Caton

Date of Entry: 17/03/2020
Surname: Caton
Christian Names: William
Country: Australia
State or Province: Queensland
City or Town: Bribie Island, formerly of Killarney
Service #: R53690
Service: Royal Australian Navy
Branch: Clearance Diver
Commencement of service: 22 November 1957
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

William "Bill" Caton alleges his wearing of false medals over the past twelve years is the fault of an RSL Secretary who is deceased. It is a very lame excuse, considering the Secretary mentioned, cannot defend himself. In any case, Caton would have clearly known he had not been awarded the medals concerned, particularly the prestigious Member of the British Empire Medal (MBE) which, in addition to being a medals cheat also makes him a liar.


The medals are:

Member of the Order of the British Empire MBE. Not entitled
Australian Active Service Medal (AASM)
Naval General Service Medal (NGSM)
General Service Medal (GSM) 1962
Vietnam Medal (VM) Not entitled
Australian Service Medal (ASM)
Australian Defence Medal (ADM)
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (RVCM) Not entitled
Pinjat Jasa Malaysia (PJM)

Caton is not entitled to three of the medals, but may be entitled to a lesser medal for his two days of Vietnam service out of sight of the Vietnam coast. The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Nominal Roll details that Caton spent 23 days aboard HMAS Melbourne in Vietnam. Whether Caton was on board is a mystery, because his RAN service record does not reflect involvement in that voyage. HMAS Melbourne escorted HMAS Sydney to Vietnam waters from 31 May 1965 to 22 June 1965 which was 23 days, as shown on the DVA Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans. HMAS Melbourne's actual time in Vietnam waters, consisted of only two days, the 7th and 8th of June 1965 and was out of sight of land the whole time.

"In accordance with information from Ship Movements Sheets – Naval History Section – Sea Power Centre, Australia, I am able to confirm that HMAS Melbourne has qualifying time and eligibility for the Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 with Clasp ‘Vietnam’ , Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal and Returned from Active Service Badge for the period being 07/06/1965 – 8/06/1965".


Caton's record of service, clearly shows that he was aboard HMAS Supply on the 7th and 8th June 1965. HMAS Supply is not listed as ever participating in the Vietnam war.


His record shows he was located at HMAS Terror in Singapore from 14 March 1965 until 23 May 1965 and then aboard HMAS Supply from 23 May 1965 until 22 June 1965,

On that May/June 65 voyage, HMAS Melbourne escorted HMAS Sydney from the Singapore area to Vietnam waters. HMAS Melbourne never went within sight of the Vietnam Coast, but many years later, after much lobbying, the crew were presented with the Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal (VLSM), which is the medal that Caton could be wearing instead of the VM and the RVCM, if he was in fact aboard HMAS Melbourne at the time.

Which is correct? The DVA Nominal roll that puts Caton on board HMAS Melbourne on 7th 8th June 65 or his official RAN file, which puts him aboard HMAS Supply on 7th 8th June 1965?

The twenty three days in Vietnam shown on the DVA nominal roll was actually the time that HMAS Melbourne departed Singapore until it returned to Singapore. Caton's whole Vietnam experience would have been two days out of sight of land in Vietnam waters. For that service, he wears the same medals as an Infantry soldier who had to serve one hundred and eighty one days on Vietnam soil.

The MBE is a very prestigious medal presented under the previous imperial system for outstanding service in a senior position. All recipients are listed on the London Gazette. Caton is not listed and has never been awarded the medal.


Below, is the "official" reason why Caton wears the three false medals. The information was presented by executives of the Killarney RSL

"Bill was attending a meeting in Killarney when his medals were stolen from inside his car. A week later, Sub-Branch secretary Trevor Smart (deceased) gave him a rack of medals to wear and replace the ones stolen. Some time later, Caton’s medals were returned to his car however he didn’t get around to replacing them and remained wearing the rack given him by Mr Smart".

What a load of codswallop. The above happened around twelve years ago and Caton continued to wear the medals for twelve years.

An investigator was also advised by a Killarney RSL executive, that Caton served on four different ships in Vietnam and there was no record because RAN never kept records. More Codswallop

After trying to contact Caton we received this email from Mr Peter Webster PhD Secretary of the Killarney RSL:

KILLARNEY RSL SUB-BRANCH
Returned & Services League of Australia (Qld)
“The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance”


President: Jim McGee

Ph: xxxxxx

Secretary: Peter Webster

Ph: xxxxxx

Email: rslkillarney@gmail.com
Send all correspondence to: The Secretary, PO Box 69, Killarney, Qld, 4373


Greetings,
Mr xxxxxxx (Investigator?).
I have been informed of your 'investigation' (23 February 2020) and am in receipt of copies of emails initially sent to ex-President (Killarney RSL Sub-Branch) Mr xxxxxxxx and/or ex-Secretary Mrs xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

With the limited information currently available to me, it appears that person or persons unknown to us, (identified in the emails as 'a friend') have asserted that one of our members, Mr William (Bill) Caton, is being investigated by you, for alleged wearing of medals to which the allegation clearly infers, he is not entitled, namely the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (1965).

Please advise me of your role in this investigation?

It is of concern to us that proper protocol appears not to have been followed, in that this matter has been brought to the attention of Mr John Skinner President of Warwick RSL Sub-Branch, which as you will be aware is a different 'entity' to ours.
Further, prejudicial language such as "He is a 'big noise' in the Killarney (Qld) RSL Sub-Branch" and "I believe this man is a medal cheat", would appear, at least on the surface, to negate any presumption of innocence?

In all further communications, you are requested to contact either myself (as Secretary) or my President Mr James (Jim) McGee, details above on our letterhead.

Peter Webster PhD
Facebook: Killarney RSL Sub-Branch Military Memorabilia Museum.
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Due to member shortages, the problem has now developed within RSL Sub Branches, where persons with not one day of military service can be voted on to Sub Branch Boards, and make decisions that affect genuine veterans. Peter Webster, Secretary, Killarney RSL Sub Branch is a classic example of how the RSL organisation, is being infiltrated by persons who have no affiliation with veterans other than a possible family member.

The signatory, Peter Webster PhD Secretary, is a Citizens Auxiliary member and has never served in the Australian or any other Defence Force. It is incongruous that he should be involved in matters involving Service members of the RSL. For those interested, here is a photograph of Peter Webster PhD:


Caton joined the RAN in 1957. After failing his first Clearance Diver course in 1960, he qualified as a Clearance Diver in 1961. He then served as an Able Seaman and Leading Seaman, then back to Able Seaman, then Acting Leading Seaman by March 1969. Caton was withdrawn from an Advanced Clearance Divers course in 1967 after being deemed unsuitable.

The Killarney RSL also claim to have proof that Caton served on land in Vietnam and therefore was entitled to wear the two Vietnam medals. One of the two medals actually required 181 days, and in any case, they already say his wearing of false medals was a result of a theft from his car. There were forty eight RAN Special Forces Clearance Divers posted to Vietnam between February 1967 and May 1971 who earned the two medals. Caton was not one of them.

Caton is a dishonest medals cheat who dazzled the Killarney RSL with his Clearance Diver background and his false medals rack. Any prestige he was due, has been erased by his big noting dishonesty.

There are Clearance Diver berths, on HMAS ANZMI, these are usually filled by people falsely claiming such service. It is unusual to have one on board, who was a genuine Clearance Diver, but has been blowing false bubbles as a medals cheat.

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