|Owen Michael Eather (Born Evans)|
Officers are supposed to be 'gentlemen'. Through their training, actions and responsibilities, officers hold a higher trust and standing in both the military and wider general community.
When an officer lies, acts in a deceitful manner and wears awards to which he is not entitled and then when challenged, uses questionable tactics to intimidate and threaten those who question the veracity of his claims; he dishonours his commission, his service and the officer tradition.
When the awards in question are for gallantry, the action becomes even more despicable, debasing the awards and distilling the actions of those who lived and died to earn theirs.
Owen Michael Eather of Mosman, a suburb of Sydney New South Wales, graduated OCS (Officer Cadet School, now closed) in June 1966. He was postedto South VietNam (SVN) as a Platoon Commander with 85 Tipper Platoon. He has never been awarded any decorations but was observed by several people in Sydney on an Anzac Day wearing;
Another Eather, unrelated, a WO2 (Warrant Officer Second Class) with the AATTV (Australian Army Training Team Vietnam) was awarded these two awards and has recently died from cancer. That Owen Michael Eather was wearing the same medals was a coincidence?
When challenged about wearing these un-earned awards, a letter purporting to be from a Sydney firm of solicitors suggests that the decorations (supposedly awarded ín the 'field') could not be worn previously as "There have been regulations preventing the wearing of foreign awards until recent times".
The same letter goes on to claim that Eather served at Fire Base Coral and Fire Base Balmoral and came under fire on "numerous occasions" as an observer with 161 Reconaissance Flight.
The chief-challenger in this case, an ex-senior Warrant Officer in the Australian Army, who had received the letters of demand from the solicitor, has been given by Eather a declaration that he will not wear the Silver Star or the Cross of Gallantry again. Also the Warrant Officer has been given a personal written apology and a letter to an ESO (Ex-Service Organisation) to whom he had complained about an action and a statement made about him by the Warrant Officer, stating his apologies.
Also an assurance that the questionable letters of demand were withdrawn was given by Eather and that no legal action would take place.
The ex-WO went to Eather's office in Sydney NSW, got the assurance and the apologies and explained to Eather in no uncertain terms that should Eather ever try this form of masquerade again, the consequences would be drastic and debilitating for Eather personally, his reputation in business and in the Australian community, that is, total exposure in the mass media and reports to all relevant authorities and organisations.
Eather's claims to both awards, are false.
14th Oct 2012
Captain Owen Michael Eather
Our original exposure of Eather was in the mid 1990s. At that time Eather apologized and promised to never wear fake United States bravery medals again. Unfortunately he has “fallen off the wagon” and again wears the USA Silver Star medal and The Vietnam Gallantry medal. Also, he has been lobbying and whining to all who will listen, to prove his fictitious claim. He obviously believes that the more often he repeats his claim the more likely it will be believed. His modus operandi includes quoting and referring to witnesses who are now deceased: See the photo below that was taken on ANZAC Day 2005
Eather's two middle medals are not Australian Government issued or approved. The medal second from the left is the same shape as a USA Silver Star, and the medal third from the left we believe is The Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. These are the same medals that Eather promised never to wear again.
Eather has “friends in high places”, and is highly skilled in the threats and litigation department. Eather needs these skills, because he so much wants to be seen as a hero of the Vietnam War, that he invents deeds of heroism and then defends his inventions with sickening threats of calamitous retribution against those who question his honesty.
It is unusual for an ex Commissioned Army Officer to behave in such a dishonorable way, however after documenting Eather’s claims, we have no other course of action than to pronounce him a shameful recidivist liar, fraud and glory hunting wannabe.
Perhaps motivated by a personality disorder, Eather has an insatiable desire, to be proclaimed a war hero. He is still pursuing a USA Silver Star that he falsely claims to have been awarded out of a brief case, by a mysterious and now deceased USA Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Colonel who was accompanied by a Deputy Province Commander on a road in Vietnam.
Eather claims he single handedly, using an M60 mounted on a Landrover, foiled a Viet Cong ambush, involving a Deputy Province Chief and a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer (later killed in the TET offensive). He described this action to an aviation Brigadier Paul Lipscombe, (now deceased) circa 1990 and has been expanding on it ever since.
Here is his version of events:
“Over this period, Owen and another Lieutenant came to the rescue of two Americans, a small contingent of south Vietnamese Regional Force soldiers (two squads) and a Deputy Province Chief, Captain (Dai Wei) DVC. The lead American was a CIA Colonel. At the end of this brief but successful engagement which saved these men’s lives, the Colonel opened a Samsonite briefcase and removed two star shaped medals and awarded them to Owen and his “mate”. On the back were the words “for gallantry in action””
We have a first hand witness of a meeting at Cat Lo, near Vung Tau from which we believe Eather contrived his heroic action.
‘Some time in December 1967, while returning from a leave day (probably a Sunday) at Vung Tau, I was driving a Landrover in company with a vehicle with a leave party aboard. Evans/Eather was also in the Landrover. At Cat Lo, we slowed and pulled up outside a well known brothel. From inside came two Americans, one an army Major, the other a Captain. Both had "had a few drinks" but weren't falling over drunk, merely in a cheerful mood.
They waved, then came over to the Rover, and in a friendly manner said it was "Great to see Aussies and thanks for everything you have done - you all deserve a special medal"
There was some minor "war talk" and the two vehicles then drove on to Nui Dat without incident.
There was no "action" as Eather describes no medal award”.
Eather’s unit was included as part of the Task Force Maintenance Area (TFMA).
The Officer Commanding the TFMA has said:
“I was not aware of any award of such medals to any member of the TFMA at Nui Dat during my time as OC TFMA in 1967-1968. 2Lt Evans (Eather) was 2IC of the Transport Unit in the TFMA and Capt Jack Humphries (now deceased) was his OC. Eather did not approach me about any medals and Humphries did not mention any such incident to me”.
Veterans know, that had such an incident occurred involving Eather’s unit, it would have been the “talk of the town’ and the TFMA commander along with every member of Eather’s unit would certainly have known about it.
Eather attended Officer Cadet School Portsea, and graduated with another controversial ex Army Captain who served in Vietnam at the same time as Eather. His name is Barry Corse. Over the years Eather is known to have maintained contact with Corse up to at least 2007. The relevance of this relationship is that Barry Corse also claims to have been awarded a USA Bravery medal without it being recorded or recognized by the Australian Defence Force.
Barry Corse claims he was detached to an American combat unit, and that he was the only Australian Officer to ever command American Troops in combat during the Vietnam War. He claims he was decorated for bravery by the Americans. However, there is NO record of this detachment, or of his alleged command of American Troops or of an award for bravery, either Australian or American. Corse claims these records have disappeared from his Service Record.
Perhaps Eather and Corse conspired to contrive their heroic service and now giggle over their silly behaviour, although we are reliably advised that they may have fallen out and no longer giggle together.
Eather is now off on a different tangent to emulate “Biggles”. He is claiming heroic service with161 Reconnaissance Flight (161 Recce Flt) that operated in Vietnam from September 1965 to March 1972. Eather was attached to 161 Recce Flt for rations and quarters, no more no less. At no stage was he ever posted to, or a member of 161 Recce Flt.
Eather has written a paper and submitted to the 161 Recce Flt Association for publication as an historic report. In the document, Eather describes himself as flying for hundreds of hours including many hours of harrowing and dangerous work including the romantic “Boys own” adventure shown below:
“The pilot would tune to the Armed Forces Radio pop music station. A popular hit was “Love is Blue, a French orchestral tune, lush, lilting and romantic. Glen got into the swing and swooped in time to the melody. I was potting at a few targets with an M 16 listening to this in the headset, this about June ‘68. We thought it was pretty cool and didn’t see the irony until a lot older”.
We are reliably advised that his claims have been comprehensively rejected as fiction by 161 Recce Flt. Eather claims that Flight Logs and other documentation were not correctly recorded and do not show his true contribution to that unit. 161 Recce Flt historians say Eather’s claims are fabrications, and his total involvement with 161 Recce Flt were some “Jolly” flights.
Perhaps Eather has the need to be a hero because he was a figure of derision within his unit in Vietnam, he had the name “Flower Power” and many anecdotes are told about his ‘”F Troop” type antics.
Eather claims to have served heroically in Vietnam, this included saving high ranking USA Officers from an ambush.
Neither his Officer Commanding, (now deceased) nor the senior Officer commanding the TFMA or any members of his unit ever heard of the incident. A soldier from Eather’s unit has described an event involving two USA officers outside of a brothel; the mildly inebriated USA officers praised Australia’s involvement in the war and said you all deserve medals – no more, no less.
Eather was rationed and quartered at 161 Recce Flt, whilst in Vietnam, during that time he went on “Jolly” flights as a passenger. Eather claims Hundreds of hours of flying in very dangerous circumstances. He asserts that 161 Recce Flt were lackadaisical in keeping log books and their records are inaccurate. The 161 Recce Flt Association is furious at Eather’s allegations and declares his recollections as reckless fiction.
Eather has been hacking away at his claim of heroic service in Vietnam for Twenty years, as time goes by, he carefully selects his ”witnesses” from the ranks of those who have departed this world.
It is possible EATHER is building up a false Vietnam war background to convince the Department of Veterans' Affairs to accept his fantasy moments of life threatening wartime stressors, to gain a disability pension. ANZMI have seen this behaviour with other offenders who appear on our website. His fellow officers, and the soldiers under his command to a man deny any knowledge of his claimed heroics, and they of all people would know
Eather was a less than average Royal Australian Army Service Corps Officer who served in Vietnam he was not admired by those he worked with. In the veteran community he continues to be a pariah because of his false claims of heroic actions. We are sure the Eather story does not end here, and we will continue to report his lies and fraud until he stops
This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the Vietnam Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth. Reports from private citizens are supported by statements of fact and statutory declarations.