Pritchard

Surname: Pritchard
Christian Names: William Alfred
Country: Australia
State or Province: Unknown
City or Town: Unknown
Service: Army
Branch: Artillery
Case Notes:

Read this bio that was published in a book, “Vietnam Veterans, the Sons of the Hunter” which contains the stories of 104  VietnamVeterans from around the Hunter Valley wine growing area near Newcastle, NSW. An interesting read for the uninitiated.

 

His story is close to the mark but he left some things out and added some things he should not have.

Note his “Tour” dates, one has to believe that this is his supposed tour of Vietnam, 68-69?

Something he left out was that his job before moving on to an uncompleted butchers apprenticeship was that of a metal polisher and plater at Layton Plating in Sydney. He was polishing metal instead of selling papers at Newtown Station, so not quite the hard luck paperboy trying to support his sick dad as he portrays.

Something else he left out was the number of times he was disciplined for going AWOL, disobeying Routine Orders, being incorrectly dressed and leaving his post unattended.

He did indeed go to Malaya and Borneo in 1963, on 12 November to be exact, and his Special Service (SPECSER) as an Artillery Gun Number (Private, Gunner) commenced on 2 September 1964,  concluding on 16 October 1964.  Total, 44 days.

On 3 May 1965 he boarded a plane in Singapore for Sarawak, Borneo, his SPECSER there commenced on this day and continued until 18 July 65,  earning him the General Service Medal with clasp Borneo. Total, 76 days.

He returned to Sydney on 19 October of the same year.

Back to Singapore again on 16 September 1967 where he completed Army courses to improve his education  standard from 2nd Year High School, and also improve his Military skills.

He said that he returned to Sydney in late 1969 when in fact it was 28 January 69.  In June 1969 he was awarded the General Service Medal 1962 with clasp Malay Peninsular. That’s one medal with two clasps now.

His memory may have been a bit clouded when he stated the wrong date for returning to Sydney but the fantasy part of his brain was working well enough.

Quote “In 1968 we were attached to 1ATF with 3RAR in forward observation parties in Vietnam, where we were for about two months”

Untrue, he did not serve in Vietnam at any time. Furthermore, it seems highly unlikely that a person with no skills as a radio operator would be chosen for such a duty. He had failed four out of four subjects for an Artillery Signallers Course in March 1963. Further records note that in June 1967 he was assessed as unsuited for clerical, signals or surveyors duties.

For the non-Military readers, a Forward Observer (FO) goes out into the field with Infantry as the radio liaison between the Infantry Commander and the rear Arty guns when required. The FO calls in a fire mission, spots the bursts [splash] of the incoming rounds and adjusts the range of the guns accordingly. FOs were extremely knowledgeable in radio procedures.

His entire overseas service was with 102 and 107 Field Batteries in Malaya and Borneo.

The poem he talks about in his bio above is not about 105 Field Battery, 18 August 1969 at all, it’s about Arty guns that fired in support of 11 PL, D Coy, 6 RAR on 18 August 1966, the Battle of Long Tan, which he was absolutely nowhere near. He was out by three years and was never posted to 105 Bty, although later claimed he was.

When challenged on this claim of being with 105 Bty in Vietnam, he changed his story to being with 107 Bty, this Battery did not arrive in Vietnam until May 1970.

105 Bty was tasked to General Support (GS) of the Task Force in August 1966 while 161 Bty NZ was tasked to Direct Support (DS) of 6 RAR. It matters little because he wasn’t there and he got the year wrong as well, at this time he was with 12 Field Regiment [Artillery] in Australia.

His dedication of this poem to his “deceased” sons is a cynical act seemingly devised to draw pity upon himself. More smoke and mirrors.

Here’s his poem.

He was made a Technical Storeman on 10 April 1969 and passed a qualifying course for this type of posting on 17 June. He passed his final course for Sergeant in August 1973 and remained a Storeman for the rest of his long Army career.

This false information in the bio above is not the only shenanigans he has been caught out at.

He was confronted at a reunion by a former very highly positioned Warrant Officer and told to remove Vietnam medals and the Infantry Combat Badge from his coat and also a maroon beret from his head.   He must truly believe that he was a part of 3 RAR in Vietnam or somewhere.  This Battalion became a Parachute Battalion in October 1983 and its members have worn the maroon Para beret since 29 August 1985.  Only the members of 3 RAR who have joined the unit since it became Airborne qualified, and this includes all members of the Battalion whether parachute qualified or not, can wear the maroon beret, or cherry beret as it is affectionately known, as it is a unit head-dress rather than a qualification beret.  The wings worn on the sleeve denote the parachute qualification status of the individual.  On leaving the battalion a member is not authorised to wear the beret unless he is posted to another designated airborne unit.  In the case of the parachute wings the member retains these forever unless he is posted to another airborne unit that has their own specific parachute qualified wings.

The medals were obviously not earned, neither was the ICB. In the photo above he can also be seen wearing some other sort of supposed, unauthorised, combat badge that seem to be proliferating like rabbits among the non-Infantry Veterans. He hasn’t been wearing these of late “because of the confusion”, more on this “confusion” later.

Who could possibly be confused, here we have a Senior Army Artillery NCO who should be very aware of what may be worn and what may not. There is a big difference between confusion and outright posturing.

He also appears to be wearing a Unit Citation on his right lapel in the photo. We’re looking into this now.

He said he was a Pensions and Welfare Officer for the NSW Returned Services League before moving to Belmont and taking up the same duties at the Pelican Flats Club, later being the President for five years.

Should a pensions officer be found to be a fraud, should not every claim he assisted in now be looked at in a different light?

Fraud begets only further fraud.

It appears strange that a person with this experience would use or allow the use of  incorrect wording for the Compensation Payment known as the TPI. There is no such thing as the Total and Permanent Injuries Pension.

Also, he wasn’t a Walton's Store Manager, he was the manager of a department within the store.

It gets worse;

We have a statement from a concerned Veteran who spoke to Pritchard about his service and the awards he wears.

Here are some answers to the Veteran’s questions:

He earned the ICB in Malaya. (It’s the Infantry Combat Badge, some members of other Corps were awarded it for their work with the Infantry but most of these people wouldn’t wear it because it denotes Infantry.)  To be of another corps and get awarded the ICB, you must be on the posted strength of the unit and fulfil the Infantry criteria for awarding of the badge.  It cannot and will not be awarded to personnel attached to an Infantry unit irrespective of whether you fulfil the Infantry criteria for the time of your attachment.

He doesn’t wear the Vietnam medals or ICB now because of the “confusion”

This below appears to be the “confusion”.

He was trying to sort out his records with Central Army Records but all records for 1967 to 1969 have been lost. (We found them quite easily)

He went to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra where many Military records are kept and was shown his file that had these words written on it,  “Never To Be Released”   (Geez, not another one).  This excuse is wearing very thin so if you hear someone use this description immediately become very, very suspicious of their stories.

In 1968 during his supposed excursion to Vietnam he was a Bombardier, the equivalent of a Corporal, with 107 Battery in Malaya.  Surely he wasn’t a covert operations Bombardier to have his records sealed forever?  An outright lie as are the other answers above.

Here’s the last straw.

Pritchard took his discharge from the Army as a Warrant Officer Second Class, [WO2],  not First Class, [WO1].

We simply present the facts here; it’s up to our readers to determine whether Pritchard is an unmitigated liar, fraud and a disgrace. Also whether he should be removed from the ranks of those who gather on commemorative occasions wearing their rightful awards displaying their Service in defence of our Country and it’s ideals.

Please see our page on what we refer to as “Tin” which indicates the correct method of wearing commemorative and purchased medals and badges.

“If you had to buy it, you didn’t earn it, so don’t wear it on the left.” This does not apply to awardees of certain foreign awards that have to be purchased, eg, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry recently approved by the Australian Government for wear by former members of D Company 6 RAR, Vietnam, 1966. The Government of the Republic of South Viet Nam no longer exists so the medals cannot be issued by it so therefore the members of D Company 6 RAR who have recently been awarded this medal after years of fighting for it, now have to purchase the medal to wear it.  This is one of the rare, acceptable cases of having to purchase an approved medal.

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There will be more from us regarding the unauthorised wearing of the Infantry Combat Badge by wannabe former bush grunts, i.e. General Duties personnel, Orderly Room or Q Store staff and the Officers who never spent a day in the weeds. If you are one of these people, we suggest that you don’t strut outside your house with this award on your coat again. Do it, get photographed, and you will be here on our site, former rank or position will not be taken into account. Absolutely no apology from you will be accepted by the Veteran Community, we can be sure of that.
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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 the private citizens are supported by statement of fact and statutory declarations.

 

 

Located in: Stolen Valour
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