1/724306 Graham Howard ELLIS, DOB 31/08/1938 of Moor Park, Queensland served as a National Serviceman with the 9th Infantry Battalion from the 8th January 1957 to the 28th July 1959.There would not have been a problem till he turned up on Vietnam Veterans day on the 18th August 2010 at Bundaberg, Queensland wearing the Green Beret of the US Special Forces with the flash of the 5th Group and foreign medals as seen in the photo.
Graham Ellis was finally identified after his photo was transmitted around Australia and when contacted to explain how he came to have been awarded the foreign medals and the Green Beret he was very vague with his answers. He alluded to have been serving in the Intelligence Section of Battalion Headquarters of the 9th Infantry Battalion Citizen Military Forces at the age of 31 years. See below a summary of the vague answers he gave.
“I was with the Intelligence Section in Headquarters of 9th Infantry battalion in Queensland (not 9 Battalion Royal Australian Regiment) when I was approached by a man I cannot name as he was CIA. He got me to do a written test and the next thing I know I was on a flight out of Darwin on an Air America CIA flight and arrived in South Vietnam. I was posted to an “A” Team US Special Forces with detachment 502 or 503 and we worked with South Vietnamese Rangers. The “A” Team has 12 men in it and they are trained so that there are two medics, two engineers, two of everything.
I cannot remember what the unit badge was I have on my beret as it has been so long ago. I was wounded and got shrapnel in one leg, the face and temple. I did five month and 20 days there late 1969, early 1970 before I had enough and was flown back to Darwin on a Continental Airways flight which is also CIA.”
He was questioned further to clarify things such as the name of the South Vietnamese Unit he served with also the badge he was wearing.
“I can’t remember the South Vietnamese unit I served with or where I was posted in South Vietnam because it was so long ago. I don’t know what unit the badge belonged to, I actually picked it up at an Auction when I used to collect such things. I even have an Iron Cross. I only put the medals on the left side as friends of mine told me a new law had come out in the mid 90’s saying I could wear them on the left.”
We have searched many web sites to identify this badge, but have not been successful. The badge that should have been worn is the US Special Forces badge with the 5th Group US Special Forces flash which is on the beret. Each group had its own flash.
Ellis is wearing two Unit Citations one being the US Presidential Meritorious Unit Citation issued to a unit.
The other is the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Unit Award with Palm
Out of the medals Ellis is wearing, he is entitled to only the first two Australian medals.
From left to right the medals are;
Ellis is not entitled to wear the last five medals. During our research of the US Special Forces web sites we came across the web sites for Detachments A-502 and A-503 and his name does not appear on the nominal rolls of either detachments.
Ellis’s only military service was as a National Serviceman when he signed up for 5 years service on the 8th January 1957. He was transferred from A Company 9th Infantry Battalion to the Intelligence section at Battalion Headquarters then transferred to the National Service Inactive list on the 28th July 1959 before being official discharged on the 30th June 1960.
How Ellis can imagine that people would believe that he was posted to the US Special Forces in South Vietnam on operations after just doing a written exam and with very little military experience when soldiers of the US Special Forces had to undergo a tough selection course before being further cross trained in other specialist courses over a long period of time before they would be allowed on operational duties has me lost for words.
Graham Howard Ellis has not only made a fool of himself, but he has shown disrespect especially to the US Special Forces who lost a lot of good men in South Vietnam, but he has also brought disrespect upon himself, his family, other Vietnam Veterans and Australia. For this he will grace our web site for the entire world to see.
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.