We have a lot in common with Walter Mitty, and Baron Munchausen. It is the nature of the beast.
After all didn't Harlan Ellison write a novella called All the Lies that Are My Life?
People keep saying I lead an interesting life. Maybe. It doesn't always seem that way when it's happening, but I know how to tell it to make it sound, well, like fiction.
All this doesn't mean that Unknown War isn't a fascinating read, and a valuable addition to the Ed Wood bookshelf. It fills the gaps in the story, and even makes it more interesting. Pontolillo used, and reproduces news clippings and Wood's medical and military records, and truths about the man, and World War Two, become self-evident.
All the mundane documentation. The military is good for that. They also documented Wood catching filariasis, that was cured before it caused elephantiasis, and his getting syphilis from a prostitute in California.
It turns out that Wood was clerk in the Marines, and never was in combat. Wars are mostly paperwork, or I suppose these days they'd say data entry. Office equipment is just as important as weaponry. Non-combat veterans tend to feel shame over their contributions, but they shouldn't. They did their part. They should be honored and thanked for it.
They also tend to tell tall tales about their service.
Actual combat vets don't, and it's hard to get them to tell their stories.
Also his hometown newspaper was cooperative in reporting fictitious combat experiences.
Besides, if you're going to make movies, write books, and become the Patron Saint of Creative Misfits—I imagine that by the end of this century, we will see a religion that worships Wood, along with Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, and Vampira—you can't just accept the ordinary, in your work or your life.