Flanker’s Joseph Kearney and the Hunt for Rommel by Frank Galgay with Donna Kearney Adams, follows a young Newfoundlander’s unconventional mission and journey during WWll.
In 1941, 18-year-old Joseph Kearney left his home in St. John’s to join The First Royal Artillery Contingent on British soil. At the time, soldiers had to be at least 20-years-old to join the Regiment, so Kearney lied about his age.
Afterwards, he had been accepted into the Scottish Commando, an elite unit considered to be the brainchild of Winston Churchill.
With this unit, Kearney became a part of the mission to capture or kill German General Erwin Rommel, also known as the Desert Fox.
Kearney and 60 other men set out for Rommel towards a sited location. Upon arrival, they intended to bomb the area but were foiled by enough rain to prevent an explosion.
Eventually they moved on for another stationed visit but were captured in the process. Kearney spent most of his time in and out of war camps throughout 1941 and 1945, escaping three separate times and finally gaining freedom near the end of war.
Rommel was Nazi General who eventually plotted with others to assassinate Hitler in 1944. He was one of the only conspirators to be given a choice of suicide versus an immediate public execution. Rommel asked that his family be protected after his death and it was stated that he died from injuries.
A bleak but important connection between Newfoundland and Nazi Germany was enforced with Kearney’s mission for Rommel. The book follows Kearney’s incredible journey throughout World War ll, alongside letters written to his family back home. This detailed account allows for a personal insight into his experience. It takes a step back in time with an exclusive look at one of Newfoundland’s war heroes.
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