Latest Cases

Latest Cases

Surname: Starcevich
Christian Names: George Edward
Country: Australia
State or Province: WA
City or Town: Esperance
Service #: R94731
Service: RAN
Branch: Chef
Commencement of service: 06 Jan 1965
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

George Edward Starcevich is the current President of the Esperance RSL Sub-Branch in West Australia.

He has been a member of the Esperance community for many years, even serving as a Shire Councillor. In fact, the Starcevich name is well known in the area, with several generations having gone off to serve their country in every major conflict since World War One. His uncle, Private Leslie ‘Tom’ Starcevich, was awarded the Victoria Cross in World War Two.

Starcevich joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Junior Recruit in 1965, eventually qualifying as a Chef. He had a number of sea postings, the most notable being on HMAS Sydney, where he accumulated 182 days Vietnam service, transporting troops and supplies between Australia and Vietnam.

Starcevich 1 2

The above photo of Starcevich is just one of a number since 2013, when he has attended veterans commemorative services and other public events where he has represented the Returned Services League (RSL). In each photo he is wearing a number of medals for all to see.

Starcevich served his country, saw active service, and was awarded the appropriate medals for that service. However, he has gone just that little bit further and added two commemorative medals to his rack (medals 3 and 4 on the bottom row). Why he did this is anyone’s guess, but it is usually out of vanity and a need to feel important.

Starcevich 2

Ex-service organisations sometimes commission their own unofficial medals to mark participation in particular military campaigns, periods of service, or types of service that have not been recognised through the Australian Honours and Awards system. Protocol dictates that unofficial medals should not be worn at public ceremonial and commemorative events. However, if they are worn as the occasion demands, the convention is that they are worn on the right breast.

The two medals above are commemorative ‘tin’ originally commissioned by a Naval association associated with HMAS Sydney, “The Vung Tau Ferry”. Before the early 1990’s there was no recognition for the Navy personnel who crewed the support ships serving Australians in Vietnam. Because of this, Naval associations produced their own. The VLSM was later instituted by the Commonwealth to provide official recognition.

The medal on the left was only available to association members who had served on the Sydney and the other is the Australian Logistic Support Forces Medal. These are purchased medals, commonly referred to as ‘tin’ medals. They are mere trinkets.

Of note, the directive, that clearly displayed on the front page of the HMAS Sydney Association website, in bold red lettering, is the following:

“It is advisable that members do not wear commemorative medals alongside their awarded medals. Commemorative medals should be worn on your right breast”.

Time and time again, RSL Sub-Branch executive members appear on the ANZMI site due to their total lack of integrity through failing to uphold basic rules, regulations and protocols. This is compounded by the fact that at State level, the RSL seems to turn a blind eye to such behaviour, in fact, there are no references to the wearing of ‘tin’ medals on the website of any State RSL Branch.

George Edward Starcevich, please take your place on the increasing parade of like-minded cheats and wannabees.

Surname: Jackson
Christian Names: Douglas James
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Swansea
Service #: R65128
Service: RAN
Branch: Quartermaster Gunner
Commencement of service: 12 Mar 1966
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jackson 1 2 3

 

The above photograph was taken at the 2015 Swansea ANZAC Dawn Service. It is the sort of picture that media photographers love – a veteran, deep in reflection for mates lost, as the sun rises on a new day.

Perhaps Jackson is really thinking, “Here I am at another ANZAC service and nobody has noticed I am wearing a couple of worthless medals”.

 

Jackson 2

 

Jackson accrued 330 days Vietnam service, shuttling personnel and equipment between Australia and Vietnam as a crew member of HMAS Jeparit and HMAS Sydney. For this service he was awarded the appropriate medals, which he can wear with pride.

However, Jackson has chosen to embellish his awards by adding two worthless commemorative medals. These medals are nothing more than trinkets to satisfy one’s vanity, and should never be worn alongside official medals.

 

Jackson 3

 

 

Ex-service organisations sometimes commission their own unofficial medals to mark participation in particular military campaigns, periods of service, or types of service that have not been recognised through the Australian Honours and Awards system. Protocol dictates that unofficial medals should not be worn at public ceremonial and commemorative events. However, if they are worn as the occasion demands, the convention is that they are worn on the right breast.

The two medals above are commemorative ‘tin’ originally commissioned by a Naval association associated with HMAS Sydney, “The Vung Tau Ferry”. Before the early 1990’s there was no recognition for the Navy personnel who crewed the support ships serving Australians in Vietnam. Because of this, Naval associations produced their own. The VLSM was later instituted by the Commonwealth to provide official recognition.

The medal on the left was only available to association members who had served on the Sydney and the other is the Australian Logistic Support Forces Medal. These are purchased medals, commonly referred to as ‘tin’ medals. They are mere trinkets.

Of note, the directive, that clearly displayed on the front page of the HMAS Sydney Association website, in bold red lettering, is the following:

“It is advisable that members do not wear commemorative medals alongside their awarded medals. Commemorative medals should be worn on your right breast”.

Douglas John Jackson, it is often quoted, “One picture is worth a thousand words”. Not that many words have been written about you here, however, many may be spoken by the veterans you have disrespected through your actions. That one opportune picture has now earned its place in the ANZMI gallery.

Surname: Doyle
Christian Names: Harley Stewart
Country: Australia
State or Province: SA
City or Town: Adelaide
Service #: R58376
Service: RAN
Branch: Stores Victualling
Commencement of service: 25 Sep 1961
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

Harley Stewart Doyle JP, is the State Vice-President of the Vietnam Veterans of Australia, South Australia Branch. This is an important and well-respected organisation for ensuring support to Vietnam Veterans in times of need, lobbying Government, and other forms of advocacy.

Doyle should be commended for his years of faithful service to fellow Veterans.

Doyle, however, should be condemned, for perpetuating dishonesty over many years by wearing medals he has not been awarded.

 

Doyle 1 2 3


The above photograph appeared in a number of syndicated publications throughout Australia, commemorating Vietnam Veterans Day in 2014. Here, Doyle can be seen wearing the following medals:

1. Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) 1945-75 (2 clasps) – only entitled to one clasp for this medal.
2. General Service Medal (GSM) 1962 (1 clasp) – no entitlement.
3. Vietnam Logistic Support Medal (VLSM) – entitled.
4. Australian Service Medal (ASM) 1945-75 (1 clasp) – no entitlement.
5. Australian Defence Medal (ADM) – entitled.
6. Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal (PJM) – no entitlement.

Doyle joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1961 from the Adelaide Police Barracks, where he was a Probationary Constable, swapping one uniform for another.

 

Doyle 1 2



Pre-1970 Navy personnel records are publicly available from the National Australian Archives (NAA). Those records, in the case of a sailor, took the form of a “Ratings Record Card”. This item followed them throughout their career, until 1970, when this information was transferred to an electronic record.

 

Doyle 3



On the rear of the card is recorded all postings of the member. This information was recorded meticulously by administrative staff to ensure that every day was accounted for in regard to where the sailor was at that time.

Doyle’s first sea posting was to HMAS Duchess.

On 24 February 1964, just two weeks after the Voyager disaster, the Australian Government accepted the British offer of a replacement ship.

Duchess arrived in Sydney on 19 April 1964 with a combined RN/RAN ship’s company and a week later sailed for Williamstown Naval Dockyard for a much needed refit. She was commissioned into the RAN as HMAS Duchess (I) at Williamstown on 8 May with Commander Ian Burnside, RAN, in command.

The RN component of the crew returned to the UK leaving the ship completely in RAN hands for the first time. Duchess remained at Williamstown undergoing refit until 20 November 1964 when she departed for her homeport of Sydney. She arrived two days later and immediately began work-up in preparation for her first deployment on 19 January 1965.

Doyle served on the Duchess from 08 May 64 to 03 Jan 65.

The Australian War Memorial (AWM) keeps copies of the Report of Proceedings (ROPs) for HMA Ships, from both World Wars, the Korean War, and up until the end of the Vietnam War. Those documents are available online on the AWM website for public perusal.

An inspection of the ROPs for Duchess over the period Doyle was posted there, shows that the ship was in Australia undergoing refits and sea-trials. Duchess did not leave Australia on operational deployment until 19 Jan 65, as the extract of DVA records below discloses. Doyle posted off the ship 12 days before this deployment.

 

Doyle 4

 

Doyle was next posted to HMAS Sydney from 04 Jan 65 to 04 Apr 65. During this period Sydney did not leave Australian waters.

Doyle returned to Sydney on 28 Mar 67, completing three trips to Vietnam, as shown on the Vietnam Service Certificate below. These were the only operational deployments undertaken by Sydney in that year, spending from June to December alongside in Australia, undergoing refit.

 

Doyle 5



From the information provided so far, it can be seen that the three deployments to Vietnam were the only warlike, or non-warlike, service by Doyle. This becomes very relevant when Doyle’s entitlement to the medals he is wearing is scrutinised.

AASM 1945-1975: In the photograph Doyle can be seen to have two clasps to this medal. As his only warlike operational service was onboard HMAS Sydney, the medal should only have one clasp, namely ‘VIETNAM’.

GSM 1962: The GSM is an Imperial (UK) Award, instituted in 1964 to replace the Naval General Service Medal 1915-62, and the General Service Medal 1918-62. As is with all General Service Medals, it is issued with clasps, which define the operational service for which the award was made.

The clasps most commonly awarded to Australians are ‘MALAY PENINSULA’, ‘BORNEO’ and ‘SOUTH VIETNAM’, the latter awarded exclusively to Australian troops.

There are a number of qualifying criteria for the award of this medal. Doyle did not see any relevant operational service in those areas between 1962 and 1966 and is therefore not entitled to that medal.

VLSM: In 1993, the Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal was established to recognise those who had served in Vietnam during the time of the Vietnam War, for relatively short periods of time in support of Australian operations and who had not received any recognition for that service.

Doyle is entitled to the award of this medal for his deployments to Vietnam on HMAS Sydney.

ASM 1945-75: Doyle is also wearing this medal, to which is attached one clasp.

The ASM 1945-75 was approved in 1995, and may be awarded for service in, or in connection with, prescribed non-warlike operations during the period commencing on 3 September 1945 and ending on 16 September 1975.

For the time of Doyle’s service, the appropriate clasp would be ‘FESR’ for service with the Far East Strategic Reserve, between 02 July 1955 and 31 October 1971. However, Doyle did not see service in this area of operation. Doyle is not entitled to the medal or the clasp.

ADM: The ADM recognises ADF personnel who have efficiently completed either an initial enlistment period, or four years’ service, which ever is the lesser, and all of the relevant service was after 3 September 1945. Doyle is entitled to this medal.

PJM: In 2004, the Malaysian Government offered Australia the PJM medal to commemorate ADF personnel who served to uphold the sovereignty of Malaysia during the Malayan Emergency and the Indonesian Confrontation, between 31 August 1957 and 31 December 1966. The Australian government accepted the offer and has issued over 8,000 medals.

Once again, Doyle did not undertake qualifying service and is therefore not entitled to wear that medal.

Harley Stewart Doyle, you were appropriately awarded for your service in defence of our country, but chose to add a further three medals to your rack.

Harley Doyle was contacted by ANZMI. He was requested to provided an explanation as to his wearing of non awarded medals. He replied that in respect to the General Service Medal, he was on the HMAS Duchess when it sailed close to the qualifying area for the medal, so he thought that he would buy the medal and place it on his rack.

In respect to his purchasing and wearing the non-entitled second clasp on the Australian Active Service Medal, the non-entitled Australian Service Medal with one clasp and the non-entitled Pingjat Jasa Medal, he stated that it was "just something that he did at the time."

Harley Doyle, your actions have sullied all of your work with the VVAA and call into question your fitness to hold an executive position within that organisation and also fitness to remain as a Justice of the Peace. You are a Medals cheat and you should stand down immediately as the Vice President, South Australia State Branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia.  You have no credibility.

You are now among good company on the ANZMI website.

Surname: Dixon
Christian Names: Ian
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Junee
Service #: 2781804
Service: Army
Branch: Infantry
Commencement of service: Unknown
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 


Dixon 1 2

The above photo of Dixon was taken at the Junee Vietnam Veterans Day service, and his campaign medals are proudly displayed, along with various Unit Citations.

Dixon was conscripted into the Australian Army, serving 372 days in Vietnam, as a member of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR). Just over eight weeks after the unit arriving in Vietnam its members would be involved in the Battle of Long Tan.

During this deployment 6 RAR saw considerable combat, with the Unit being awarded citations by the Governments of the United States and South Vietnam.

Justifiably, Dixon can be very proud to have served with such a Unit and also of the medals and citations awarded for that service.

Dixon, however, cannot be proud of the fact he has attached a commemorative, or as commonly known, a ‘tin medal’, to his Service medals. Doing such may impress those that do not know, however, you do not fool your fellow veterans, who would recognise you had no association with the 2/12 Infantry Battalion whatsoever.

 

Dixon 2 2

The Front Line Service Medal was issued by the 2/12 Infantry Battalion Association, based in Queensland, to identify those who took part in World War Two front line actions with the Infantry, differentiating them from other units. It was manufactured and sold by that Association as a funds raising exercise. They made a lot of money selling this tin trinket to gullible people, who had no association with the 2/12 Infantry Battalion whatsoever.

Defence Honours and Awards has this to say about such medals:

“A relatively recent phenomenon in the medal world is the appearance of a wide variety of non-official medals, generally referred to as ‘private commemoratives’ but also called ‘tinnies’. A non-official medal is any medal that is not listed in the Order of Wearing of Australian Honours and Awards, which was published in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette Special No. S.101 of 4 April 2002.

 Medals not listed in the order of wear may be worn officially, on an unrestricted basis, only with the express permission of the Governor-General. As a general rule, such permission is extended only to official awards of foreign governments. It has never been extended to private commemorative medals. Those medals should not be worn at all, and certainly never on the left hand side and mounted with officially issued medals”.

Ian Dixon, your Vietnam service has earned you the medals that you can be proud to wear. However, your total lack of respect by adding a worthless commemorative 'tin' medal, has earned you the award of appearing on the ANZMI site.

Surname: Gray
Christian Names: Thomas Joseph
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Dubbo
Service #: R58653
Service: Navy
Branch: Underwater Control
Commencement of service: 01 Feb 1962
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

Thomas (Tom) Joseph Gray is the President of the Dubbo RSL Sub-Branch, and has been for a number of years. Gray has been very proactive in promoting the RSL within the local community, building up membership and increasing public awareness of the sacrifices of our veterans, through numerous public ceremonies, presentations at various schools, and supporting community activities and awards.

Gray has had a long Naval career, seeing service in Malaysia, as part of the Far Eastern Strategic Reserve (FESR), and Vietnam along with other extensive seagoing deployments.

Gray 1

The above photograph was taken at a Remembrance Day service, in 2015 at Dubbo. This is one of a number of photographs taken at various services, all showing Gray wearing the same medals. Gray has been adequately recognised for his service to our country with the eight official medals he was awarded. The last medal (shown below) is quite simply a piece of rubbish, known as the FESR Commemorative Medal.

Gray 2

The FESR Commemorative Medal is best described as ‘an abomination’, being nothing more than an insult to those who have genuinely earned Service medals awarded by their country. This medal can be purchased like a trinket from a market stall, and is just as worthless, not belonging beside official medals.

In wearing this medal, Gray has dishonoured his position as a member of the Sub-Branch executive, dishonoured his fellow Veterans, and devalued the system we have for recognising the service of those before us and in the future.

Thomas Joseph Gray, you are not alone, you have now earned your place amongst the ever-increasing cadre of RSL Sub-Branch executives who thumb their noses at tradition and protocol, seemingly ignored by respective State Headquarters, who continually turn a blind eye to such appalling conduct.

Surname: Delaforce
Christian Names: Raymond Richard
Country: Australia
State or Province: QLD
City or Town: Emu Park
Service #: 1733581
Service: Army
Branch: RAE
Commencement of service: Unknown
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

Delaforce 1

At any ANZAC Day service there is a press photographer looking for an opportunity to get a photo that adds atmosphere to the meaning of the day and those participating in it.  ANZAC Day 2016, at Emu Park in Queensland, provided just that opportunity. Raymond Richard Delaforce looks the epitome of the casual and humble attitude displayed by Veterans on such an important day.

Delaforce served 282 days in Vietnam as part of the 1st Field Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers, as the Vietnam War Service certificate, below, shows.

Delaforce 2

An extract of 1st SQN’s service history in Vietnam:

3 Field Troop of 1 FD SQN was deployed to the War in South Vietnam and arrived in Bien Hoa Province on 28 September 1965. When the Australian Task Force was established at Nui Dat in Phouc Tuy Province, the remainder of 1 FD SQN deployed and arrived at Nui Dat on 9 June 1966. The unit was expanded to include 21 Engineer Support Troop, a plant troop, HQ troop, and an expanded RAEME Workshop. In addition, the three combat engineer troops each had an establishment of two officers, a staff sergeant, a sergeant, three corporals, three lance corporals and Sappers to a strength of 65 all ranks. The unit was designated as ”1 FD SQN GP RAE”. The unit returned to Australia in 1972 as a part of the Australian withdrawal from the Vietnam War, and was re-located to Holsworthy.

In the above picture Delaforce is wearing his official medals, all awarded for his service as a ‘Sapper’ with the Royal Australian Engineers. On the left lapel, along with a number of badge-pins, is attached the ‘Front Line’ commemorative medal, not an official medal, in fact nothing more than a worthless trinket.

Delaforce 3

Above, is a picture of the offending item. The Front Line Service Medal was issued by the 2/12 Infantry Battalion Association, based in Queensland, to identify those who took part in World War Two front line actions with the Infantry, differentiating them from other units. It was manufactured and sold by that Association as a funds raising exercise. They made a lot of money selling this tin trinket to gullible people, who had no association with the 2/12 Infantry Battalion whatsoever.

Defence Honours and Awards has this to say about such medals:

“Medals not listed in the order of wear may be worn officially, on an unrestricted basis, only with the express permission of the Governor-General. As a general rule, such permission is extended only to official awards of foreign governments. It has never been extended to private commemorative medals. Those medals should not be worn at all, and certainly never on the left hand side and mounted with officially issued medals”.

Now, reading the above, one could argue that Delaforce does not have the ‘tin’ medal mounted with his official medals. The thing appears on the left side of his jacket, with his official medals, and anyone not ‘in the know’ would not realise this.

There is also the glaring issue that Delaforce, who served in the Engineers, is wearing an item produced to commemorate service with the Infantry. What was he thinking when he pinned it on?

Raymond Delaforce, obviously the photographer thought it worthy to take that snap of you on that day, as a result of your folly, you are worthy to earn a permanent place on the ANZMI website.

 

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