ARMY COLONEL GETS 15 YEARS AS MASTERMIND
OF EUROPE JEWEL HEIST - CAPTAIN WIFE HIT
WITH FIVE YEARS BEHIND BARS - J.W. DURANT
THOUGHT HE COULD SMUGGLE GEMS INTO USA
BY MAILING THEM TO FAMILY MEMBERS - LOOT
STOLEN FROM KRONBERG CASTLE IN FRANKFURT

© 2015 MilitaryCorruption.com

The colonel was a desk jockey, not a warrior. His wife, an Army captain, had something very much in common with her horny 38 year-old hubby. They loved to drink. Only the finest booze would do for them. Why guzzle beer when you can slurp champagne?

Another joint-characteristic was unmitigated greed. They decided if they were going to steal, they would make it a really big haul. And it was.

CAPT Kathleen Nash had been tasked with finding locations for officers clubs in and around Frankfurt, Germany. In the course of those duties, the pudgy but sex-crazed officer stumbled upon a treasure trove of jewels hidden in Kronberg Castle, which had been requisitioned for a rest and recreation center.

This wasn't a small stash. A trunk full of gold cutlery and fancy baubles and diamonds was discovered hidden behind some floorboards. The fortune's owners was the very rich Hesse Family.

THEY ALMOST GOT AWAY WITH IT

The way Nash and her high-ranking boyfriend (later on, her husband) figured, they'd get the stuff out of Germany at the end of World War II and no one would be the wiser. Jars of gems and bank notes would be buried in glass jars on property owned by family relatives back in the States.

A third conspirator, MAJ David W. Watson, entered the scheme, and he peddled some of the scrap gold and silver to dealers in Ireland and England.

What the trio didn't count on was, one of the German workers in the castle, who knew of the multi-million dollar find, tipped off the Army CID and eventually all three crooked officers were arrested and court-martialed.

COL Durant got 15 years in the slammer. His wife was hit with five years behind bars. MAJ Watson got a similar stretch, but all three were out of lockup by 1952. Watson had been paroled back in '47, while Durant and his Army frau breathed free air again five years later.

Davis died early in life while still in Europe. The bird colonel and his gal pal lasted a lot longer. They went back to their old habits of getting drunk. In 1984, nearly 30 years after they pulled off one of the most audacious crimes of the WWII occupation army, they both died, reportedly of alcoholic-related disease. They literally drank themselves to death.

Was it genuine remorse, or just incredible frustration that they came so close to being fabulously rich and getting away with it? We will never know for sure.