The US Navy SEAL's deadliest-ever sniper appears to have distorted his war record, official documents show. Chris Kyle, whose tours in Iraq were turned into the acclaimed 2014 film American Sniper by Hollywood director Clint Eastwood, said in his memoirs he earned two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars.
The claims have now been questioned after being at odds with US Navy records. Official documents say the former US soldier was instead awarded just one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars.
The paperwork was first seen by investigative news site the Intercept. Its contents were later confirmed by US Navy officials.
While separate discharge papers claimed Kyle had won two Silver Stars and six Bronze Stars, US Navy spokesperson Lt Jackie Pau told Associated Press: "The navy considers the individual service member's official military personnel file and our central official awards records to be the authoritative sources for verifying entitlement to decorations and awards."
The Silver Star is the third-highest military combat decoration for combat valour. The Bronze Star is awarded to members of the Armed Forces for heroic or meritorious achievement or service in a combat zone.
One US Navy official, speaking to the Intercept, said the error would not take away from the view of Kyle as a "decorated war hero". Kyle retains the record for the Navy SEAL veteran with the most sniper kills in US military history, at at least 160.
Kyle's life ended in tragedy aged 38 when he was fatally shot on a Texas shooting range in 2013, a year before his book was made into a film starring Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller. His killer, US Marine Eddie Ray Routh, was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2015.
It isn't the first time Kyle's book has been questioned for its contents. In 2014, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura was awarded $1.8m (£1.2m, €1.6m) in damages following a defamation lawsuit over a passage in Kyle's book which alleged Ventura made disparaging comments about US Navy Seals.