Here’s a painful kick in the face to all the heroic World War II vets who risked their lives during the bloody “D-Day” invasion — an American soldier who was honored all his life for being among an elite group of Rangers — finally admitted he made it all up!
George G. Klein, now 96, was decorated with the highest military honors for taking part in the daring assault on June 6, 1944, that cleared the way for Allied forces to defeat the Third Reich. The goal was to surprise the enemy, but they were ready to fight — and the loss of American lives was staggering.
Historians have verified 2,499 American D-Day fatalities and 1,914 from the other Allied nations, a total of 4,413 dead. The Battle of Normandy, code name “Operation Overlord,” turned the war for the Allies — but Klein was never there!
The deceitful senior was handed the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star in the U.S. and France’s Legion of Honor for his supposed part in storming the beach as one of 225 men who scaled 100-foot cliffs to defeat the Germans.
For the latest anniversary of the event, the Overlord D-Day Association gave Klein $4,000 to fly from Illinois to Pointe du Hoc, France, where the courageous assault took place. There, he was the star of the 73rd anniversary celebrations where he signed hundreds of autographs and was photographed with his medals on the French cliffs he claimed to have climbed.
But the jig was up when historians Gary Sterne and Marty Morgan failed to find any trace of him at the battle during their research. Klein was forced to confess the terrible truth: He actually was in Northern Ireland on June 6 and never got to France until a month AFTER D-Day!
“George Klein arrived in Normandy in July 1944,” says Marc Laurenceau, head of the Overlord D-Day Association. “I’m in contact with his family, with whom I have become friends. They are devastated. So are we, as we believed his story. We put in a lot of effort to get him to Normandy.”
Klein had been unable to become a Ranger because he broke his ankle in 1943, but the Overlord D-Day Association is forgiving.
In a statement, the group said, “He should not be ashamed of his real contribution to the liberation of Europe, because he was wounded in action in France on Nov. 17, 1944.” The group added, “Trapped in a lie that shaped him in the eyes of his entourage, and from which he could no longer escape, he finally resolved to tell the truth.”