Latest Cases

Latest Cases

Surname: King
Christian Names: Gary Scott
Country: Australia
State or Province: Queensland
City or Town: Toowoomba
Service #: 8214629
Service: Army
Branch: Reserves 25/49 RQR
Commencement of service: 7th Nov 2005 (t
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

“Give me enough medals and I’ll win you any war”
Napoléon Bonaparte

Gary KING is yet another Veteran who is not satisfied with his service in the Australian Army, service for which he has received appropriate medallic recognition.

KING enlisted in the Australian Regular Army in 1991 and served in Intelligence until 2005 when he transferred to the Active Reserve.   By all accounts he was a good soldier, completing a number of courses such as the Fraud and Ethics Training - which he qualified.  

Ironically, Gary KING is a fraud, and totally lacking in ethics.

KING served as part of Operations TANAGER and ANODE and has been awarded a Bronze Army Commendation and The Army Soldiers Medallion.   He is entitled to the following awarded:

Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) – Clasp East Timor

Australian Service Medal (ASM) – Clasp Solomon Islands

Defence Long Service Medal (DFSM)

Australian Defence Medal (ADM)

He also has an entitlement to the Returned From Active Service Badge (RAS) and possibly, although not confirmed, maybe entitled to the UN East Timor Medal.

King1a

 

In the above photograph however, KING, our very own ‘Napoleon Bonaparte’, who as we all know was also a Corporal is wearing a lot more medals,

In the photograph, he is wearing the following:

AASM with Clasps for Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan
ASM with clasps for Solomon Is II, MFO Sinai,
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal
INTERFET Medal
DLSM

UNTAET UN Medal with No2 device
NATO Medal, (Afghanistan)
MFO Sinai Medal

Why Mr KING, why?   Having served in East Timor and the Solomon Islands and received commendations for your service, what on earth has made you decide that you must now embellish your service and wear medals you clearly have no entitlement too.

Now, normally it takes a write up from ANZMI to get the authorities to act against imposters such as KING, but in a positive twist, he was terminated by Defence for wearing a large number of unearned medals after a photo of him appeared in the ANZAC Day 2014 edition of the Toowoomba Chronicle where it was seen by the RSM 25/49 RQR.

Our investigation into KING has unearthed many witnesses to his fraud, as if the photograph is not enough evidence.   Witnesses have come forward to provide evidence that KING is not only a medals cheat, but also a valour thief and an outright liar.

‘…Cpl. Gary King or 'Kingy' as he was known to us is a reserve soldier in 25/49RQR. When I first met him he was posting in from 31/42RQR as an instructor in the trainee coy. Kingy was posted to BHQ as the Bn Intelligence Cpl.  Right from the off he was an awe-inspiring figure; a twice instructor at Kapooka (or was it three?) 1RAR in Somalia service with 'special forces' when asked which one he alluded to SAS going on to say 'I was special forces... But I wasn't special forces, if you know what I mean?'.... No, we didn't know what he meant, only now do I think I understand; had I been posted to SAS I too would wear the winged dagger on a beret, not the SAS beret this being sf but not sf... If you know what I mean. I believe now that he was posted there as an intelligence soldier never actually becoming beret qualified. When I saw him wearing a para-smock I told him about another

Cpl. I'd seen kicking around with one who wasn't a paratrooper and Kingy immediately said that he got his for being a parachutist thus alluding to his SAS story. On yet another occasion I mentioned about 3RAR having the best-looking wings being the same as those worn by Aussie paras in WW2. He jumped in saying that his looked better as they were blue, the SAS obviously having blue wings. Without going into every detail of his stories as time went by they got more and more elaborate: working as a mercenary in Iraq and Afghan going with 2RAR to Rwanda (he can never decide whether he was in 1 or 2 RAR) getting demoted from Sgt twice, being forced out of infantry because he broke his back parachuting onto a building and it goes on. Finally, we come to Anzac Day the day the infamous day the Hines twins showed up Kingy was there too resplendent with his numerous gongs. I noticed he had no parachutist wings at all, further he had more clasps to his aasm than I would have thought possible regrets I can't remember all of them but one that did stick in my mind was Sierra Leone which I didn't know Australia even went to! A mate of mine who is still in the unit has more to say than I do about it. Sorry I have no photo but I believe the Somalia and Rwanda story ought to give you a good lead to establish whether he is full of crap or not…’

Our investigations reveal that KING was at no time a Recruit Instructor at Kapooka, nor did he serve in Somalia or Rwanda and was most definitely not SASR.  

Now that the Army has taken action and let KING go, it is likely he will now ingratiate himself into the RSL and Veteran community.   We have many cases on our website where RSL executives have failed to do appropriate background checks on new members, let us hope they heed this early warning and keep an eye out for the ‘little corporal’ in their ranks.

Welcome to our website Gary KING.

Surname: Barrett
Christian Names: Anthony Joseph
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Tamworth
Service #: 222263
Service: Army
Branch: Royal Australian Infantry
Commencement of service: 18 Jul 1972
Completion of service: 8 sep 1976
Case Notes:

 

 

There were Soldiers who were posted to the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) in Swanbourne, Western Australia as Support Staff. Anthony Joseph Barrett was one of them, he was a Driver. He was never an SASR Trooper who did the "Hard Yards" to qualify for that elite job. For many years Barrett has told a different story.

BarrettA1 2017 04 18

Notice he has an SASR Dagger symbol tattooed on his shoulder. His motor car regularly seen around Tamworth is emblazoned with an SASR badge, but that's not all, he wears an SASR Signet Ring. The photograph below is of Barret's right hand. He uses the tattoo and the Signet Ring to illustrate that he was a genuine SASR Trooper.

BarrettA2 2017 04 18

He also has confabulations to support his accoutrements. We have Statutory Declarations stating that Barrett claims:

"He was a Major in the SASR and served in Vietnam

Has combat experience in Vietnam and Cambodia

Was awarded the Medal for Gallantry"

Barrett spent all of his Defence Service in Australia, he was never deployed overseas and was never awarded a Medal for Gallantry.

He was born on 11 December 1952. His Discharge Certificate shows he enlisted as a Private Soldier on the 18 July 1972 and was discharged as a Private Soldier on 8 September 1976 for being "Medically Unfit". Unfortunately for Barrett, four years’ service is not enough to have started off as a Private Soldier and been promoted to the rank of Major. In addition had he been a genuine Major or SASR Trooper that would have been shown on his Discharge Certificate.

BarrettA3 2017 04 18

An Association of genuine ex SASR personnel have become aware of Barrett and here is what they have to say.

BarrettA4 2017 04 18

Barrett is the ultimate "Lily gilder" who relates to anyone who will listen that he was an active member of the SAS Regiment. He displays SASR paraphernalia to "give proof" that he was an SASR Trooper. He has been questioned many times in his home town of Tamworth in NSW, and most ex Service people are aware of his deception, but when away from home, and has an audience, he will give them the sad lies.

We welcome Anthony Barrett and hope that our exposure will stop his lies and deceit and get him back into the world of reality. Barrett can now look forward to years of infamy as a participant on our website

Surname: Anderson (DICK)
Christian Names: James
Country: Australia
State or Province: Queensland
City or Town: Gold Coast
Service #: R64828
Service: Royal Australian Navy
Branch: Aircraft Handler
Commencement of service: 27 Nov 1965
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

WUAnderson 1

James Anderson joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1965, under his birth name of James Anderson Dick.

Anderson trained as an Aircraft Handler at HMAS Albatross, his duties involving the marshalling of aircraft, and also aviation firefighting and rescue.

Anderson was posted to HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Sydney, undertaking operational service with Melbourne, as part of the Far East Strategic Reserve (FESR), and Sydney, providing logistic support to Australian troops in Vietnam.

For his service, Anderson is entitled to the medals he is wearing in the above picture, namely:

  1. Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75.
  2. Vietnam Logistic Support Medal.
  3. Australian Service Medal 1945-75.
  4. Australian Defence Medal.

He is a veteran entitled to recognition for his service, however, Anderson took it all that little bit further.

Anderson came to attention through a media article in the Gold Coast Sun, on 24 April 2016, where he recounts his exploits and experiences during the ‘Indonesian Confrontation’ and the Vietnam War:

Gold Coaster Jim Anderson has finally put the past behind him after surviving the horrors of the Vietnam War

A VIETNAM veteran who has battled the demons of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for decades has finally emerged on the other side, stronger for the harrowing experience and more at peace with himself. Jim Anderson, 70, of Wongawallan, served in the Royal Australian Navy for 12 years. As a 20-year-old he went to sea to serve in the Indonesian conflict where he was confined in a small box in the ship’s magazines for 10 long days.

He then did a two-and-a-half-year stint on the HMAS Sydney from 1967.

“We did about nine trips to take troops and supplies to Vietnam and to bring soldiers home,” he said. “We anchored off Cape St Jacques, near Vung Tau in South Vietnam, and the troops we picked up were very traumatised. Some of those poor fellas were literally ripping their hair out.”

Mr Anderson said the growing fear of being blown out of the water by the Viet Cong and other experiences triggered PTSD. “They bombed the harbour while we were there and we had no way of protecting ourselves. We were sitting ducks,” he said. “The USS Meeker County had her stern blown out and we came alongside her just after she had sunk. I remember feeling so vulnerable. I had never drunk alcohol before but that’s when I started drinking. It was all the tension.”

To make matters worse, the RAN ships were docked at the mouth of the Mekong River and sailors unknowingly bathed in and drank water contaminated with deadly Agent Orange. Mr Anderson’s hands still shake and, worse, he has seen too many of his mates die of cancer or their children born with deformities.

However, he said when he came home, the PTSD really kicked in.

“Vietnam soldiers like me were spat on and abused. That was the worst part. We had pigs’ blood thrown on us in Sydney and I was punched by a woman who called me a baby killer,” he said.

Mr Anderson started experiencing debilitating nightmares and crippling anxiety.

“I would dream of chasing people around the house and of a woman dressed in black standing in the corner of the bedroom. I would jump out of bed and frighten the hell out of my wife, Lorraine,” he said. “I had flashbacks to Vung Tau every five minutes and such bad anxiety that I couldn’t go to the shops in case they were crowded.

That’s when I really got stuck into the grog. I was full of anger and I remember going down to a pub in Botany Bay in full uniform, hoping someone would pick a fight with me.”

Mr Anderson struggled with PTSD for 20 years until he finally took his wife’s advice and started intensive counselling. He was given medication and, with the unwavering support of Lorraine, started to tackle his demons. “I still have counselling but the anger has gone,” he said. “Life is good and I feel blessed.”

Today, Mr Anderson has eight grandchildren and is a much-loved husband, father and friend with a wicked sense of humour and unwavering optimism.

“Our experiences in life make us what we are.”

Anderson has made quite an emotive statement, however, upon examination of the readily available evidence, Anderson is simply telling nothing more than fantastic stories.

Within the day of this article appearing online, reader comments were made, throwing doubt on the claims made by Anderson.

WUAnderson 2

Let us examine Anderson’s claims.

“As a 20-year-old he went to sea to serve in the Indonesian conflict where he was confined in a small box in the ship’s magazines for 10 long days.”

Anderson joined HMAS Melbourne on 21 March 1966, the ship sailing 3 days later for the Singapore exercise area. On 24 March 1966, Melbourne came under control of Commander, Far East Fleet (CMFEF), and became attached to the Far East Strategic Reserve (FESR), until 25 April 1966, when the ship left that area of operation and conducted escort duty to the HMAS Sydney enroute to Vietnam.

Anderson speaks of the ‘Indonesian Conflict’. Although a treaty officially ending hostilities was not signed until August 1966, the conflict effectively ceased in September 1965, when Indonesia’s President was removed after an anti-communist coup.

WUAnderson 3

As shown in the above extract of the Report of Proceedings (ROP) for April 1966, Melbourne entered potentially hostile waters on the 3rd of April whilst transiting from Manus Island to the Basilan Straits (Philippines). As the ship was in proximity of Indonesia, Defence Stations were assumed until 2359 hours on 7th April. This was a total period of five days at Defence Stations.

Anderson was an Aircraft Handler and during Defence Stations, if on watch, would be part of the team marshalling aircraft on the flight deck and inside the hangar, as well as providing aviation fire fighting support.

Although the Melbourne was armed with 40/60 Bofors anti-aircraft guns, ammunition

would not have been prepared for distribution from magazines to each gun mount, until the ship had proceeded to Action Stations, the next level up from Defence Stations, and a situation where attack is imminent.

Anderson, as an Aircraft Handler, would not have been positioned in the magazines during Defence Stations and, if he had, it was certainly not for 10 days.

Melbourne’s ROP shows that this short period was the only time the ship went anywhere in the vicinity of Indonesia during that deployment.

WUAnderson 4

The official publication on Navy involvement in the ‘Indonesian Confrontation’, produced by the Navy History Unit in Canberra, totally rebuffs the claim made by Anderson:

“Prior to the "official" period of the Indonesian Confrontation, Melbourne was allocated to the FESR for 17 days from 28th February 1962 to 16th March 1962 and in company with the Daring class destroyer, Voyager & the "Q" class anti-submarine frigate, Queenborough, challenged the right of sea passage through the Indonesian Archipelago. This was the only time in the history of the ship that she was prepared for, and placed in a position to engage with an enemy if challenged”.

The next claim made by Anderson is just as fanciful when the facts are disclosed.

“Mr Anderson said the growing fear of being blown out of the water by the Viet Cong and other experiences triggered PTSD. “They bombed the harbour while we were there and we had no way of protecting ourselves. We were sitting ducks,” he said. “The USS Meeker County had her stern blown out and we came alongside her just after she had sunk. I remember feeling so vulnerable. I had never drunk alcohol before but that’s when I started drinking. It was all the tension.”

Vietnam service is recorded on a Nominal Roll, maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Whereas service for Army was calculated from the date of arrival in country until the date of departure, Navy ships were considered to be rendering operational service from the date of departure from the last Australian port, to the date of arrival at the first Australian port.

Accordingly, a ship could be accredited with 28 days ‘warlike’ service, yet only spending a few hours actually anchored in Vung Tau during that period, as was the case for HMAS Sydney whilst engaged in logistic support to the Vietnam operations.

The Reports of Proceedings for both Melbourne and Sydney, were accessed on the Australian War Memorial website to ascertain the validity of the claims made by Anderson.

Anderson was onboard Melbourne for the following Vietnam deployments:

25 Apr to 06 May 1966 – Melbourne did not enter Vung Tau, instead being diverted to what is now known as Con Son Island, some 100 km away, to refuel with HMAS Supply, and on completion, proceeded to Hong Kong on 04 My 1966.

25 May to 09 Jun 1966 – Once again, Melbourne did not enter Vung Tau, escorting Sydney down the Vietnam coast until these duties were taken over by HMAS Derwent. Melbourne then made passage for Penang, arriving on 09 Jun 1966.

In relation to those two deployments, Melbourne was not anchored in Vung Tau or even close-by to hostile forces.

Anderson served six deployments on Sydney which qualify for Vietnam service.

The following, taken from Sydney’s ROP, shows the dates of those deployments and actual time anchored in Vung Tau.

27 Mar to 26 Apr 1968 – 7h 00m

21 May to 13 Jun 1968 – 6h 58m

13 Nov to 28 Nov 1968 – 4h 20m

08 Feb to 25 Feb 1969 – 5h 25m

08 May to 30 May 1969 – 5h 30m

17 Nov to 05 Dec 1969 – 6h 12m

There is no mention in ROPs of Vung Tau harbour being bombed whilst Sydney was anchored or in transit. By comparison to other areas of the conflict, Vung Tau was largely free from Viet Cong activity.

In all, Anderson spent a total of 35 hours and 25 minutes anchored in Vung Tau. As no leave was granted during those port visits, Anderson did not, at any time, set foot on Vietnam soil. Unlike the majority of those who served in Vietnam, Anderson had the comforts and safety of Sydney at his disposal at all times.

So, let us now consider his claims about the USS Meeker County:

USS Meeker County (LST-980) was an LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named after Meeker County, Minnesota, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

Originally laid down as LST-980 on 22 December 1943 at the Boston Navy Yard; the ship was launched on 10 February 1944 and de-activated in 1955.

In 1965, an urgent need for amphibious types caused Meeker County to be reactivated. Modernized at Baltimore, she recommissioned on 23 September 1966, underwent intensive training at Little Creek, and on 20 January 1967 departed for her new home port, Guam. She arrived at Apra Harbor, Guam, on 7 April and then sailed for Vietnam for a tour of duty as a unit of Landing Ship Squadron 3. Operating from Da Nang, she provided almost continuous support to combat operations in Vietnam into 1970.

Decommissioned in December 1970 at Bremerton, Washington, Meeker County was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 April 1975. 

The USS Deeker County only suffered battle damage during the D-Day landings in World War Two. Participating in the invasion, LST-980 was bracketed by bombs, one of which, a 125-pound dud, penetrated the hull and two bulkheads, killing one man and causing minor damage.

Again, Anderson has simply lied. The only bombing, so far, has been of his outright fantasy stories.

Then there was the following statement, which we will not even go into, other than to say, given the evidence, none of it is true.

“I had flashbacks to Vung Tau every five minutes and such bad anxiety that I couldn’t go to the shops in case they were crowded. That’s when I really got stuck into the grog. I was full of anger and I remember going down to a pub in Botany Bay in full uniform, hoping someone would pick a fight with me.”

The reporter at the Gold Coast Sun was contacted and could not speak highly enough of Anderson. To date the paper has not retracted his story or followed the matter up, even after public comments doubting the validity of the article. A simple bit of fact-finding by the reporter would have avoided the embarrassment which has followed.

As ANZAC Day once again approaches, more ‘wannabees’ will crawl out and want to tell grandiose stories of their exploits to anyone prepared to listen, some of these stories will once again appear in the media, as gullible reporters fall for such tales of derring-do.

Veterans abhor other Veterans who grossly exaggerate their service, Anderson has done just that for no other reason, than to falsely raise his profile and gain preposterous sympathy and benefits from Department of Veterans Affairs.

It is best summed up in the final statement by Anderson ; “Our experiences in life make us what we are.” We are quite confident that his lack of experiences have justifiably made him the liar he is.

James Anderson, the lies about your history now cement your future place here on the website with others of your ilk.

Surname: Reeman
Christian Names: Graham John
Country: Australia
State or Province: Tasmania
City or Town: Circular Head
Service #: 6708703
Service: Army
Branch: Infantry
Commencement of service: 1966
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

WUReeman 1

The above photograph was taken at the Circular Head Vietnam Veterans Service in August 2016. It was actually part of a group photo taken on that day, one of the others in that photo is Michael FRENCH, who also appears on this site.

Reeman enlisted in the Australian Army as part of the first call-up of National Servicemen in 1966. He served a total of 322 days in Vietnam from 10 Jun 1967 to 26 Apr 1968, as part of 1 Australian Reinforcement Unit, and 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.

 

WUReeman 2

 

 In the above photograph, Reeman is wearing the following medals:

1. Australian Active Service Medal 1945 – 1975, (AASM 45-75) clasp Vietnam. Entitled.
2. Vietnam Medal. (VM) Entitled.
3. Australian Defence Medal. (ADM) Entitled.
4. Vietnam Campaign Medal. (VCM) Entitled.
5. Regular Force Service Medal. Tin junk medal, purchased.
6. Army Service Medal. Tin junk medal, purchased.

As a result of his service, he was appropriately awarded the above AASM 45-75 clasp Vietnam, VM, ADM and VCM. The same as everyone else who served for six months or more in Vietnam.

 WUReeman 3

WUReeman 4

The last two medals are tin worthless trinkets that should not be worn on the left side with genuine awarded medals. They are purchased adornments that have no standing whatsoever for military service in the Australian Defence Force.

They are -;

1. Regular Force Service Medal. Purchase price. $70.00. (RSM Awards)
2. Army Service Medal. Purchase Price $140.00 (English Tie and Medal Company)

These Medal Manufacturers make a lot of money plying their trade and selling tin medals to gullible and vain Australians who like to increase their rack for no other reason than to impress people.

Non ex-service individuals would have no idea that Reeman wears two tin purchased medals on his impressive rack.

There is one thing that the untrained eye may not notice in Reeman’s photo – that he is actually wearing miniatures of the above medals, exactly the same combination as the full size ones worn by French. Could we assume that on this particular day a photo opportunity arose and Reeman did not have his medals, and so borrowed French’s instead.

We say to Mr. Reeman, you have been amply rewarded for your respected military service. Your decision to wear those medals on that day, whatever the reason, is disrespectful and earned you a place on the ANZMI site along with your mate.

Surname: Watson
Christian Names: Dean
Country: Australia
State or Province: South Australia
City or Town: Port Elliot
Service #: Unknown
Service: Royal Australian Naval Reserve
Branch: Seaman
Commencement of service: 1966
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

WUWatson 1

Dean Watson is the President of the Port Elliot RSL Sub-Branch in South Australia.

The above photograph was taken on ANZAC Day 2016, just one of many taken over the years, where Watson has been wearing the following:

1.       Australian Service Medal 1945-75.

2.       Reserve Force Decoration.

3.       National Medal

4.       Australian Defence Medal.

5.       FESR Commemorative Medal (unofficial ‘junk’ medal).

Watson served for many years as an officer in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve (RANR) and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Watson did, however, serve a short period of continuous service in 1966, when he was part of the officer complement on the survey vessel HMAS Diamantina.

It is this period of sea service that underpins this particular case and clearly evidences that, apart from Watson wearing an unofficial medal, he also has no entitlement to be wearing the ASM 1945-75.

Watson was contacted regarding his entitlement to the ASM 1945-75, and provided the following response:

“I was a Reservist on full time service during 1966 on HMAS Diamantina. Subsequently, I found out that it had been attached to FESR while carrying out oceanographic work Up Top in the second half of the year.

I assume everyone in the ship in that period would have qualified for the ASM 45-75 if they had not already or later qualified in other ships”.

All of HMA Ships supply a monthly report to Naval Headquarters, listing significant events in the day-to-day operation of each vessel. These are known as a Report of Proceedings (ROPs) and are available for the public to access on the Australian War Memorial website. These reports go on to make a lasting history of our Australian Navy and its’ involvement in all conflicts up to, and including, Vietnam.

The ROPs for Diamantina, for the period August to November 1966, were examined and relevant entries, regarding ships’ location, are as follows:

August

2                  Set sail for Christmas Island

3 to 10          Surveys conducted off Christmas Island

10                Crossed Australian Station limit CHOPPED to COMFEF

12 to 24        Singapore, Scientific Operation MONSEA

25 to 29        Singapore

29                Sail to commence OP MONSEA in South China Sea

September

1 to 11          Trials between Hong Kong and Singapore

12 to 13        Subic Bay

14                Gulf of Lingayen

22 to 30        Hong Kong

October

1 to 6            Hong Kong

7 to 17          South China Sea surveys

18 to 22        Singapore

23 to 31        OP MONSEA

November

1 to 5            OP MONSEA

7 to 8            Singapore and slip at 1600h

8                  Sail for Fremantle

15 to 30        Alongside Fremantle for refit

Nowhere in the ROPs is Diamantina recorded as being assigned to FESR as part of the Australian Far East Fleet. The entry on 10 August 1966, “CHOPPED to COMFEF” however, could give rise to the mistaken belief of the crew that the ship was performing duties as part of the FESR. COMFEF refers to ‘Commander, Far East Fleet’.

Confirmation has been received from the Navy Historical Unit in Canberra, confirming Diamantina was never attached to FESR. In relation to the reference ‘CHOPPED to COMFEF’, this indicates signal handling procedures in that all signal traffic for Diamantina came under the distribution list of COMFEF for as long as the vessel was in that area.

Watson was again contacted, this time with the new information, and the following response was received:

“When I became aware of the FESR award, I applied to Defence Honours and Awards stating my period in the ship and much later received the medal. Consequently, I am unaware of the exact period the ship was attached to FESR. There would have been a CHOP signal after the ship sailed from Singapore for Fremantle in late October/early November, but I am unaware of it”.

The involvement of the ADF, be it Navy, Army or Airforce, during the ‘Indonesian Confrontation’ has been a very contentious issue, specifically in the determination of type of service rendered – ‘warlike’, ‘non-warlike’ or ‘peacetime service’ and the appropriate entitlements for each type of service.

In 1999, a review examined possible anomalies in service entitlements, affecting members of the ADF who served in South-East Asia during the period 1955-75. The review was chaired by Major General R.F. Mohr, the final report, at 176 pages, became known as ‘The Mohr Report’.

The following extract from this report concerns Diamantina:

During the review there had been a number of enquiries regarding the involvement of Diamantina in the Indonesian Confrontation and the FESR in general.

Submissions argued that Diamantina served in the South-East Asian region, including in areas of conflict, and that its crew’s service should therefore be recognised as qualifying service. Submissions added that the fact that personnel serving with the ship were not allotted for service as part of a conflict should not disqualify them from having their service recognised as qualifying service.

The review thoroughly investigated the service of Diamantina and determined that the ship, although it entered the operational area, did not have a mission to pursue military objectives in connection with Confrontation. There was no evidence to suggest that Diamantina had active rules of engagement allowing the use of lethal force or that the level of threat was such that there was an expectation of casualties. Given the similar circumstances of HMAS Moresby, it was concluded that these two ships did not render warlike service in connection with confrontation. Moreover, as the roles of Diamantina and Moresby were to conduct scientific research and surveying respectively, it was concluded that the classification of ‘non-warlike’ service under the VEA would not be appropriate.

In summary: HMAS Diamantina was not involved in the Confrontation, nor was it ever allotted for duty with the FESR, therefore the crew would not be entitled to the award of the AASM 1945-75 (with clasp MALAYA) or the ASM 1945-75 (with clasp FESR).

In 2003, this was further confirmed in the Review of Veterans Entitlements – Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

WUWatson 2

 Once again, Watson was contacted, with the suggestion, he may have been awarded the ASM 1945-75 in error. Watson was also asked if an official letter was received and were his service details engraved on the edge of the medal.

Watson replied:

“I received the ASM with FESR clasp accompanied by SOM, DNPS(M) letter through MHQ advising the Governor General had approved the award”.

Watson did not respond to the question why a man of his experience would be wearing a commemorative medal alongside official medals. One would assume that an ex-serviceman, RSL Sub-Branch President and former Secretary of the Naval Association of Australia, would be well aware of medal protocol.

Dean Watson, the evidence is overwhelming – you do not have an entitlement to the ASM 1945-75, for your service in 1966 onboard Diamantina and have now earnt the award of appearing on the ANZMI site.

Surname: Welbourn
Christian Names: Anthony (Tony) Paul
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Horsham
Service #: 4719397
Service: Army (National Service)
Branch: Royal Australian Engineers
Commencement of service: 1967
Completion of service: 1969
Case Notes:

 

 

Tony Welbourn blames ignorance and bad advice for his medals offences. His excuse is "lame" and he is either a liar or the only Vietnam Veteran in history to not know about this simple medals protocol.

 Welbourn 1 2017 04 08

Here is a close up of the medals Welbourn is wearing.

 

Welbourn 2 2017 04 08

The medals are:

Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp Vietnam

Vietnam Medal

National Emergency Medal

National Medal

Australian Defence Medal

Commemoration of National Service Medal

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (RVCM) Not entitled.

Vietnam Veterans Medal (VVM) Tin Trinket that has no integrity.

 

Welbourn earned Four medals for his service in the Defence Force and Two for his civilian Community Service, a total of Six, but added the last Two with the excuse,

that before his discharge from the Army, a couple of Army Officers told him it was OK to wear the RVCM and the VVM medals.

 

Here is what he said in response to our request to provide information about his entitlement to wear the medals

"VCM (sic)

You are correct I did not serve the 180 days requirement however on departure from Vietnam (November 68) I was clearly advised by the OC of my Unit Major xxxxxxxx that as my original posting was for 12 months (May 68-May 69) and I was being sent home to Australia, for a medical procedure, I was entitled to be awarded this medal.

This same information was passed to me on my completion of N S (June 69) by the Adelaide holding unit O C (Capt xxxxxxxxxx. Basis (sic) this information / advice at the time I have worn same.

 

Here is the criterion for the RVCM:

Welbourn 3 2017 04 08

Welbourn served only 141 days in Vietnam not the required 181 days and was not returned to Australia for any reason relating to enemy activity

Here is what he said about the VVM

Welbourn 4 2017 04 08

"Vietnam Veterans Medal –

This medal was issued (No.739) in the early 1970’s.

At the time I was advised the wearing of this medal was approved by the Govt of the day as long as same was positioned on the far left of all / any other service medals.

Having seen, over time, other Veterans wearing the same medal I have just assumed all was in order."

Regarding the VVM, despite Welbourn saying "The medal was issued (No739) in the early6 1970s" the VVM was never issued to any person, it is, and always has been a self purchased bit of "Bling" that has no integrity whatsoever.

As soon as we contacted him he agreed to remove the medals. Here is what he said:

"Given the above I hereby declare that at no time was I aware the two medals in question should not have been worn as per medal protocol. The medals have been worn in nothing but good faith. Should you advise / instruct these medals be withdrawn / removed I shall guarantee to immediately make contact with my medal provider and have same removed."

We are pleased that Welbourn has chosen to stop embarrassing himself by wearing false medals, however because he wore them for Forty Eight years and now promises to remove them, we will go easy on him and promise to remove him from this website after Forty Eight years. We have made note on our Calendar for the year Twenty One Seventy Five.

ANZMI has been operating in one form or another for Twenty years and still the message does not penetrate that if you falsify any aspect of your Defence Service you will end up occupying space on this website.

Every town in Australia has Returned Veterans, ex Servicemen and Women and Citizens who will report medals' offenders and Wannabes. Our work will continue until the last cheat is exposed.

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