Washington, DC – Top officials at the Department of Defense announced Monday the launching of an investigation into 7-year-old World War II veteran Andrew Millen’s recent claims that he was responsible for killing Pearl Harbor and dropping an atomic bomb on Hitler.
Millen, who initially revealed his decades-old combat exploits at a Halloween party at Chambers Elementary School in Ogden, North Dakota, has remained stood firmly behind his claims in recent months, despite intense criticism from Pentagon officials, veterans groups, and anti-war activists.
According to the DoD, a number of Millen’s claims first began raising red flags in early November after a YouTube video of the Halloween party went viral. Among those drawing the most skepticism are Millen’s assertions that he downed a German airplane with a “ham grenade” and that he ran over Osama bin Laden with a tank during the Battle of the Bulge.
“We have scoured thousands of U.S. after-action reports in recent weeks and have yet to find any mention of bin Laden’s involvement in the combat in Ardennes Forest in the winter of 1944-45,” said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. “While that alone does not invalidate Mr. Millen’s assertion, it does cast a shadow of doubt on his overall combat history.”
According to Millen’s attorney’s, the young WWII veteran has fully cooperated with DoD officials, having met with investigators over one dozen times and appearing in front of both the Senate Relations Committee and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“I had my army clothes on and, um, my friend Brady, um, told me the bad guys were behind the garage and, um, I saw them and blowed them all up,” Millen testified to the Joint Chiefs, according to a transcript of the proceedings. “And then my mom, um, took me and Brady to McDonald’s, but, um, Brady had to pay for his own food, ‘cause my mom, um, said we can’t buy lunch for the whole world.”
Of the myriad of claims brought forth by Millen, his contention that he “killed” Pearl Harbor has drawn especially harsh criticism from White House officials, in large part because of the administration’s recent ceremony recognizing the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
“I stabbed Pearl Harbor, um, a bunch of times and, um, kicked it into the ocean,” Millen testified recently. “And then, um, the bad guys tried to kill me, um, but I kicked them too.”
While Millen’s contradictory account seems to have caused great embarrassment for the White House, administration officials have pledged to dedicate any and all resources necessary to investigate the issue and make any necessary corrective actions.
“If Mr. Millen did, in fact, play a substantial role in the destruction of Pearl Harbor seventy years ago, this nation will take the necessary steps to make things right,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. “The first of which would be the U.S. needing to apologize big-time to Japan for the whole war thing.”
While many academics remain suspicious of Millen’s highly questionable accounts, several prominent historians have applauded second-grade U.S. Army Ranger veteran’s willingness to come forward with his stories, something many veterans throughout the decades have struggled to do.
“Personally, I find it inspiring that such a young veteran would be willing to come forth after all this time and tell his story,” said Barney Attelby, a professor at the Virginia Military Institute. “How many of us would even be willing to come forward with the painful details of how we saved the Jews by shooting the bad guys with eye lasers. Outside of Mr. Millen, I would say very few of us.”