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Last Man Standing: Geoffrey Rothwell

The WW2 Podcast

Release Date: 11/26/2018

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The WW2 Podcast

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101 - Operation CHASTISE: The Dambusters show art 101 - Operation CHASTISE: The Dambusters

The WW2 Podcast

On May 16th 1943, 19 Lancaster bombers of 617 Squadron took off from England heading toward the German industrial heartland of the Ruhr. They carried a new bomb, codenamed ‘upkeep’, we know it today as the ‘bouncing bomb’ designed by Barnes Wallis.

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The WW2 Podcast

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99 - George Mergenthaler - MERG show art 99 - George Mergenthaler - MERG

The WW2 Podcast

George Mergenthaler, heir to the Mergenhaler Linotype Company. In 1944 he was a translator attached to a recon unit in the Ardennes when the Germans launched their offensive.

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100 - Left For Dead At Nijmegen show art 100 - Left For Dead At Nijmegen

The WW2 Podcast

On the 17th September 1944 Gene Metcalfe, of the 82 Airbourne, parachuted in to Holland as part of Operation Market Garden. Approaching the bridge they were to capture Gene is injured in a firefight and left for dead. He would spend the rest of the war as a POW.

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The WW2 Podcast

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98 - Operation Market Garden show art 98 - Operation Market Garden

The WW2 Podcast

2019 is the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, the allied attempt to create a sixty mile corridor, and secure a crossing over the Rhine. The plan was to use the newly formed First Allied Airborne Army to seize and hold nine key bridges until relieved by the British Army’s XXX Corp.

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97 - Japanese POW: Ray Fitchett show art 97 - Japanese POW: Ray Fitchett

The WW2 Podcast

In this episode Ray Fitchett recounts his time on HMS Exeter, and it’s sinking at the second battle of the Java Sea, he was rescued by the Japanese and sent to a POW camp. Ray would eventually sent to work in Japan at the fukuoka camp near Nagasaki, where he would witness the atomic bomb going off.

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The WW2 Podcast

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“'Stay low, stay on track, and stay alive' was the motto of the RAF's most secret Station, Tempsford. That's exactly what Geoffrey Rothwell did ‒ DFC & Bar, 1939-45 Star, Aircrew Europe Star with France/Germany Clasp, Defence Medal, Victory Medal, Order of Leopold II & Palme, Croix de Guerre 1940 & Palme, Bomber Command Medal, POW medal, La Légion d’honneur ‒ from Bomber Command via SOE to Stalag and back.”

In episode 53 I talked to Gabrielle McDonald-Rothwell about the SOE agent Diana Rowden. After we had stopped recording Gabrielle told me about her husband Geoffrey Rothwell, was the last surviving pilot for SOE during the war. At the time she was in the process of checking through a biography of Geoff’s experiences.

Sadly since then Geoff has passed away, but Gabrielle has managed to complete the book recounting his life and wartime experiences and its been released, the title is ‘Last Man Standing’.

In this bonus episode of the podcast I talk to Gabrielle about Geoff’s life.