FLAHERTY UPDATE April 2017
Go to the very bottom of this page to see the latest update!
Anthony John (Tony) Flaherty, was born on the 5 May, 1944 at Renmark in South Australia. He is the current Mayor of the District Council of Mallala, South Australia, having been elected to this position in early 2016.
He resides in Two Wells, a small town, 40 kilometres north of Adelaide. He is the President of the Two Wells Returned and Services League (RSL) Sub Branch. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2005. He is also the Mallala Citizen of the year 2016.
Flaherty is a glory hunter and a valour thief, who has for at least 46 years, been relating to others, outrageous lies to convince them that he is a Vietnam War Hero.
As a result of these preposterous lies, he was voted in as Mayor of that District in 2008 and again in 2016.
He is now seeking high office within the RSL South Australia State Branch as a State Board Member. He is asking for support from South Australian State RSL executives and members to vote for him at their next upcoming State Board election.
Tony Flaherty is a long time fraud.
Included on his personal resume for election to that office, he has claimed, inter alia, the following -;
TONY FLAHERTY OAM JP
• Regular Army 13 years.
• Army Reserve 10 years.
• Active Service Malaya 1967 – 1969. 8 RAR.
• Vietnam 1969 -1970. Served with 8 RAR in Long Hai Mountains. Operation Hammersley, Platoon Commander role, 8 Platoon, C Company, liaison appointment US Forces at Long Dien.
Tony Flaherty enlisted in the Australian Regular Army about 1963. Following Recruit Training he was selected for Australian Army Catering Corps duty as a Cook. He progressed through the Catering Corps ranks and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
He claims Active Service in 8 RAR (8 Battalion Royal Australian Regiment) Malaya from 1967 – 1969. At this time, he was a member of the Australian Army Catering Corps and not an Infantry Battalion. He was never a member of the 8 Battalion RAR in Malaya. That statement is a lie.
Australian Active Service for Malaya concluded on the 30 September, 1967 and not 1969. Therefore, he did not have active service in Malaya. That statement is also a lie.
In any case, 8 RAR arrived in Malaya in October, 1967. If he was attached to 8 RAR at the time, it was as a Cook in the Catering Corps.
Flaherty was subsequently posted to the then Republic of South Vietnam on the 19 November, 1969. He completed his tour and returned to Australia on the 5 November, 1970.
The above document is a copy of the Vietnam Nominal Roll entry for Anthony John Flaherty.
Flaherty was posted to Vietnam as a Sergeant, with the duties of a Cook, Australian Army Catering Corps. He was attached to 8 RAR during his time there. He was never a member of 8 RAR., or any other Infantry Battalion on this posting, or any other posting during his entire Army service.
He falsely claims that he served with 8 RAR in the Long Hai Mountains on Operation Hammersly in Vietnam as a Platoon Commander. Another lie.
In early 1970 8 RAR took part in Operation Hammersley, a reconnaissance operation in the Long Hải area. This operation began on 10 February and on 18 February it captured a large bunker complex after the Vietnamese Communist defenders withdrew following air raids. The operation continued until 9 March, with the battalion carrying out patrols and conducting ambushes in order to engage Communist troops. These operations were successful, and 8 RAR was awarded the South Vietnamese Government's Meritorious Unit Commendation, including Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation for its role in the operation.
In the above photograph Flaherty can be seen wearing the South Vietnam Government's Cross of Gallantry, with Palm Unit Citation ribbon decoration. (Right side of coat lapel) He is also wearing the Australian Infantry Combat Badge above his medals.
With regard to Operation Hammersley, members of 8 Battalion RAR used hard (field) rations from tins and packets during this operation.
There was no requirement for an Executive Chef or Maitre D where these men were fighting. They were engaged in heavy contact with the enemy in the Long Hai Mountains.
Alas, our highly trained fighting machine Tony Flaherty was not with them on this occasion, and certainly not leading any Platoons of hardened Infantrymen, as he claims.
As indicated, Flaherty also wears the Australian Infantry Combat Badge (ICB) with his medals in addition to the South Vietnamese Governments Meritorious Unit Commendation mentioned above -;
The Infantry Combat Badge (ICB) is awarded to serving members of the Australian Army for service as an Infantryman in warlike operations.
The ICB was first established in July 1970 for recognition of infantry service in battle or on operations, following the decision of the Military Board in January 1970. The role of the infantry is to seek out and close with the enemy, to kill or capture him, to seize and to hold ground, to repel attack, by night and day, regardless of season, weather or terrain. The purpose of the ICB is to recognize this unique role and the particular training, skills and hardships attendant upon service as an infantryman. In exceptional circumstances, the ICB may be awarded to members of other corps, where they have qualified for it as infantrymen.[1
Any member of the Australian Army who:
• was on continuous full-time service as an infantryman at the time of deployment;
• has given satisfactory service as an infantryman;
• has served either a continuous or an aggregate of 90 days satisfactory service on warlike operations for a single deployment or operation; and
• has not been previously issued the ICB.
Under exceptional circumstances, the Approval Authority may approve the issue of the ICB to members on exchange/attachment duties for service with allied units who meet the criteria, and/or to members who would have met the criteria had they not been killed, wounded, disabled or evacuated.
Flaherty does not meet any of the above criteria.
Since Flaherty posted his resume for the RSL State Board election up on the internet, there has been a furious reaction by former senior Commissioned Officers and Non Commissioned Officers, who were attached to 8 RAR at the time of the Battalion’s deployment to Vietnam, and who were directly involved in Operation Hammersley.
We have been forwarded copies of Statements from very concerned former senior members of the Battalion, who state the following, inter alia -;
1. (excerpts Witness 1) Sgt Flaherty was a Sgt Cook and a good one. However,. He was jealous of his peer group wishing to acquire the stature and involvement of an infantry soldier and not as a cook. Though he desired and made no secret about it, Sgt Flaherty never commanded a unit or su¬b unit of C Coy in Vietnam. If he is doing this then it is purely his desires and imagination and it is not true.
2. (excerpts Witness 2) This bloke has been making claims that he ‘commanded’ platoons of C Coy 8RAR for many years. He has even some how wangled, I believe, to get himself issued the ICB despite being posted to 8 RAR, as xxxxx has advised, as a cook. Regarding his claim to have commanded 8 Pl on Op Hammersley, pages 52 and 53 of The Grey Eight in Vietnam, 8 RAR’s unit history, clearly show Lt Chris Sinclair leading men of 8 Platoon as xxxxx has quite rightly stated.
3. (excerpts Witness 3) I have read Tony Flaherty’s claim that he was a Platoon Commander of 8 Pl on Operation Hamersley and find it totally offensive to all who served in that platoon. My memory of these events are clear and I recall that 8 Platoon consisted of Chris Sinclair as Platoon Commander, xxxxxxxx as Platoon Sergeant with Chad Sherrin, ‘Opie’ O’Brien and xxxxxxx as Section Commanders.
4. (excerpts Witness 4)) I served for 30 years in the Infantry Corps and served on active service with C Company 8 RAR as a section commander with 9 Platoon C Company for the entire tour in 1969-¬70. I am concerned of the continuing statements that Ex Sgt Tony Flaherty of the Royal Australian Army Catering Corps (RAACC)is making regarding his war service record, he has made these statements for many years and has been the cause of many discussions amongst the C Company veterans. My memory is clear that Sgt Tony Flaherty was the C Company Sgt Cook and definitely did not serve in any capacity, command or other with 8 Platoon OR ANY OTHER PLATOON at any stage of the tour. The only time that I saw Sgt Flaherty on Operation Hammersley in February 1970 was to visit the 9 Platoon ambush position on the morning of 16th February with the CHQ group after a large action that resulted in a large number of enemy killed. Sgt Flaherty arrived and spent the majority of the short time that the CHQ was there taking MANY photos of the dead enemy until he was advised to stop. I am aware that Sgt Flaherty did accompany some TAOR patrols from the main base at Nui Dat when the company was on operations as part of Rear Details.
Witness 4 states that, “I am aware Sgt Flaherty did accompany some TAOR (Tactical Area of Responsibility) patrols from the main base at Nui Dat when the Company was on operations as part of rear details”
At most, even if Flaherty did accompany some perimeter patrols around the base, he was certainly not on full time duty as an Infantryman at the time of his deployment, and did not serve a continuous or aggregate of 90 days on deployment or operation. (as an Infantryman) He has no entitlement to wear the ICB whatsoever.
These infrequent functions were commonly known as “swannies” in Vietnam. Accompanying trained Infantrymen to patrol a perimeter"outside the wire" as a “rear detail” on a few “swannies” does not justify his wearing of an ICB.
Another witness has provided documentary evidence that at his acceptance speech for the 2016 Mallala Citizen of the Year award, Flaherty informed the gathering, how “he was on Patrol in Vietnam in command of his 8 Battalion RAR Platoon, when it came under heavy enemy fire, and that he had to personally call in artillery support to save the day”. Another lie.
Flaherty was also called to account regarding his false claims, by a former 8 RAR member, who had been seriously wounded in combat in Vietnam. He is still suffering the effects of his injuries.
In this regard, we have another signed statement -;
(Excerpts Witness 5.) “You will note in all cases the individuals making these statements in regards to Flaherty’s claims in two cases highly decorated for gallantry, and in all cases went on and enjoyed commissioned rank. It would be very foolish of the RSL to ignore these statements after complaints had been made by xxxxxxxxxx and a seriously wounded member of that platoon. More so that Flaherty through a Director of the RSL called the wounded soldier a liar. The battle scars carried by this soldier is a bit more factual than the fantasies and stolen valor of ex Sgt Flaherty. Reports indicate that Flaherty has been living this lie for some 46 years and it must be stopped. Stolen valor and false claims of this kind are an insult to those that have done the hard yards, lost close friends, been wounded and in some cases decorated for their actions and this individual is not fit to walk in their shadow let along (sic) be appointed a director of the RSL”.
Flaherty claims on his resume a “Liaison appointment to US Forces at Long Dien”. This is just another outright lie. Can you possibly imagine an Australian Army Cook with the rank of Sergeant being appointed to liaise with United States Army Forces personnel at Long Dien. Maybe he was swapping recipes with our American allies and advising them how to cook up some bangers and mash with damper. Glory be!!!
It is beyond belief that this imposter can steal the valour of so many honourable Australian Infantry soldiers for so long. And not just those still living.
He is an absolute disgrace and should be booted out of the South Australia RSL completely, let alone being appointed to the State Board of the S.A. State RSL Branch, where he would create further disgrace to that organisation, if elected.
He should resign from his Mallalla Mayoral duties immediately, and hand back his 2016 Citizen of the Year award. The Mallala Council and community should notify the office of the Governor General, Canberra, to take action in regards to the Order of Australia award he was presented.
Flaherty needs to publically apologise to all 8 Battalion RAR personnel, particularly the former wounded soldier he offended, all Vietnam Veterans in general, the constituents who voted him in as Mayor, all the members of the Two Wells RSL Sub Branch, and the RSL South Australia State Branch.
He should just then resign all positions he holds. He has no credibility.
In fairness to Flaherty, we sent him three emails, to offer him an opportunity to provide evidence of his claims, or explain his version of the allegations made against him.
We have received no reply.
We continue to expose executive office holders of RSL Sub Branch positions in Australia as being frauds. RSL New South Wales under the new leadership of State President Rod White and CEO Glenn Kolomeitz are trying to do something about it.
Lets hope they get some support.
We look forward to completing an update of this valour thief and imposter in the near future.
FLAHERTY UPDATE April 2017
Since our original exposure of long time military fraud Anthony Flaherty, of Two Wells, South Australia, there have been a number of developments, that ANZMI readers need to be made aware of.
ANZMI stand by all the factual evidence that we published in June, 2016, in regards to Flaherty’s false claims of military service as an 8 Battalion RAR (Royal Australian Regiment) - (Infantry) Platoon Commander, C Company 8 Platoon, - Operation Hammersley, Long Hai Mountains, South Vietnam, 1969 – 1970.. Also that he falsely claimed "active service 8 RAR in Malaya, 1967 - 1969".
Flaherty now claims publicly in televised and written media, that he has been vindicated by the National body of the Returned and Services League (R&SL) of all false claims of South Vietnam Infantry military service, made against him by former Commissioned and Non Commissioned Officers of 8 Battalion RAR.
This claim of vindication is also false, and it is a continuation of preposterous lies that he has stated about his service, to convince himself and everyone else that he is some sort of Infantry Platoon Commanding war hero.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In September and October, 2016, as a result of numerous signed statutory declarations received from former 8 Battalion RAR members, refuting Flaherty’s claims, the South Australian State Branch of the R&SL, (RS&L.SA), conducted a Tribunal hearing into the matters.
The Tribunal concluded that Flaherty had indeed misrepresented his South Vietnam military service as a Platoon Commander, 8 Battalion RAR. at Operation Hammersley. It also determined that his claim of active service in Malaya 1967 - 1969 - 8 RAR. was also false.
He was then stood down from his position as a S.A. State RSL Board member for the remainder of his current term. This was a position he had recently been appointed to in 2016. Surprisingly, although his credibility and integrity was seriously tarnished, Tribunal determinations allowed Flaherty to remain as the President of the Two Wells R&SL Sub Branch.
Flaherty then appealed this decision to the National body of the R&SL.
On the 3 March, 2017, a reference to this matter appeared on the Adelaide Channel 9 News. The misleading report declared that Flaherty “was this week vindicated” as far as his claims were concerned. Also in the segment, there was an apology extended to Flaherty by the National RSL CEO Ms.Georgie Macris, on behalf of the Acting National President Robert Dick.
Flaherty then seized the moment and gave the Reporter Ben Avery an emotive response about how “he was never going to wear his medals again”, but was happy now that he had been vindicated.
The facts of these events however, are far removed from what the Television Reporter put to air with Flaherty’s interview. Flaherty’s claims have again stirred the emotions of all the former 8 Battalion Infantry soldiers, who have provided sworn statutory declarations, stating that Flaherty’s claims of serving as an 8 Battalion RAR, Platoon Commander in South Vietnam are lies.
On investigation of the Channel 9 television news report, it is quite apparent that it had been edited to favour Flaherty. The report was incorrect and misleading.
It was ascertained that the National RSL CEO Ms. Georgie Macris, did not apologise for the action taken against Flaherty. Ms Macris apologised for the length of time and delay that it has taken to resolve the matter.
The National RSL has actually referred the matter back to S.A State Branch for a “fresh” Tribunal Hearing . At the time of writing, there is no result at hand.
As stated, Flaherty distorted the facts to publicly claim that he has been cleared of any impropriety.
FROM THE BUNYIP NEWSPAPER. -;
Tony cleared of allegations
March 8, 2017
TWO Wells Returned Services League (RSL) branch members have continued to throw their support behind their president, and Adelaide Plains Mayor, Tony Flaherty, after he was last week vindicated of false allegations made against him.
Mr Flaherty was cleared of allegations, made by the Royal Australian Regiment Association in July, which argued he had falsely claimed to have acted as a Platoon Commander during the Vietnam War, despite being sent to serve as a cook.
The allegations, and subsequent investigation by the RSL state board, saw Mr Flaherty dismissed from his board position, by a state tribunal, despite him presenting evidence to support his case.
Mr Flaherty then fronted a National RSL tribunal to appeal the decision, with its findings being made public last week.
In a statement aired on Friday night’s Nine News bulletin, the National RSL stated that “central to the complaints against Mr Flaherty…is wrong, ill-informed… there was no effective attempt at mediation (and) it might be argued that Tony was subject of a sustained campaign”.
Speaking during the same bulletin, Mr Flaherty – who did not return The Bunyip’s calls for comment – said his reputation had been tarnished as a result of the allegations and the state tribunal’s decision.
“I think the thing that got me was the way people turned on me,” Mr Flaherty told Nine News.
“I was never going to wear my medals again.”
Two Wells RSL secretary and long-time friend John Allen said the home branch has offered nothing but support to Mr Flaherty.
“We support our president 110 per cent, we believe exactly what he has said is right and all we can do is stand by him and support him,” he said.
National RSL chief executive Georgie Macris publicly apologised to Mr Flaherty, on behalf of both branches, during the Nine News report.
“I would like to apologise on behalf of the national president of the RSL, Robert Dick, and state president Tim Hanna to Mr Flaherty,” she said.
It is understood Mr Flaherty’s lawyers are currently preparing a defamation lawsuit against the RSL
As stated in our original exposure, we have six statutory declarations from former senior experienced members of 8 RAR. We recently received an additional statutory declaration which conclusively proves that at no time whilst Flaherty was in the Republic of South Vietnam, did he ever serve as an Infantry Platoon Commander. In particular , 8 RAR or on Operation Hamersley. He was a Cook, and by all accounts, a very good Cook
The following article appeared in the InDaily Adelaide Independent Newspaper. The comments also regarding Flaherty’s allegations being recently overturned by a National Tribunal are incorrect.
InDaily has been told it is a constitutional requirement that the board has at least two more elected board members than appointed ones.
Darwin branch president Don Milford is an ex officio board member while Tony Flaherty is on self-imposed absence while he considers suing the RSL over accusations he fabricated his service record –allegations that were recently overturned by a national tribunal.
Flaherty was not on a "self-imposed absence", he was stood down for the remainder of his elected term by the S.A RS&L Board.
In response to this misleading article, the below mentioned email was sent to the Editor of the “InDaily Newspaper” by a former highly experienced 8 Battalion RAR member.
I do not believe your story contained within the above link, is accurate. Inter alia, it is stated that"Tony Flaherty is on self-imposed absence while he considers suing the RSL over accusations he fabricated his service record - allegations that were recently overturned by a national tribunal."
Have you read the findings of the "national Tribunal"? If not, how can you claim that the fabricated allegations "were recently overturned by a national tribunal"? My advice is that the National Office of the RSL has not yet considered Tony Flaherty's appeal to them for his removal from the SA State RSL Board as a result of their belief that Tony had, in fact, fabricated his service record. I believe the National RSL Office has apologised to Tony only for their delay in considering his appeal! I served with Tony in Vietnam and hitherto regard him as a friend. Tony was a Sergeant cook in Charlie Company, Eight Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment (8RAR) and I was a (deleted), later to become a (deleted) in 8 Platoon Charlie Company of 8RAR. One of Tony's claims is that he was the Platoon Commander of 8 Platoon, 8RAR in Vietnam. HE WAS NOT!
Tony's fabricated service record with Charlie Company, particularly his fabricated service record with 8 Platoon, has been refuted with Statutory Declarations by the Charlie Company Commander in Vietnam, the 8 Platoon Commander in Vietnam, two 8 Platoon Sergeants in Vietnam, at least one Section Commander of 8 Platoon in Vietnam. A very forceful on undeniable source of the truth about Tony's service record with Charlie Company 8RAR in Vietnam. Unfortunately for Tony, the truth does not align with Tony's fabricated service record. Every single surviving 8 Platoon soldier who served in Vietnam and who has been recently contacted about Tony's claims, has refuted Tony's claims and have become very disturbed and annoyed at Tony's claims.
I would sincerely ask you to respond to this email and if you feel so disposed, you can publish this email.
In conclusion, the weak decision by the R&SL South Australia State Branch Tribunal to just remove Flaherty from their State Branch Board for the remainder of his elected term, but allow him to continue within the R&SL organisation as a President of the Two Wells Sub Branch is a sad indictment on how poorly that State Branch is currently administered.
In a previous ANZMI exposure of another South Australian self confessed military fraud, Gerald Francis Harrison OAM, of Adelaide, a Mr. Bill Denny OAM, then high ranking SA RSL Board member, and former Lieutenant Colonel in the Australian Army, defended the outrageous lies of Harrison, who had claimed to be a member of 3 Battalion RAR at the battle of Maryang San, Korea in October, 1951.
See here Harrison
Denny, defending Harrison’s lies, stated to the InDaily South Australian Newspaper that -;“ANZMI are “scumbags” who hide behind anonymity and destroy peoples careers.”
Denny is oblivious to the fact that military imposters in our community gain undeserved recognition, cash and other benefits by living their lies for years, and convincing gullible people like Denny, that they are a person of honesty and integrity.
The S.A. RSL Management Board is now in complete disarray, with major financial problems and infighting. The CEO has resigned, as have a number of Committee members, including Denny, who resigned in November, 2016.
The Flaherty matter needs to be resolved expeditiously. If the SA RSL hierarchy allow imposters like Flaherty to continue unpunished, it will degrade the organisation considerably. They need moral conviction, courage and leadership.
We have on good advice that there will also be dozens of genuine Royal Australian Regiment Association members, who are former Vietnam Infantry soldiers, resigning and walking away from the South Australian R&SL forever, if Flaherty is permitted to continue his charade without retribution.
Who can blame them.
ANZMI and the RS&L South Australia are in possession of 7 sworn statutory declarations from former 8 RAR members proving that Flaherty is a liar and that his claims are fabricated. All this evidence must be weighed against Flaherty's extraordinary claims.
Flaherty cannot produce one witness to corroborate his version of events, OR, contradict the seven statutory declarations made by senior 8 RAR members, who genuinely fought on the battlefield.
In March, 2017, a questionnaire was sent to dozens of former 8 RAR Infantry personnel by senior members of the Battalion, regarding Flaherty's ridiculous claims. This was as a result of Flaherty's threats of legal action against members, disputing his lies of being an 8 RAR Platoon Commander, Operation Hammersley.
It was forwarded to us by a very concerned former member who received this questionnaire, and detests wannabees as much as we do.
YOUR ASSISTANCE WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.
To all my Fellow Charlie Company Mates who I served with in Vietnam,
Due to the very widespread media coverage of claims made by Tony Flaherty, who was our Charlie Company Sgt cook in Vietnam, I have been asked to communicate with you, as a member of Charlie Company 8RAR, to seek your help in trying to clarify what actually evolved as best you can remember from your "first hand" knowledge (not hearsay) in answer to the following several questions:-
1. Do you recall, from your own knowledge, if Tony Flaherty was put in charge of any unit or sub-unit, other than Catering Corps/Mess Duties? YES NO (circle one)
2. If YES to question 1, what unit, sub-unit, section or platoon was Tony Flaherty in command of?..............................................................................................
3. If you have answered YES to question 1, what was the period of time that Tony Flaherty was in command of that unit, sub-unit, section or platoon? ........./....../.........
4. What Section and Platoon where you in, in Vietnam? ...................Sec .................Pl
5. What was your period of service in that Section or Platoon? ...../......../......... to ....../........../...........
6. If you were in more than one Section or Platoon during your time in Vietnam, please indicate the period served in each Section and/or Platoon.
..........Sec ...........Pl ......./....../.......to ......./...../....... ........Sec ........Pl ......./....../.......to ...../......./......
To date, 30 replies have been received from a cross representation of former Platoon and Company members of 8 RAR. In particular former Platoon Commanders and Section Leaders.
Not one has confirmed or supported Flaherty's claims. Two responses agreed that Flaherty was a member of a couple of rear detail Tactical Area of Responsibility (TAOR) patrols, when the Battalion was absent from base on operational duties engaged with the enemy. This was normal procedure when the Battalion was assigned to engage the enemy elsewhere, and logistics personnel were utilised to conduct TAOR security patrols around the base.
Flaherty had no contact with the enemy whatsoever. Any claim that he did is false. Any claim that he was a 8 RAR Platoon Commander on these TAOR Patrols is a lie.
Seven former 8 RAR senior personnel have signed sworn Statutory Declarations detailing Flaherty's lies. Thirty other former 8 RAR personnel have now also completed a questionnaire rejecting his lies.
If Flaherty is telling the truth, then seven senior credible former Infantry soldiers have knowingly sworn false statutory declarations, punishable by law !
You be the judge !!
The time for any attempted mediation is over. You do not mediate with imposters.
Like most imposters who appear on this site, Flaherty has threatened to sue ANZMI and everybody who has disputed his false claims.
We here at ANZMI say go right ahead. We are confident that we can produce another 100 statutory declarations proving Flaherty is an imposter and liar of the highest order.
When the S.A RSL State Branch show some backbone and determines an appropriate outcome in this matter, we will look forward to publishing the results in our next update.