The most egregious case I’ve come across in recent years was the Czech colonel who claimed to have escaped a German POW camp, made it to England where he later joined an American division. With this division, he was supposed to have fought his way across France and Germany eventually reaching his homeland. This colonel became a highly respected hero and was eventually given one of his country’s highest military awards. A few years ago I was contacted by a Czech newspaper reporter who was in the process of verifying the colonel’s war stories. It turns out the American unit that he claimed to have joined in England was none other than the 14th Armored Division. Unfortunately for him, the 14th AD was never in England. And a careful review of the division’s combat roster did not show his name. Moreover, while it was possible for foreigners to serve in the American army (To my knowledge at least one young Englishman joined the US Army and served in combat with the 14th AD.) it would have been very unlikely that a Czech soldier could have joined up with the division after it came overseas without having gone through training in the states. Between us, the reporter and I disproved the colonel’s claim, and an article was published in a Prague newspaper exposing him for the fraud he was. To me the colonel's lies were an insult to the Czech soldiers who did join the division after being liberated at Creussen, Germany. To prove they were brave soldiers ready to fight the Nazis, they marched in formation in the town square while it was under sporadic artillery fire. Impressed, the American commander of the 94th Cavalry, who was dreadfully short of infantry and expecting an imminent German counterattack, accepted their offer to fight alongside his troops. Soon he had a couple of hundred trained Czec soldiers to sterengthen his weak defensive lines. After the battle, many of these "irregulars" refused to return home, and in one way or another managed to fight alongside the unit that had liberated them until near the end of the war. These men were true heroes, and the Czech colonel was a complete fraud.