At midnight on June 28, 1944 four well-armed civilians attempted a daring armed robbery of the $4,329,000 Camp Lejeune payroll being transported under heavy guard from the First National Bank in the small Coastal Plain town of Kinston, North Carolina. The would-be hijackers were cut down in a hail of submachine gun fire. Taking this foiled attempt as a warning, a bold Marine Corps colonel and the avaricious bank manager set in motion an elaborate ruse to steal the $6,327,412 January 1945 payroll from the bank vault prior to its transfer. The audacious scheme was brilliantly planned and executed with precision. Lawmen were stymied. The only things standing in the way of complete success were the greed of the co-conspirators and an unforeseen encounter with someone not even associated with the heist.