because of Monti's
youth and crazy sincerity, he recommended that Monti be requisitioned.
11/?/44 Monti was released from the POW camp through a
Stalag Office in Berlin, Hallesches Tor. Shafhausen was sent to
bring him to Konigswusterhausen. Shafhausen arranged food and
civilian clothes for Monti, and administered ration cards, and
gave Monti his weekly food allowance, and advanced him pocket
money against Monti's earning.
11/?/44 Monti met Joachim O. Weidhass on the street in Konigwusterhausen.
The last time Weidhass saw Monti was in January, 1945.
Monti told Weidhass that Captain DuVaire was responsible
for Monti's release from the POW camp, with the promise of
civilian clothes and Red Cross rations, if Monti would try to
persuade other US POW's to work or fight for the Wehrmacht.
added info - Amusing Statement from Mildred Gillars aka Axis Sally
"I had repeatedly asked Dr. Wunsche of the German High Command, Military
Propaganda Section, most urgently for the procurement of workers for the foreign
language broadcasts and that one day he announced he had found someone. I
then requested him to take the matter up directly with the German Overseas
Station. I recollect quite clearly an incident with Miss Mildred Gillars aka
Axis Sally. She declined to do further work at the Overseas Station so long
as a deserter worked there. Miss Gillars came into my office very upset and
asked me for an official discussion concerning this matter. I stated to her
that I understood her attitude thoroughly and even appreciated it and
persuaded her in the interest of our mission to resume her activities nevertheless.
Concerning Weithaupt I would speak to the Superintendent. I believe that
Weithaupt was then removed from the organization and was then transferred to
a Battle Station in Italy. This latter I am not able to assert positively."
She was later tried and convicted for treason and spent 15+ years in Federal
11/25/44 At Berlin, Germany, 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
11/28/44 American Military Intelligence requested a
complete background investigation of Monti.
11/29/44 2nd Lt. Samuel P. Rugh wrote a letter from Assam, India, to
2nd Lt. Eugene Z. Mazurak in Italy, asking him, "Hey why didn't
you guys nab Monti? He deserted the Army when he left us in
India. When you guys saw him he was on his way to Switzerland.
He probably bailed out up there somewhere at the cost of one
P-38 to the USA. They are still hunting for his body in Karachi,
for they thought one of the natives knocked him off for his dough."
At this time a CIC agent by the name of Cuomo (no known relation to the
Governor of the same name) is transferred from India to Italy on the case.
He happens to be a key figure later on in tying the facts together of the
stolen aircraft and the radio broadcasts.)
11/?/44 to 5/?/45 Edward Vieth Sittler says Monti was a passionate and very
adolescent Catholic. He fasted and confessed and went as often to Mass and
Communion as he was in the vicinity of a church. During the winter months
Monti had taken to dropping into Sittler's apartment whenever, and as often
as he liked, much to the surprise of Sittler's wife. Monti walked and lived
in the airy realms of a crusade against Bolshevism however, and looked with
ill-concealed scorn on all who would venture to doubt that God would sooner
or later smite back the heathen into their lair. It gave him a certain
feeling of exaltation, to consider himself a bit of a martyr in the holy
cause. Monti's passionate opposition to Roosevelt was based on this same
principle. He considered him nothing less than an infidel who was leading a
whole nation on the path to hell and damnation.
Monti and Sittler joined the SS Standarte Kurt Eggers at the same time. The
process of Monti's joining the SS as a working member had been going on
for at least 3 or 4 months, but it only took Sittler 24 hours because he was
a German National, although some sources indicate that Sittler was a Pole and
not a German National - in some Justice Files there is mention of him being
a German. They were both issued uniform at the same time, Monti as a Lt.,
and Sittler as a private.
After a few weeks Monti moved to Berlin. Monti at this time was participating
in the making of recordings of "The Roundtable Conferences" in which he was
a speaker. Monti did not write many talks, probably about 10 in the entire
time he was in Germany.
Monti told Horst Cleinow that he was 'put out' that the Germans in Italy
seemed anything but glad to see him. He had expected a much warmer welcome,
but unfortunately for himself, Monti did not make a good impression on
Mrs. Day suspected Monti was an American agent, but Cleinow thought him too
stupid for that. Monti showed him some broadcasts he had summited, and an
eighth grade schoolboy could have written better.
The Germans determined at this time that Monti could not be considered as
a radio commentator. He did some short commentaries and skits and later,
solely took part in the weekly "Round Table" discussions.
Monti explained to Joachim Weidhaas that he had been offered membership in
the SS through the good offices of Captain DuVaire, and that Monti wouldn't
start as a low grade private, but that if he joined, he'd get a corresponding
rank to his American one, and his job would be to organize a drive among
US POW's to join up for the fighting of the Russians on Germany's side.
1/10/45 At Konigswusterhausen, Germany, Monti participated in making a
recording of a radio program as "A Musical Program by the MacDonald Sisters."
12/29/44 Monti wrote to his parents from Stalag 3D, the letter showing
1/31/45 At Berlin, Germany, Monti participated in writing and composing
a leaflet to be distributed by members of the German military forces, among
members of the U.S. and Allied Nations, who were held as POW's.
1/11/45, 1/18/45, 1/25/45, 2/15/45, 2/22/45, 3/1/45, 3/8/45 At
Konigswusterhausen, Germany, Monti participated in making recordings of the
radio program "Round Table Conference," at the recording studio of the
German Radio Broadcasting Corporation.
3/15/45 to 4/5/45 At Berlin, Germany, Monti proceeded to the office of the
Administrative Officer of the Standarte Kurt Eggers, for the purpose of turning
over an itemized statement of account from the official clothing exchange for
articles of a SS officers uniform and articles of an SS officer's equipment,
for his use as an officer of the Standarte Kurt Eggers.
3/22/45, 3/29/45, 4/5/45 At Berlin, Germany, Monti participated in making 3
more recordings of the radio program "Round Table Conference" at the recording studio of
the Standarte Kurt Eggers.
4/?/45 Guenther d'Alquen, Commander SS Standarte Kurt Eggers, says that
towards the end of March, his deputy, Kriegbaum, must have contacted the
Chief of the Personnel Office of the Waffen-SS, both verbally and in writing,
and requested Monti's induction into the Standarte.
Kriegbaum did not need to have the slightest compunction in accepting the
responsibility for doing away with redtape, and issuing Monti a proper
soldbuch, even though the consent of the High Command had, as yet, not arrived
in writing, but had been promised. Only after completing all preliminary
steps, was Kriegbaum in a position to comply with Monti's repeated requests
as to issue of a uniform and clothing.
At the time the enforced checks on the population and the continuous search
for deserters in Berlin made it imperative that Monti be furnished with a
proper soldbuch for his personal safety, even though the written consent
of the SS High Command had as yet not arrived. Had not such a consent been
already given verbally, Kriegbaum would never have issued a soldbuch,
nor would he have been in a position to have officially requested the permission
for the SS clothing store to officially issue Monti any items of a uniform.
Without the official authorities of such a uniform request, for instance,
it would not have been possible to procure an officer's belt for Monti, as was
actually purchased for him. Such belts, to which particular significance
was attached in the Waffen-SS, were never to be had without proper authority
in any stores.
In the middle of April, Kriegbaum received orders from d'Alquen to the
effect that he was to 'fell' specified decisions as to the further assignment
of all personnel of the Standarte that were still in Berlin. Therefore, when
issuing a travel order for Monti's leaving Berlin, Kriegbaum was forced to
either specifically order, or to allow, Monti to don the uniform of the
Regiment. This was the only way to ensure that - in combination with the proper
soldbuch - Monti was able to carry out said order.
When Monti rejoined the American Forces near Milan, Italy he was on orders,
either to proceed to Unternehaen Suedstern, or its dependent transmission
station Viktoria, both in Northern Italy, and both under the command of an
officer of the Standarte Kurt Eggers.
The period from the middle of April 1945 - that is the date of Monti's
departure from Berlin - until toward the end of April 1945, corresponds to the
amount of time then actually necessary to cover that distance under the
4/?/45 Monti joined the SS Standarte Kurt Eggers in Berlin Zehlendorf,
and received military travel orders to the Kampfsender Viktoria in the
4/?/45 Monti and Sittler prepare to leave Berlin. They climbed over
rail road Station barriers to avoid military police. Monti by virtue of his
Lieutenant's SS uniform, battled his way to standing room only by climbing
through a window of the train. Several higher ranking officers tried to
order him out, but Monti ignored them. Sittler departed from the train later
at his stop, while Monti remained aboard. That's the last Sittler saw of Monti.
5/8/4 Monti's father was notified by the U.S. Army that his son Martin=
was a POW of the German Government, based on existing information.
5/10/45 Monti has now crossed into Italy and has crossed the American l=
5/13/45 Monti is interrogated by 1st Lt. J.A. Reid A.C., 15th Air Force,
U.S. Army. Monti told him he was shot down behind enemy lines and was helped out by
Italian Partisans and that is why he is wearing a German SS uniform and a German
5/14/45 Anthony Cuomo, Special Agent, CID, was notified Monti was in the
vicinity of Bari, Italy. Monti was arrested by other officers. Cuomo later
On duty as an MP in Bari, Italy PFC William H. Soloman, 529th Air Service
Group, accompanied Major Souder, PFC Stehle and a Captain, in search of
Monti, and apprehended him at the Officer's Red Cross Club in Bari.
When Monti was arrested in Bari, Italy, he still had his SS uniform on less
markings and had in his possession a German P-38 pistol and ammunition.
He later told investigators that he had no weapons on his person.
5/19/45 Allied Force Headquarters, Caserta, Italy, requested the War
Department to check Sam Sorokin since he is the only person Monti recalled being
with him at Wetzlar POW camp.
5/21/45 Monti was again interviewed by CIC agent in AAFSC Stockade near
Manfredonia, Italy. Monti asserted his rights and said he would say nothing
further. Monti wanted to know why, or how long, he could be held without
charges being filed. The agent pointed out the seriousness of the violations
of the Articles of War. Monti's attitude changed.
Monti gave his false story. When asked why he couldn't remember any names
of people he met, Monti said he met very few American POW's and they all had been careful in
talking. While imprisoned in Gerona, Monti said he was joined by an American
bomber pilot, shot down north of Verona, by the name of Jones, from Texas.
Monti and Jones were taken north by three German soldiers going home on
leave. The only other POW Monti said he remembered was Sam Sorokin.
Monti said he knew no names because he had been briefed in the U.S. not to
remember names of those giving aid, so he had purposely not done so.
Private Samuel Sorokin, 39248404, POW of the German Government. Mother's
address, Los Angeles, California.
5/31/45 Charges are preferred against Monti.
Captain Louis Wilkerson, AC, Hq., AAF/MTO, is designated to investigate
the charges of desertion and theft against Monti.
7/10/45 Captain Wilkerson concluded his investigation.
7/14/45 Monti is examined by Captain Henry H.W. Miles, Neuropsychiatrist,
who found Monti sane, in the legal sense.
8/6/45 Court Martial begun.
Normal procedure for a court martial. Monti challenged no member of the
Court. Testimony from all concerned. Monti testified in his own behalf. He
admitted leaving his unit without leave, but had no intention to desert.
He maintained his false story that he had been shot down, and that after
escaping from the Germans, he wandered the European countryside for 4 or 5
months before rejoining Allied forces near Milan. Monti was found guilty of
AWOL rather than desertion, and guility of misappropriating a P-38, valued
at more the $50 thousand dollars, property of the U.S.
Monti's sentence was to be dismissed from the service, to forfeit all pay
and allowances due or to become due, and to be confined at hard labor for 15
years. (This, Monti said was the worst part of his total confinement. Blacks
were in charge at this prison and Monti being an officier made it 10
times as hard for him.)
2/4/46 President Harry S. Truman directed the unexecuted portion of Monti's
sentence of confinement to be remitted, effective upon Monti's enlistment
in the Army as a private. Interstingly, the document of Trumans pardon is
still missing, although it might have been destroyed in a St. Louis fire.
Monti's father was a high ranking Republican in St. Louis, and Truman needed
votes, so it is thought that Monti may have been pardoned at the request of
the Senator from Missouri.
5/22/46 Clyde E. Gooch, Special Attorney, Frankfurt, Germany, sent a letter
to Theron L. Caudle, Asst. Attorney General in Washington D.C., summarizing
Monti's actions in Germany and possible amenability to prosecution by
the Army. This were Inspector Cuomo comes in while interrogating some
Germans on other matters in Germany. He was fortunate to interview Edward
Sittler, who knew Monti as Weithaupt. Sittler asked if Cuomo knew of an
American pilot of a P-38, named Martin Weithaupt, who worked for him in
Berlin. On further interrogation he determined that Martin
Weithaupt was no other that Martin James Monti.
11/18/46 Monti was taken to the office of Mr. Woerheide, Room 2313 in the
Department of Justice, and there was confronted with Mr. and Mrs. Edward
Veith Sittler, Margaret Eggers and Mrs. Loretta Grunau Kapke plus seven
others that were over in the U.S. for the trials of Robert Best and
Chandler. Monti was visibly astonished to see these people and at first
declined to enter the room. All these persons identified Monti as the man
they knew as Weithaupt while working in Berlin on the "Round Table
Conferences" Monti refused to make any statement. At this time he indicated
that he desired to consult a lawyer.
3/12/47 Best and Chandler, two fellow broadcasters whom Monti knew in
Germany, have been indicted in Boston for treason, for similar acts and are
awaiting trial. Monti refused to testify against them before the Grand Jury
and claimed his privilege against self-incrimination.
11/1/47 From the files of the Washington Post: "I beleive Coumo blew the
whistle on this one and gave Drew Pearson the whole story."
The Washington Merry-Go Round (Source Washington Post, 1 November 1947)
High Army Officials Study Treason Charge by Drew Pearson
"The most bizarre charge of American treason in the history
of the war is gradually unfolding before investigators of the War
and Justice Departments. Douglas Chandler who broadcast against his country
from Germany, has been given a life sentence. (He died in jail). Ezra Pound,
the bearded poet who broadcast from Italy, has been locked in the
St. Elizabeths booby hatch. Axis Sally is still in the custody of the United
States Army in Germany."
"But meanwhile Lt. Martin James Monti of St. Louis, who did a sort of Rudolf
Hess in reverse, landing behind enemy lines in Italy and becoming a member
of the elite Nazi SS Corps, is still in the United States Army. His case,
for some strange reason, has been bottled up in the War and Justice
Departments for months. But now, two years after the war, it is finally
being reviewed by highest officials."
"Army records show that Lieut. Monti, an Air Corps flier, deserted the
United States Air Corps 126th Replacement Battalion, Karachi, India,
on October 2, 1944, hitch-hiking by plane to Italy. He then stole a P-38
(a new L-5 yet unknown to the Germans) fighter plane, October 13, 1944 at
Pomigliano and came down behind enemt lines. When later court martialed, Monti
claimed that he was shot down. However, investigation after the court-martial
showed that he landed voluntarily, and when captured by the Germans told them
that he was fighting on the wrong side of the war and wanted to join them."
"The Germans naturally were suspicious. They figured Monti was a spy. However
he became so earnest in his protestations that he wanted to fight on the Nazi
side that eventually he was taken into their councils. Monti became part of
several radio conference broadcasts and at one time conducted a tour of
news-papermen through the territory that the Nazis had just recaptured fron
the Russians. ...Most amazing development however was that eventually Monti
enlisted in the elite Nazi SS Corps, made up of Hitler's most fanatical
"When finally apprehended by the United States Army, Monti was on a train
with other German troops in the Uniform of the SS Corps. He claimed that he
had stolen the uniform and was using it with the help of the Italian
underground to escape from Italy. He also claimed that he had been engaged
in getting intelligence for the United States Army."
However, subsequent investigation showed that Monti had not used the SS
uniform as a means of escape, but had formally taken the oath as an
SS Officer early in 1945."
"Monti was court martialed by the United States Army on a charge of being
AWOL ans stealing an airplane. For the latter he was given 15 years. No
charge of treason was brought against him. The Army at the time was not able
to make a thorough probe of Monti's operations behind enemy lines."
"However, the most interesting phase of the Monti treason case is that his
15-year sentence later was reduced by the Army to nothing, provided he would
reenlist in the Army as a private. This he did on February 11, 1946. Who
persuaded the Army to make this drastic reduction is not known. However, it
is important, for this agreement may prevent the Army from trying Monti a
"Later, when Justice Department lawyers began probing other treason cases
in Germany, the activities of Lieutenant Monti turned up. After months of
mysterious pigeon holing, the Justice Department is now examing the case. If
the Army decides it cannot try Monti again, Justice Department officials say
they expect to move in."
11/1/47 Monti lingered in jail while the slow wheels of Justice turned.
Drew Pearsons' article in the Washington Post discussed the Monti case and
the delay in prosecution saying, "But meanwhile, Lt. Martin James Monti of
St. Louis, who did sort of a Rudolf Hess in reverse, landing behind enemy
lines in a P-38 in Italy and becoming a member of the elite Nazi SS Corps,
is still in the U.S.Army." Other articles appeared in rapid succession after
1/26/48 Monti was discharged from the U.S. Army, and immediately arrested
by the FBI.
8/19/48 Attorney General requested of the Department of the Army to
transport 30 named witnesses to Washington, D.C. not later than 9/7/48.
12/8/48 Monti was committed to the Kings County Hospital of the City of New
York for a mental examination by Gladys McDermaid M.D., Senior Psychiatrist,
who concluded that, Monti was extremely narcissistic, immature,
obsessive-compulsive person who has developed attitudes of superiority and hostility
towards people as a self-protective device against inner feelings of
inadequacy, emotional conflicts over homosexual strivings and inability to establish
ego-identification at an adult male level. His religious and political
fanaticism, his highly moralistic concepts and attitudes of racial superiority,
conflict with primitive and sadistic impulses that he fears and attempts to
On intelligence tests, Monti was classified as of superior intelligance
with an IQ of 131 on verbal, and 120 on performance material.
Diagnosis is recorded as: No psychosis; not Mental Defective; Psychopath
is Personality; paranoid and Obsessive-Compulsive Features.
1/17/49 Day of Monti's treason trial.
Monti withdrew his not guility plea.
The prosecution would not accept the plea without a complete and full
confession under oath, and examined by Mr. Woerheide, the prosecutions
Initially, Monti would not give a straight answer when Mr. Woerheide asked
the Judge that the trial begin, that the defendant is not complying at
all with the questions. Monti finally answered all questions put to him,
over 150 of them. Also Best and Chandler got Life imprisonment with out
the chance of Parole. Both died in prison.
The court accepted Monti's plea of guilty.
Monti's attorney, Lloyd Paul Stryker, (also represented Alger Hiss) and
Harold Shapiro was also present, moved foe an arrest of judgment on the
grounds that the treasonous acts occurred on enemy territory, and that the
Court didn't have jurisdiction since the U.S. Constitution guarantees that
all crimes be tried in the "State" were they occurred, i.e., Germany, not
He also pleaded double jeopardy.
To this date Martin J. Monti is the only person in History to plead guilty
to treason, all others that were charged with treason were tried and convicted.
The Judge denied all motions.
The judge sentenced Monti to 25 years confinement and a fine of $10,000.
The Justice Department told reporters that Monti is the only American
citizen who has ever confessed to the crime of treason by pleading guilty.
Monti spent 28 years in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. His sentenced
was extended for bad behavior, breaking into the mess hall kitchen, with a number of other prisoners and stealing food. He was finally released in
1968, and was still alive as of 1982.