Two OAP neighbours stunned to discover they both played a key role in WW2 mission – one dropped a bomb to allow the other to storm a Nazi railway yard

George Rhodes, 99, (right) and Graham Brown, 93 (SWNS Group)

Two elderly neighbours were stunned to discover they both took part in the same WW2 mission – with one dropping bombs to let the other storm a Nazi railway.

George Rhodes, 99, (right) and Graham Brown, 93 (SWNS Group)
George Rhodes, 99, (right) and Graham Brown, 93 (SWNS Group)

George Rhodes, 99, and Graham Brown, 93, live in the same block of flats but have only just found out one inadvertently helped the other during an Allied mission.

They were chatting one day and found they were actually involved in the same bombing operation over Graz, Austria in June 1945.

Before George and his fellow army soldiers entered a railway yard the Royal Air Force were called to drop bombs on the city to clear their way.

One of the pilots who dropped the bombs happened to be Graham – making sure George and his men could get through.

Both men ended up living next door to each other in Wells, Somerset.

George Rhodes pictured during WW2 (SWNS Group)
George Rhodes pictured during WW2 (SWNS Group)

George said: ”Graham and his boys did a good job. The place was ruined. All the rails had been bombed so much that they were all curled up.

“No train was going to run on those again and the bombs meant that we could enter.”

An army sergeant, George signed up during his university days in 1942 – where he was sent to the Middle East, north Africa and Italy before the bombing raids in Europe.

While Graham was the pilot of a Wellington bomber. Graz was liberated in 1945 and the two returned to normal lives after the war.

George became a mortician in the pathology department of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, got married Ruby and had one son.

Graham returned to Bristol University and completed his engineering degree started at the beginning of the war and then became the manager of Underwood Quarry in Wells.

After finding out that their jobs in the war were dependent on each, the two are best of friends and share an apartment building together.

George added: “Graham is a great bloke and we talk about the war, thank heavens he and his aircrew were around to support us at that time.”


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