Entries with Surname (Title)s starting with 'S'

Surname: Stocks
Christian Names: Sydney Nelson
Country: Australia
State or Province: QLD
City or Town: Burnett
Service: RAAF
Case Notes:
 

 

Stocks is well known in the South Burnett region of Queensland as a heroic World War 2 bomber pilot but being exposed as a wannabe on more than one occasion has not stopped him continuing the charade

He is a 90-year-old author  who is well in command of his faculties, so the fiction that he has been spreading for decades about his WW2 exploits cannot be blamed on his age.

 

In a Brisbane Courier Mail newspaper report in 1992  by Jason Gagliardi, there is a photo of Sydney Stocks and a woman whom he had "rescued from a  Japanese POW camp in IndonesiaJuly 1945".

The article reports that in July 1945 Stocks landed his Beaufort bomber next to a Japanese prison camp in Banjuwangi Indonesia and amid chaos and bullets rescued Nicoline Van Den Hurk,  he snatched  her up, together with maps  documents and photographsand took her to Darwin.  The lady was sent back to Holland and the documents he gathered were found to be important to the war effort. For this escapade he was demoted and charged by the RAAF but subsequently awarded the Dutch War Commemorative Cross of Honour by Queen Beatrice of the Netherlands.

As a lead up to ANZAC Day, on 24 April 2004 Sydney Stocks gave an interview to Glenis Green of the Brisbane Courier Mail . It is a long interview that disclosed many more facets of Syd's "heroic" RAAF service. We have been unable to locate a copy of the actual newspaper report however we present a transcript of the report below.   

Flight to freedom

The exploits of Sydney Nelson Stocks , a distinguished bomber pilot and one of the few to escape from Changi, are a stirring story of courage and grit. Glenis Green reports

WHEN South Burnett war veteran  went into hospital for major intestinal surgery last month, the last thing his doctors expected to see on his X-rays was a bullet lodged near his spine.

Even as astounded medical staff at Kingaroy's community hospital looked at the amazing discovery on film, Stocks was being his usual chipper self.

After carrying the 307 snub-nosed bullet around for more than 60 years, the World War II Digger had almost forgotten about it -- except when it made his lower back ache if he ``mucked about'' too much.
Nestled next to his spine, the bullet had never been removed for fear of putting the 88-year-old in a wheelchair.

So Stocks learned to live with what he described as ``the wearying pains'' if he stood up for too long or did too much physical work.

Such silent stoicism is typical of Stocks, who was up and about just days after his surgery, living independently again in the Yarraman home he shares with Tommy the cat.
Watching Stocks as he bustles about in his old-fashioned kitchen making coffee and shuffling through scrapbooks decorated with his own artistic water colours, it is hard to reconcile the slightly built, softly spoken man with his rugged war hero reputation.

This, after all, is a man who not only risked his life a hundred times over to fly behind enemy lines performing daring rescues and bombing raids, but was also one of the few POWs to escape from Singapore's notorious Changi Prison.

He has so many medals it's hard to lift the jacket he wears to Anzac Day marches. They include his US Inter-national Cross of Honour, the Dutch Commemorative Medal of Honour, a Star of David presented by the Jewish community, an Order of Australia medal and a recent honour as an Honorary Knight of Malta.
But back to the bullet. For Stocks it's the lasting reminder of one of his regular 1942 sorties piloting a two-engine Wellington to bomb the Krupps Ammunition Factory at Hamburg.

``We blasted it night after night and their fighters were always chasing us,'' he says.``Well, this night we were coming back, outside Belgium, when the tail gunner said, `There's a bandit following', and we copped a blast.''

Stocks tried to out-manoeuvre the fighter, doing a quick inside turn (``the blokes were yelling a bit'') and the fighter made a pass and overshot before turning to close the distance between the two aircraft, approaching head-on.

``He was keeping his guns going -- he was within 400 yards -- and he peeled off.
``The last shot went through the fuselage, underneath Mitch (Gordon Symes, the front gunner), missed the centre post and hit me in the lower right torso.

``I told `Flaps' Crawford (the second pilot) `I've been hit, I think'. He took it (the plane) from me and I lay on the fuselage, all cramped up and half out of it until we got to the base at Silsden.''
When Stocks recovered from his wound, he realised the bullet was still in there when he felt a bump beneath his skin on his lower back.

While living with a bullet is just one of Stocks' amazing stories of survival, he's a reluctant hero, saying he's no different to any else who fought.

Stocks' story began when he joined up on January 6, 1940 aged 25 -- so old for a new recruit that he quickly earned the nickname ``Uncle''.

A FRENCH polisher by trade, he'd been a foreman in a furniture factory which was ordered into military production when the war began.
When first he went to enlist, he was knocked back, because his job was deemed a protected industry.
``So I waited for a few days, changed my name (calling himself Syd Nelson -- Nelson being his middle name) and enlisted in the RAAF.''

He was put straight on the SS Manundra sailing to England, ending up at Silsden, a medium bomber base near Leicestershire, where he was trained as a pilot and wireless air gunner. ``They (pilots) were always getting shot so they always needed more pilots,'' he says.

It was two years years later when Stocks was a member of four bombing squadrons sent to Siam (now Thailand) to head off the Japanese forces joining the war that the die was cast for his incarceration in Changi.

They had fought from Siam back to the causeway joining Malaya with Singapore when they were ambushed after the Japanese broke through an Indian battalion.

``The first thing they (the Japanese) did was go straight to the hospital and shoot every patient and medical orderly because they didn't want to look after injured people,'' Stocks says.
``Then they drove up and down and disabled the aircraft. I remember I was sitting with my CO on a kerb in Singapore in a monsoon with our feet in a drain, eating our last meat pie.
``He said, `What are you gonna do Stocksy?' and I said, `What can we do?'
``He said, `I appreciate what you've done, hopefully you'll get through this. It's every man for himself'.''
Stocks says there was nothing to do but wait to be picked up by Japanese troops and be thrown on a truck.

``Any sign of resistance and you were gone,'' he says.
Stocks and the rest of the captured Allied troops were taken to Seleta.
``We had to stand for 72 hours upright on a parade ground -- in the rain and the heat. The Japs made us stand in our faeces and urine -- blokes were collapsing everywhere. We lost 304 men. They were dropping at our feet.''

Those who survived were taken to Changi. There Stocks was put in charge of a small working team of army and air force men.

At one point he was interrogated and when he feigned ignorance was struck on the head with wooden bats, which permanently damaged his hearing.

That was in February, 1942. On April 11, the next year, he escaped.
His plan for freedom was hatched when a big stir went through the camp about the imminent arrival of Japanese General Shimperi, the overall head of prisoner of war camps at the time.
Prisoners were told they must be at a special parade for the general, and that they had better behave themselves.

Instead Stocks put himself on penalty duties for the big day, wearing his baggiest pair of shorts, worn-out sandshoes and no shirt and carrying two old potato bags which he used to put rubbish in as he traversed the perimeter of the prison.

Enduring the taunts, insults and kicks from guards, he eventually got to the main gates where a rubbish truck with an armed Japanese driver was waiting.

Because his captors refused to touch rubbish, Stocks was ordered into the truck so he could unload it at the dump. As the truck headed for the causeway, Stocks overpowered and ``dispatched'' the driver.
``I won't tell you what I did . . . I dug a hole and buried him just inside the entrance to the Kranji Cemetery, then I took the truck across the causeway to a small court outside the Temple of Johore where I knew the Sultan -- he had been a member of our Lodge.''

Stocks had become friends with a local magistrate, who put him in prison and told the Japanese who had come to take him away that he would have to remain in jail in Malaya for driving without a licence and stealing a vehicle.

HE WAS held in the Johore prison until he could be picked up by a fishing boat and taken out to sea.
``They covered me in coconut oil and dye and gave me an old straw hat so I looked like a fisherman,'' he says.

Eventually Stocks made it to Ambon and then Darwin.

As well as leaving behind so many mates in Changi (to whom he did not even reveal his escape plan in case they paid the price for their knowledge), one of Stocks' biggest regrets was saying goodbye to a loyal four-footed friend, ``Butch'', the fox terrier.

Wearing his own little parachute, Butch had been on every flying mission with Stocks, once even using that parachute to glide to safety when their aircraft was shot down. Despite the experience he lined up the next day for his usual seat on the plane -- never missing a beat.
So when Stocks was dragged off to Changi, Butch went too. But, sadly, he didn't see freedom again like his master.
Stocks finally found out during a 1992 reunion of POWS on the Gold Coast what had happened to his little dog.

Furious at Stocks' escape, one of the nastier Japanese sergeants killed the little dog, then cooked him and fed him to the unwitting prisoners.

Stocks still chuckles at the memory of the brave little dog, which incurred the CO's wrath after seizing the opportunity to mate with the CO's wife's pampered shi-tzu -- a tryst which produced a fine litter of pups, all looking just like Butch.

``He (Butch) was confined to barracks for a week for that,'' he said.
Stocks has a thousand more war stories -- and as a keen writer he has told some of them himself in many stories and books. He has written several novels, including Plenty Makes Me Poor, a story centred on his former home town of nearby Blackbutt, which is tipped to be made into a movie.
He's such a wealth of knowledge that archivists are gathering his recollections for an official history for the War Memorial in Canberra.

Living alone since his wife Val died in 1991 after 58 years of marriage, (they met when she was a concert pianist for the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and he played the violin), Stocks holds on fiercely to his independence.

Even while he was still doubled over from the aftermath of his recent surgery he managed to add a fresh shine to the French polished war memorial in the main street of Yarraman. And that's where he'll be marching again on Anzac Day this year -- exactly three weeks before his 89th birthday.  As an RSL life member, he'll again be the toast of a town which is more than proud to call him one of their own.

What was Sydney Stocks really doing during WW2

 

We have the complete service record of Sydney Nelson Stocks – 174 pages -  and we know exactly where he was from 1942 when he first joined the 1st Battalion of the Volunteer Defence Corps  (Queensland) VDC (Q) until 1960 when he left the RAAF. We also know where he was not.   

 

He was....

Not in the RAAF in January1940.

Not ever in the Pilot's seat of a Bomber aircraft or any other aircraft  flying operational missions

Not rescuing Dutch Damsels from Japanese Prison Camps in July 1945

Never in Europe during the war, bombing the Krupps Ammunition Factory

Never wounded by a snub-nosed 307 bullet now lodged near his spine.

Never a prisoner of war nor incarcerated in Changi gaol in Singapore. 

He
Never stood for 72 hours in Changi and never lost 304 of his comrades

Never escaped from any POW camp.
Never killed a Japanese guard .

Never had a dog with parachuting skills.

Never knew a Sultan in Malaya who gave him refuge.

Never escaped from Malaya in a local fishing boat, to end up in Darwin.

 

 

Following the 24 April 2004 story Glenis Green ,  journalist with the Brisbane Courier mail, "cottoned" on to Stock's embarrassing lies and in a follow up story  on the 24 May 2004 shot down this "Bomber Pilot" in flames. She said about Stocks in the Courier Mail ; inter alia

 

"Not quite so blatant was Yarraman old-timer Syd Stocks, whose story about his brush with a bullet as a fighter pilot, his parachuting fox terrier "Butch" and escape from the notorious Changi prison also made it into print.

 

The 88-year-old remains convinced his stories are true, backed by scrapbooks of clippings; letters, X-rays of his bullet injury, faded photographs and medals.

Stocks had been fooling almost everyone in the Blackbutt and Yarraman area for decades with his tales of derring-do. Sadly it appears that his only gong was the OBE he was awarded last year for his services to the community.

 

Author, investigative writer and historical consultant Lynette Silver says fabricating stories about his service is insulting to all who did participate in the armed services.   After consulting a senior historian at RAAF Historical Section, Silver says Stocks could not have served with an RAAF bomber squadron in the UK in 1940, as our only squadron there at the time was 10 Squadron (Sunderland flying boats).

 

Silver also confirmed that, despite Stock's assertions, there were no RAF or RAAF bomber squadrons stationed in Thailand and there was no S Nelson or S Stocks listed among the 229 RAAF personnel from the RAAF's Far East Squadrons taken prisoner in 1942. And no POW ever escaped successfully from Changi, although some tried.

Silver points to a string of other inconsistencies in Stocks' account and notes that records do show a Sydney Nelson Stocks, born in Toowoomba on May 14, 1915, who, after being discharged from the militia, enlisted in the RAAF at Windsor in Brisbane on Jan 6 1944."

On 31 March 2006 Sydney Nelson Stocks flew back into the ANZMI radar with a story in the South Burnett Times

 

Note in the article that Stocks says, "I was a bomber pilot and this fellow was a fighter pilot and I got to know him well and I wanted to write his story". Note also that on the cover of the book that Stocks is pointing to, there is a photo of him as a young man together with his parachuting canine.

 

One would think that after the "drubbing" Stocks got from Glenis Green and Lynette Silver in their article of the 24 May 2004 that Syd would come down to earth, pack up his "pilot wings" and retire to a camouflaged hanger instead of continuing his farcical lies.

 

Stocks' Real Service Career

 

Sydney Stocks "heard the bugle" rather late as he enlisted as a part time soldier on the 16 Nov 1942 and served in 1 st Battalion, Volunteer Defence Corps, Queensland (VDC (Q)) employed as a Signaller. He elected to be discharged from the VDC (Q) in November 1943 for the purpose of joining the Citizens' Air Force (Full time duty)   

 

 

Sydney Stocks has a genuine RAAF service history that would be the envy of many. He was always described by his Commanding Officers as being exemplary and his work outstanding.   During WW2 his rank was initially aircraftsman, then on the 1 December 1944 he was promoted to leading aircraftsman  (LAC) (The equivalent of a senior private soldier) After the war – 1 Feb 1946 – he was promoted to acting corporal. Between 1946 and 1960 he rose to the rank of warrant officer in the trade of armourer. Sometime after 1952 Stocks applied unsuccessfully, to be selected for an RAAF Commission. Below is one page of the Application.

 

 

Notice on the application that Stocks, in his own handwriting, lists his locations from the time he first joined the RAAF until after the end of the war

 

On the 6 Jan 1944 he was a recruit in Sandgate Qld

10 March 1944 he was a Trainee Tech at Sydney, NSW

5 June 1944 he was a trainee Armourer at Nhill in Vic

27 August 1944 he was an Armourer at Amberley Qld

19 December 1944 he was an Armourer at Sandgate Qld

19 January 1945 he was an Armourer at Townsville Qld

5 March 1945 he was an Armourer in the Pacific with 6 Sqn RAAF.

 

Stocks did not join 6 SQN until 5 March 1945, this was his first and last participation in overseas WW2 service. When he joined the unit it was located at Dobodura New Guinea, Stocks arrived holding the rank of LAC Armourer. This rank and trade would scarcely qualify him to be flying Beaufort Bombers around Asia and rescuing Dutch damsels from POW camps. It is also very clear by his own handwriting that Stocks was never in Europe and was never a prisoner of war in Changi  Prison, Singapore. When the war ended, 6 Squadron RAAF relocated to Kingaroy in Southern Queensland where the Squadron was disbanded.  

 

During his WW2 service in New Guinea Stocks earned the following medals:

1939 –45 Star –

Pacific Star –

War Medal 1939/45 –

Australian Service Medal

General Service Medal (Malaysia) for service between 1951 and 1952.

Order of Australia medal presented in 2003 for his service to the community of Blackbutt Qld.

 

Remember Glenis Green reported on the 24 April 2004 "Syd has so many medals it's hard to lift the jacket he wears to Anzac Day. They include his: US Inter-National Cross of Honour,  Dutch Commemorative Medal of Honour, Star of David, Honorary Knight of Malta"

 

Stocks is entitled to wear six medals, the wearing of the self-purchased trinkets described above is just another example of his quest for fame through blatant lies and fantasy.   

Stocks is an enigma. He is a man with an excellent service record and he has earned an Order of Australia Medal for his services to his local community. These two things should make Stocks a satisfied man but he seeks further veneration from his community by extolling deeds of great "derring do" and mixing purchased  "trinkets" with his issued medals . He has a penchant for using newspapers to broadcast his lies.
 

Sydney's problem is that he writes works of fiction and then begins to live the fiction or reads stories of war time feats then fits himself into the action. This strange, long term Wannabe has no excuse for his bizarre behaviour.  He is a returned  serviceman who would have been very much respected for the genuine service he gave.

 

We hope this exposure will stop Sydney Stocks, spinning his yarns about his imagined heroic deeds. His antics negate his exemplary RAAF service and are an insult to veterans everywhere. If he wants to indulge in works of fiction he should write about his life as a confidence trickster, who has conned the people in the South Burnett region for decades.

 

One of the newspaper articles said

"As an RSL life member, he'll again be the toast of the town, which is more than proud to call him one of their own"

   27 June 2007

Our original entry about Stocks was dated 31 May 2006, an update was added 8 July 2006. In mid March 2007 we received a newspaper clipping with Stock's smiling countenance showing him to be a current and long term member of the Yarraman Queensland Returned Services League (RSL).  

 Read our original report and you will understand that Stocks is a liar of breathtaking proportions.  To this date he still maintains his claims of being an heroic WWll bomber pilot, Changi escapee and rescuer of damsels in distress.  Stocks has never apologised and shows no remorse for his insults to the intelligence of the veteran community or for the disrespect he shows to the memory of veterans and the families of those real heros who paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

Stocks is aided and abetted in his continuing deceit by the Queensland RSL, starting at the very top down through a district president to where the "buck stops" with the Yarraman RSL thumbing its nose at veterans everywhere.  

On the 14 March 2007, we enquired directly to the current president of the Queensland RSL, about the Stocks situation, he advised that he would look into the matter. On the 8 May 2007 we again enquired as to the situation with Stocks.  The Queensland RSL president advised that he had no news and was awaiting for advice from the Moreton district president. How long does it take to establish that Stocks is - or is not - a full member of the Yarraman RSL, or whether he should remain a member in view of his disgraceful conduct

When it comes to wannabes of the calibre of Stocks the veteran community must not tolerate procrastination and stalling from those who lead us. 

If the RSL is determined to welcome disgraceful people like Stocks in their midst - it is indicitive of why so many genuine veterans will not join the RSL and why so many have resigned in disgust.

 

This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the  Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth. Reports from private citizens are supported by statements of fact and statutory declarations.

 

Surname: Stoove
Christian Names: Marinus (Mark) Johanes
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoia
City or Town: Violet Town
Service #: 3800076
Service: Army
Branch: Artillery
Commencement of service: 29 Jan 1971
Completion of service: 26th July 1972
Case Notes:

Marinus (Mark) Johanes Stoove

 

Stoove is a well known “suffering” Vietnam Veteran in his hometown of Violet Town, Victoria. Stoove has spoken long and loudly of many horrible experiences in Vietnam. The problem is that Mark Stoove missed both the troop carrier HMAS Sydney (aka The Vung Tau Ferry) and the weekly QANTAS charter  to Vietnam and he is one big whining wannabe.

 

 

Stoove has spread some incredible stories around Violet Town about his military service and of course he "suffers" mortifying nightmares that leave him debilitated and explains his penchant to swill booze and generally misbehave

Stoove must have got a bit of a hint about his impending exposure because he left town on a visit to Melbourne when someone at his local pub where he tells his stories pinned a newspaper article about another recent ANZMI  “client” (Gibbons) onto the Pub’s notice board. Here is a small example of Stoove's stories:

“After spending weeks in a trench pinned down by hostile fire from the ground and air that killed two of his friends. They endured extreme humidity and torrential rain with only 1 litre of water each. His unit trekked through the vast jungle with the enemy on their heels to rendezvous with a “Chopper” which after boarding was shot down. They then lay in another trench for a long time. A grenade was hurled into the trench seriously wounding a comrade. Stoove carried his wounded mate with his guts hanging out for 5 kms to safety and for that action he was awarded a medal. He also said he had killed many men and some children as they were armed with hand grenades. He was not able to make claims from The Department of Veterans Affairs because he got a substantial payout for a leg injury he sustained in Vietnam whilst loading rockets for an airstrike. He was told at the time that he could never claim benefits or expenses from the Defence Force again. He and his mates were flown back to Australia at 2 am in the morning and his war service not recognised"

Like many wannabes Stoove knows how to talk the talk of an ex serviceman; however his service was very basic and involved no operational or overseas service.

Stoove was enlisted into the Australian Army as a National Serviceman on the 29 Jan 1971 and was discharged on the 26th July 1972 a total of one year and one hundred and eighty two days.  He was discharged at the cessation of National Service.  Here is a copy of his Proceedings for Discharge.

 

 

The document clearly shows “Service Outside Australia - Nil”.   If he was not in Vietnam then where was he?  He never went anywhere very much. See the document below:

 

 

This document shows that after recruit training he was allocated to Royal Australian Artillery (RAA) for further training, after which he was posted to 16th Light Anti Aircraft Regiment located at Woodside in South Australia until his discharge.

Again we have a dishonest ex serviceman convincing his family and “friends” that he is a damaged Vietnam Veteran and blames all his life woes on his Vietnam service. When in fact he is no more than a false pretender, stealing the honour of genuine veterans

The long suffering family, friends and drinking mates at the Violet Town local pub who have believed his lies and have had to put up with his ridiculous behaviour need worry no more because he is not a damaged veteran, just a lying malingering, wannabe

This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the Vietnam Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth. Reports from private citizens are supported by statements of fact and statutory declarations.

Surname: Storer
Christian Names: Bernard James
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Unknown
Service: Army
Branch: Provost
Commencement of service: 1966
Completion of service: 1968
Case Notes:

3785919 Bernard James Storer was conscripted into the Australian Army in 1966.  Following completion of his Recruit Training, he was posted to Southern Command, Royal Australian Army Provost Corps, Melbourne.  He then completed his Corps Training and was promoted to the rank of Corporal.

On the 21 June, 1967, Storer was posted to 1 Divisional Provost Company, Vietnam.  For the following 9 months he served at Vung Tau, Nui Dat and Saigon as a Military Police Non Commissioned Officer.

His duties consisted of normal Military Police duties in those three locations and his service would not be regarded as out of the ordinary or exceptional.
Storer returned to Australia in March 1968 and returned to his former employment.

In the above photograph taken recently, Storer is wearing the following medals -:

1.      Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75  clasp Vietnam              Entitled

2.      Australian Vietnam Medal                                                          Entitled

3.      Australian Defence Medal                                                          Entitled

4.      National Service Medal                                                              Entitled

5.      Gallantry Cross with Palm (Republic of Vietnam Medal)                Not Entitled

6.      Vietnam Campaign Medal                                                          Entitled.

There seems to be a growing propensity of former Vietnam Veterans to wear this Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.  If it has not been awarded officially by the former Republic of Vietnam Government and it is not recorded on your service records, you are not entitled to wear it.  It is as simple as that. 

The Medal can be purchased on the Internet for about $20.00 and this is what Storer and all the other medal cheats have done to improve their rack.


If you wear medals that you are not entitled to wear, then you can expect to be photographed and placed on the ANZMI site.  Our operatives are dispersed throughout Australia and New Zealand and the veteran community are sickened by the amount of genuine veterans adding non earned medals to their genuine rack for no other reason than to inflate their own ego and glorify their service.

This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the Vietnam Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth. Reports from the private citizens are supported by statement of fact and statutory declarations.

Surname: Strevens
Christian Names: Stephen Conway
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Bega
Service #: R63337
Service: Navy
Branch: Marine Engineering
Commencement of service: 05 Apr 1964
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

 

Stephen (Steve) Strevens, Navy veteran, editor, author and historian – and medal cheat.

Strevens 1 2

 

The above photograph was taken on 24 April 2015, where Strevens appeared in an article in the Bega District News, talking about his latest book, this time about the experiences of a Vietnam veteran.

Strevens is best summed up in this biographical piece, issued as part of a media release from publishers Pan MacMillan Australia:

“Steve Strevens joined the Navy two weeks after his 16th birthday. He served in Vietnam, Malay and Borneo and then became a freelance writer. He was a regular contributor to The Age and has been published in many major newspapers and magazines, both here and overseas. He is a multi-award-winning journalist and has edited two regional newspapers. Steve's eight books include Slow River and the critically acclaimed biography of Collingwood AFL legend Bob Rose. He lives on the far south coast of NSW with his partner and their two ageing, loveable, but quite mad, dogs”.

Strevens served in Vietnam, Malaya and Borneo onboard HMAS Vendetta and HMAS Sydney. For this service he qualified for a number of official medals, as did others who served with him.

Strevens 2

In the above picture Strevens can be seen wearing, from left to right, the following medals:

1. Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) 1945-75 with 3 clasps – entitled.

2. Navy General Service Medal 1962 with 1 clasp – entitled.

3. Vietnam Logistic Support Medal (VLSM) – entitled.

4. Australian Service Medal (ASM) 1945-75 – entitled.

5. Australian Defence Medal (ADM) – entitled.

6. Vietnam Logistic Support Forces Medal – commemorative medal and not to be worn with official medals.

7. HMAS Sydney Medal - commemorative medal and not to be worn with official medals.

8. Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal – entitled.

The two ‘offensive’ medals are shown below:

Strevens 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.

If Strevens was such an acclaimed author and news editor, how did he let the ‘facts’ about these ‘tin’ medals slip through the cracks. Or is the truth of the matter Strevens chose to ignore the truth and add another two medals to make that rack look just that little more appealing to unsuspecting readers.

Stephen Strevens, through your own actions you have inadvertently written your own story and entry in the ever-increasing dishonour roll on ANZMI.

Surname: Stupar
Christian Names: Frank John
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Phillip Island
Service: RAN
Case Notes:

Frank John STUPAR was born at Trieste, Italy, on 4 April 1940. 
He enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy on 28 April 1958, was given service number R54305, and trained at HMAS Cerberus.  His service included postings on several Destroyers, a Frigate and a Mine Sweeper  He carried out active service in Malaya/Borneo on two occasions but never in Vietnam or it's waters.

 



He was discharged from the service at HMAS Harman, Canberra, on 27 April 1967 after nine years service.  At the time of his discharge, Stupar held the rank of Able Seaman and from his service, was eligible for the following medals: 

  
Naval General Service Medal 1915 - 1962;    Eligibility not clearly established.
General Service Medal 1962;  and, in 1997 became eligible for the Australian Active Service Medal (1945-75) for his Malayan Peninsular/Borneo service and the Australian Defence Medal, in 2006.

On the eve of Anzac Day 2006, Stupar attended a semi formal dinner with a number of RAN Veterans and introduced himself as an "ex-RAN Vietnam Veteran".  No medals were worn at the dinner by any of the attendees.

During the course of the evening, Stupar regaled those present with a number of stories that were so outrageous, they were unbelievable.  Stupar must be a real dill to think he could pull the wool over the eyes of some of these crusty old salts whose service entitled most of them to be classified as 'lifers'.

He stated that he was on a patrol boat that sailed up the Mekong Delta and emphasised that it was a secret mission that had never been disclosed.  ("Top Secret" is a common wannabe phrase that is used to circumvent any questions about their fantasy stories.) 

He also stated that he was a survivor of the HMAS VOYAGER tragedy, when the Voyager was cut in half and sunk by the HMAS Melbourne off Jervis Bay during exercises on 10 February 1964, with the tragic loss of 82 lives.  Sure Frank - nobody would think to check.  Especially when, by spouting his big-noting fantasies this wannabe steals the honour of those who perished and denigrates the many survivors who have battled since 1964 to come to terms with the tragedy.  The survivors suffered the trauma of the accident, their rescue at night and the further trauma of having to endure two Royal Commissions which failed to make any findings that would enable them to get on with their lives and careers.   

Stupar's stories were so far fetched that after the dinner, several of the group checked the Vietnam Veterans Nominal Roll and the Ships Crew list of HMAS VOYAGER at the time of the collision in 1964.  Stupar did not appear on either list.

On Anzac Day at Yarrawonga, which is situated west of Albury on the Murray River, there are two marches.  The first is at Mulwala on the north bank of the river, the second is at Yarrawonga on the south bank of the river.

Stupar marched in the first march at Mulwala and was photographed by a reporter from the local paper, the Yarrawonga Chronicle.  He is second from the left in the photograph, wearing a substantial rack of medals, sticking out his chest with pride, or is it arroganceafter having told the reporter that he was a Petty Officer. He was discharged an Able Seaman.


 



Stupar is shown wearing the following medals:

General Service Medal 1962......................qualified by 2nd tour of duty Borneo/Malay Peninsular

 Australian Service Medal 1945-75...............no qualification - Stupar served 29 days during his 1st trip to Malaysian waters.  This medal requires 30 days service.

Naval General Service Medal.....................No qualification - requires 180 days service, not 29

Australian Active Service Medal................ qualified - awarded GSM 1962.

Vietnam Medal............................................no qualification

Vietnam Campaign Medal...........................no qualification

 Luckily for him, Stupar had shot through before his dinner companions marched in the second march at Yarrawonga.  After his lies of the previous evening, and the associated lack of respect shown to the victims and survivors of the crew of the HMAS Voyager by his stories of being one of them, he would have had to face a 'jury of his peers', who now have no respect for him. 
They would have had more anger and even less respect for him if they had seen him marching at the Anzac Day march wearing medals from the Vietnam War that he has no entitlement to wear.   

How low can you go Frank?  Wearing medals that were not awarded, falsely claiming war service, and publicly posing amongst genuine Veterans on the most sacred of days in any proud Veterans calendar.  You are a pathetic little man. 
 
When the RAN Veterans returned to their various homes after the reunion and march at Yarrawonga, ANZMI was contacted and advised of Stupar's stupidity and an investigation was carried out by our researchers. 
Our research is supported by statutory declarations, copies of official documents obtained from the National Archives of Australia, and cross referenced against numerous government and ex-service organisation web sites, the Vietnam Veterans Nominal Roll, HMAS Voyager Crew Lists, books about the Voyager disaster and transcripts of the two Royal Commissions into the sinking of HMAS Voyager.

As is our standard operating procedure prior to publishing the results of our research, Frank Stupar was contacted by ANZMI and asked to provide evidence to support his claims of 'top secret' missions during the Vietnam War.
As is common when we ask questions of wannabes, that seemingly have no answers, we have received no contact whatsoever from Stupar.  He has failed to face up to his shortcomings.   

We at ANZMI sincerely hope he will be sufficiently embarrassed by this exposure of his bogus medal displays and 'Hollywood' style yarns and  will refrain from repeating his Anzac Day 2006 performance.  We urge him to be satisfied with his achievements, the service he has given to his country, and wear with pride the medals he has been awarded for that service. 

 Phillip Island RSL (sub-branch) might wish to check on exactly what Naval service Stupar noted on his application form.

 Information on the HMAS VOYAGER tragedy can easily be found on the internet.

 

This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the Vietnam Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth. Reports from private citizens are supported by statements of fact and statutory declarations.

Surname: Suba
Christian Names: Robert
Country: Australia
State or Province: South Australia
City or Town: Victor Harbour
Service #: Not Known
Service: ARA & ARES
Branch: Not Known
Commencement of service: Unknown
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

When we are hit with disasters from time to time, we all know we can rely on community service groups such as the State Emergency Service (SES). These men and women give up much of their own time and energy to support fellow citizens in times of great need. Robert Suba is one such man with a long involvement in the SES at Victor Harbour in South Australia and for that he is to be applauded. Unfortunately, like many others in emergency service work, Mr Suba does not seem to understand the protocol in place when it comes to the wearing of medals.

In the above photo, taken at a formal commemorative service in Victor Harbour, we can see displayed on Suba’s chest, from left to right, the National Medal with 2 clasps, the Australian Defence Medal, the South Australia Emergency Services Medal, the SES Long Service Medal and the United Nations International Year of the Volunteer Medal.
This is a pretty impressive rack and the 2 clasps to Suba’s National Medal, indicate that he has over 35 years of community service, something he should rightly feel proud of.

However, only 2 of the medals, the National Medal and the ADM, are allowed to be displayed on the left side of the chest. These are official Australian National Medals and protocol dictates that they not be mixed for display with other Sate/Territory, or commemorative medals.

The protocol is clearly outlined on the Australian Government’s official awards and decoration website, It’s an Honour www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/awards/wearing.cfm
Similarly, the protocol is also laid out on the South Australian SES website at www.ses.sa.gov.au/public/download.jsp?id=71598
And as Mr Suba is also a member of the Victor Harbour RSL Sub-branch, had he checked the RSL’s own site, he would also have been made aware of how decorations and awards are to be displayed. www.rslsa.org.au/customdata/index.cfm?fu...emID=5159&OrgID=1113

The bottom line is that there is no excuse for anyone to be wearing a mixture of Official National medals, State awards and commemorative ‘tin’ medals.

To his credit Robert Suba promptly responded to our query regarding the medals he was wearing in the photograph. He told us that at the time of adding the SA Emergency Services medal, the SES had not completed its dress code regarding the wearing of medals. However, after reading the current SES protocol he now understands the correct and official protocol and has given an undertaking that he will rectify the mounting of his official and State decorations.

Suba’s case is yet another example of both ESO’s and emergency service organisations either being unaware of, or choosing to ignore, the protocols which exist regarding awards and decorations. This is a constant issue for us at ANZMI and perhaps it is time for organisations affected by this to send out a written reminder to their members on what is required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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