Topic: Stolen Valour
Buys Hero Medals to Win Girl; In Jail Now
Reading Eagle, Reading, Pennsylvania 13 August 1930
Detroit, Aug. 13 (AP).—Benjamin Lee couldn't win his girl's love with his resplendent theatre usher's uniform, so he bought some medals, won the girl, and today he is in jail as a bogus hero.
Dined and honored by Detroit veterans' organizations as one of Michigan's war heroes, Benjamin, a theatre usher, appeared wearing the Croix de Guerre, the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Service Cross, and the Congressional Medal of Honor. He told lurid stories of his part in the war.
Some of the veterans became suspicious. They figured out that Benjamin would have been about 12 years old when the war started.
Department of Justice agents questioned Benjamin and he confessed that his tales of heroism were designed to win the love of a girl who is now his wife. He said he purchased the medals from veterans who were "short on cash," and that after his marriage his wife carried on the tales of heroism until the affair got out of his control.