Richardson

Date of Entry: 11/02/2018
Surname: Richardson.
Christian Names: Robert William
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Greensborough
Service #: 37874
Service: Australian Army
Branch: Infantry Clerk
Commencement of service: 14 Aug 1961
Completion of service: 19 May 1969
Case Notes:

 

 

"The pen is mightier than the sword" coined by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839, indicating that communication (particularly written language), or in some interpretations, administrative power or advocacy of an independent press, is a more effective tool than direct violence. Wikipedia.

IS THE PEN MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD?

In the case of Robert William Richardson, could be !!

ANZMI respect the service of all men and women who have served in the New Zealand and Australian Defence Forces. It matters not, what Branch or Units of the Military one served. It does matter though, when imposters embellish their service to gain benefits that would not otherwise have been received, had they not lied or put themselves out there as war heros.

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The above photographs depict former Private Robert William Richardson OAM, leading 1 Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) component of the Melbourne ANZAC day marches. He has led the Unit on Anzac Days since 2000.

The gentleman behind Richardson, (second photograph) and bearing the United States 173rd Airborne Brigade blue and red standard, is a former member of that Brigade. He has specifically requested ANZMI not to delete his face from this exposure. We will not name him here, but he proudly represents the 173rd Airborne Brigade with 1 Battalion RAR on Anzac Day Marches.

Robert William Richardson was born on the 17 February, 1941. At the age of 20, he enlisted in the Australian Army. He completed recruit training at Kapooka Army Base, Wagga, New South Wales, (NSW), and was posted to 1 Battalion, (RAR) Holsworthy, NSW. In 1964, Richardson qualified as a Clerk (GD) and was posted into a Clerk’s position in B Company, 1 RAR as a Lance Corporal.

On the 27 May, 1965, Richardson was posted to then Republic of South Vietnam with 1 RAR. His duties were clerical, a sedentary role.

In August 1965, Richardson was demoted to the rank of Private for neglecting orders in regards to local leave. He was then transferred to Battalion Headquarters as a Private. (Clerk) He served in South Vietnam until his return to Australia on the 9 June, 1966. He was never deployed on any operations during his Vietnam tour. He remained on base and performed his allotted clerical duties.

During his time with 1 RAR, Richardson was posted to Battalion Headquarters, Bien Hoa, an American Military Base, 25 kilometres north of Saigon. 1 RAR was the first Australian Army Infantry Battalion to be posted to South Vietnam, and as such Australian logistical support was limited. Therefore, 1 RAR came under operational command of the US Army Commander , 173rd Airborne Brigade.

1 RAR conducted numerous operations within the Tactical Area of Responsibility (TAOR) and also in the Mekong Delta with the US Brigade. One of the major operations undertaken was Operation Crimp.

Operation CRIMP (8 – 14 Jan 66) (Courtesy 1 RAR Association Website.)

1 RAR, with under command 3 Fd Tp (minus), in direct support 105 Fd Bty. West-central Binh Duong province, 37 km WNW of Bien Hoa air base. A brigade search and destroy operation, 1 RAR being the blocking force for 173d Bde, which was operating in conjunction with 3d Inf Bde (US) both being commanded by HQ lst Inf Div (US). The brigade AO was centered in the general area of the Solirene plantation, nine km WSW of Bien Cat, and the 1 RAR AO of thirteen sq km was central within the brigade AO. Generally flat terrain, with areas of rice, jungle, and rubber plantations. The operation was directed at the destruction of the Saigon- Cholon-Gia Dinh Special Sector Committee, believed to be located in the southern portion of the long-established VC base area, the ‘Ho Bo Woods’; the Committee was protected by up to two VC main force battalions. Deployment by helicopter, directly from Operation 18/65 ‘MARAUDER’ via Bao Trai.
Results: Casualties: own: KIA 8, WIA 29; VC: KIA 27, wounded/escaped 7. Twelve VC suspects detained, and many civilians evacuated. Extensive multi-level tunnel systems were broken into by 1 RAR; these included a headquarters complex, reproduction centres, dispensaries and a hospital. A major arms cache and a rice store (fifteen tonne) were located. The operation was notable for the 7488 documents captured, primarily by I RAR.

The battalion completed its tour of duty and on the 1st June 1966 began the move back to Australia. The cost to the battalion was 23 killed, 114 wounded and 2 bodies not recovered. 1 RAR marched through Sydney on the 8th June 1966 and received a magnificent welcome from the thousands of people lining the streets. The battalion returned to Gallipoli Barracks, Holsworthy. End.

Private Robert Richardson was not deployed on Operation Crimp. He was back at the Bien Hoa base fulfilling his duties as a BHQ Clerk, including the completion of pay records and leave entitlements for the operational troops fighting in the field..

Following Richardson’s uneventful tour of South Vietnam, he remained in the Australian Army until he discharged on the 10 May, 1969. His discharge is recorded as “Retention in the Military Forces not being in the best interest of those forces.” This was due to 9 convictions of false pretences in obtaining goods by a Victorian Court.

Unfortunately, his convictions in the Victorian Court did not stop him from continuing his nefarious ways as a false pretender.

In 1980, the following occurred.

From Signed statements obtained -; .

Melbourne Age newspaper article 5 June 1980.

In June 1980, in response to a story that appeared in the Age newspaper on the 3 June 1980, by a Viet Cong soldier, who claimed that he had fought against 1 RAR during Operation Crimp in 1966, Richardson embellished his war service record through a Vietnam War story, “War’s bitter memories close to home, ” which Richardson gave to the Age newspaper Melbourne. Richardson called the Age newspaper and gave his account of Operation Crimp, and what he had experienced on that Operation.

Richardson informed the Age reporter:
“That this is one operation I will not forget” Richardson said, “ I reckon it was the beginning of all my troubles”.

The trouble with this statement is that Mr Richardson was a Clerk (GD) 40 km away from the location of Operation Crimp and took no part in the Operation Crimp or any other operation in his tour of duty.
Mr Richardson told the “The Age” reporter that he had fought against the former Viet Cong second lieutenant on Operation Crimp. ‘He also stated that he had no resentment towards him’ he said “If anything I suppose I am more bitter towards the Australian Government for the conditions under which we went”.

 

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* Richardson stated his job was to count the casualties of Operation Crimp--- in his own words a “bastard of a job”
* Richardson then ridiculed, insulted and made inflammatory and unsubstantiated comments about the American soldiers. (173rd Airborne Brigade). Richardson made false and misleading claims about the American Pilots stating that they had sprayed him and the rest of 1RAR with Agent Orange whilst he was on Operation Crimp.

* Richardson also stated that all of his battalion were left “non – operational “for several days after they were sprayed.
* Richardson also claimed that he himself was chemically poisoned by being sprayed with Agent Orange, whilst on Operation Crimp.
* Richardson claimed the Battalion had lost two members KIA on Operation Crimp. The truth was 1RAR had lost 8 KIA and 29 WIA.
* Richardson false story has also been reported in USA on a Vietnam Veterans web site (Wounded Times) in April 2014, and was condemned as lies and fraud; this web site gets 1 million hits a month.
* Mr Richardson made up the entire story as he was not on Operation Crimp. His story was total lies and his fraud misled the Australian general public and in particular other Vietnam veterans that had served with 1 RAR in Vietnam on Operation Crimp
. End.

On the 10 June, 2002, Richardson was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM), for service to the welfare of veterans and their families, and to the community.

Not satisfied with his new found fame as a fully fledged Operational Infantry soldier, in 1 Battalion RAR, South Vietnam, and a recent recipient of the OAM, Richardson then convinced the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Media Unit in 2004, that they should record his “outstanding” feats of military greatness.

The DVA Media Unit then recorded 3 videos with Richardson, where he falsely stated his experiences of “patrolling and fighting in the jungles of Vietnam, and his worst operation of all, being Operation Crimp, and the tunnels of Cu Chi.”

A Senior Melbourne Herald- Sun newspaper Journalist interviewed Richardson about his claims, that he took part in Operation Crimp. Richardson was also asked about the contents of the 3 Vietnam War videos, that he had made for the Australian Vietnam War educational web site.

Richardson conceded that his 1980 Age newspaper claims of storming Viet Cong tunnels in one battle was "faulty", and that he took no part in the operation. He also admitted that his video about Operation Crimp was also not 100% accurate and not true.

The Herald- Sun newspaper articles were published on the 16 March 2014 and again on the 4 April 2014. The headlines were:

(1) “OAM RECIPIENT DODGY BATTLE DOUBT”.
(2) “DODGY DIGGER DITCHES DUTIES”.


After being viewed by about 300,000 people, the 3 videos have now been removed from the DVA Educational web site.

From Signed statements -;

When finally in 2014 Richardson was exposed and cornered as a liar and a fraud, he then told the 1 RAR investigation Officer Brigadier Neil Weeks AM MC 1 RAR Vietnam second tour that he was involved in a Vietnam vehicle accident on the 9th August 1965 and that a Digger 1 RAR (driver) and two 173rd Airborne Brigade soldiers were killed in the accident .And like all his other Vietnam War stories this story was again total lies and fraud.

As a result of Richardson’s continuing fraudulent claims of Vietnam service the following has occurred. –

From Signed statements -;

1. His appointment as a Justice of the Peace for the State of Victoria has been revoked,.
2. As a result of the Herald-Sun newspaper stories in March/April 2014, and complaints about Mr Richardson's lies and false Vietnam War stories from 1RAR and 173rd Airborne Brigade Vietnam veterans 1965/66, the First Battalion Association of the Royal Australian Regiment commenced an investigation into Mr Richardson's Vietnam War service claims. The result was that Mr Richardson was found guilty of:
3. Mr Richardson was not on Operation Crimp and took no part in the Operation.
4. That Mr Richardson was not sprayed by an American C130.
5. That 1RAR was not made non-operational for a number of days.
6. Mr Richardson was admonished for bringing the good name of the 1RAR Association into Disrepute and banned from any position of responsibility for two years; the real effect is for life.
7. That Mr Richardson was found guilty of loose wording during interviews and bravado.
8. It was found that Mr Richardson claims that he identified the killed and wounded of 1 RAR on Operation Crimp, was false and totally untrue.
9. Mr Richardson claims about the 173rd Airborne Brigade (separate) were blatantly wrong, and there was no truth in his claims regarding the American soldiers waiting for 1RAR clearing the area before they would go through.
10. Mr Richardson claimed that 1 RAR lost 2 killed in the Age newspaper story was not true .In the DVA Vietnam War video about Operation Crimp, Mr Richardson claimed 1RAR lost 5 killed .The actual amount 1RAR lost was 8 killed and 29 wounded on Operation Crimp.

Representations have also been made by members of 1 RAR to the office of the Governor General, to have Richardson’s award of the OAM revoked.

Richardson is a Grandstander without credibility.. He has let down his former mates in 1 RAR, members of US 173rd Airborne Brigade and his family. His role as a clerk, with all the comforts of a Base Camp, is far removed from his claims of fighting the Vietcong in the jungles of Vietnam.

He has received unearned respect, recognition and benefits from his deceit. He is an imposter, who should return his OAM as a moral gesture. He has absolutely no credibility for this prestigious award..

Richardson's false claims of combat service are not dissimilar to Anthony (Tony) John Flaherty, a former Catering Corps Cook in South Vietnam, 8 Battalion RAR, who also appears on this site for his own claims of combat "derring do!".

See link. flaherty

The Department of Veterans Affairs, (DVA) Investigation Section has also been notified regarding Richardson's false claims of combat service.

Located in: Stolen Valour
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