Manson

Date of Entry: 07/11/2018
Surname: Manson
Christian Names: Dennis Smeaton
Country: New Zealand
State or Province: .
City or Town: Auckland
NZ -Which Island:
  • North Island
Service #: 18223
Service: RNZN & Royal New Zealand Dental Corps
Branch: Dental
Commencement of service: 21 May 1964
Completion of service: August 1987
Case Notes:

 

Medals:        

  • NZ Operational Service Medal
  • Vietnam Medal
  • NZ General Service Medal 1992 (Warlike) with Clasp: VIETNAM
  • NZ Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal
  • NZ Defence Service Medal with Clasp: REGULAR
  • Silver Star (USA) – not approved for wear by NZ citizens
  • Purple Heart (USA) – not approved for wear by NZ citizens
  • South Vietnamese Campaign Medal

Dennis Smeaton Manson is on the executive, and is the welfare officer, of the Devonport (Auckland, NZ) RSA.

His photo and profile info is displayed on their website.

 

Manson

 

Manson is also a liar, fraud and medal cheat!

Manson is a decorated Vietnam veteran, awarded six official medals (listed above). However that wasn’t sufficient for this self-avowed hero, who chose to obtain and wear 2 United States medals on his rack . One is the Purple Heart, a medal known as the “blood medal”. The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration.

Even that wasn’t sufficient for Manson, who decided to obtain one of America’s most prestigious awards, The US Silver Star. Because of this decorations seniority it is almost always presented by a high-ranking military officer or US diplomat. This would also be widely reported throughout New Zealand, and in military circles, as it is such a rare award.

According to Manson, his Silver Star and Purple Heart simply arrived in the mail.

This is what he claimed when asked for an explanation

“In September 2011 I received a package from Washington DC and wondered what it was. To my astonishment it was 4 medals with a note with words to the effect of "We have noticed you have not requested your medals. Please find the medals enclosed. Thank you for your service."

"I went and showed Jimmy Jones the then President of the Devonport RSA the note and medals. I told him I know I am NOT entitled to 2 of the medals as they are for US Service personnel. He then said we should have a presentation. He arranged for The Flagstaff Devonport's local paper to be in attendance and presented the medals 3 Oct 2011”.

Manson was half right, he most certainly was not entitled to wear two of the medals. The fact is, he was not entitled to wear all four of the medals that arrived "out of the blue in a plain package", apparently from Washington, DC. Apparently the then President of his RSA (Jimmy Jones) took Manson's word that he was entitled and apparently, insisted on a full presentation in front of the local media.

Here is the article and photo in the local paper showing Manson presented with the two medals by the President of the Devonport RSA.

Manson2

Source:   The Flagstaff – Devonport 3rd Oct 2011

 

In an attempt to remove any doubts over the award of these medals, Manson then approached the NZ Defence Force requesting they acknowledge his claim that the US Government retrospectively awarded him these medals in 2011.

It was very quickly proved that Manson’ claims were fanciful, that he was never awarded either the US Silver Star or the Purple Heart, and his request was declined.

We have a copy of the report from the Advisor Medals Policy of Headquarters, Defence Personnel Executive, NZDF, stating:



We are aware of the campaign being raised for recognition of this award by Mr Dennis Manson.

 

NZDF have found no documentary evidence to support Mr Manson’s claims that the US Government retrospectively awarded him these awards in 2011.   All we have seen to date is his claim and the bare medals.

 

We have not sighted any citations, nomination forms or official letters from the US military to support his claims.

 

Attached for your information is the approved listing of all awards for service in Vietnam. There is still further research being conducted for some of these awards.   A US Silver Star would have been a major feature in this list if anyone had known of it.

 

LDA D.S. Manson was WIA at Tam Quan near Bong Son on the 1st March 1970 in the same incident where 80166 Sgt GS Watt, RNZAF was killed. Both were subjected to the same medical evacuation and NOTICAS action. Sadly Sgt Watt died of his wounds in Bong Son, LDA Manson was treated and recovered.

 

The NZ Services Medical Team unit war diary does not mention any US awards for Mr Manson as a result of his actions that day. There is also no indication that we can find of any NZ gallantry nominations from the two unit Commanding Officers over this period. HQ V Force files do not show any indication of any NZ gallantry nominations being raised through the NZ Services Medical Team or offer of US awards from the US Army HQ they were part of.

 

Finally – Ian McGibbon’s authoritative book on Vietnam “New Zealand’s Vietnam War” covers this incident in one paragraph on p.333. It confirms that Manson was ‘lightly wounded’ and that Sgt Gordon Watt (RNZAF) died of his wounds following this incident, but little else as he could find no other verification.

As a long serving member, who is also an executive member of an RSA, Manson would have been aware of medal protocols, especially involving such high profile decorations.

He would also have been advised by colleagues and NZDF following his request, of the rules around wearing of decorations under NZ Law, as follows:

'..No person may wear a medal or decoration awarded to them by a foreign government unless it has been approved for wear by the Sovereign.'   The Military Decorations and Distnictive Badges Act 1918 and the  Military Badges and Distinctive Badges Act 1974 refer.

On the official NZDF medals website is displayed the only awards presented to NZ personnel by the Government of the United States of America.

The Gallantry Awards to New Zealanders by the Government of the United States for service in Vietnam which have been approved for acceptance and wear:

Bronze Star with ‘V’ Device (for gallantry) - two awards

822606 Captain B.D. Chippindale, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps
For acts of gallantry while attached to 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry (United States Army)

30650 Captain B. Meldrum, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps

- For acts of gallantry while attached to 11th Armoured Cavalry Regiment (United States Army)

Distinguished Flying Cross - one award

82805 Flying Officer M.R. Callanan, Royal New Zealand Air Force

- For acts of gallantry while attached to 19th Tactical Air Support Squadron (United States Air Force)

 

Here is the link to this item: http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz/news/archive2009.html#recipients

No mention of Manson there!

Worryingly, the RNZN has a policy of bringing in the 'old and bold' to talk to new recruits about their experiences in the Navy. Manson has been paraded as a decorated hero, to speak of his bravery and show off his unique array of decorations.


This photo shows Manson (highlighted) with the current (as of Nov 2018) Executive of the Devonport RSA.



Manson1

 

Dennis Smeaton Manson is a VALOUR THIEF and a FRAUD. He has knowingly obtained a high order US military gallantry in combat (The Silver Star), and an award for being wounded when in combat with the enemy (the Purple Heart).

Manson has then represented himself publicly as a decorated combat veteran. He has stolen the honour of those US and other service persons who have legitimately earned the Silver Star in order to present himself as a ‘war hero’ to others, and has also fraudulently represented himself to have been wounded in action with the enemy by wearing the US Purple Heart.


Below is the Act Manson happily breached - twice!
 

mason4

 

Finally, Manson is guilty of breaching the Military Decorations and Distinctive Badges Act 1918 (copy above).



Perhaps the Devonport RSA may like to mitigate their shame by laying a complaint with the NZ Police over Manson’s disgusting deceit!

Manson is a deceitful character who should be booted out of the RSA altogether for bringing discredit upon that organisation. When the RSA is currently struggling to attract younger members, imposters like Manson show total disregard for honour and medals protocols, that have been in existence for over 100 years".

He is a fraud.

Following an approach to the Devonport RSA, and the National RSA, we received a copy of a letter sent to Manson advising that he was breaching RSA rules (rule 14) and advised to respond.

Since then we’ve been advised Manson has agreed to remove the US Purple Heart and the US Silver Star from his rack. The CEO of the RSA National Office has since confirmed the above and expressed the attitude to such issues, saying “the RNZRSA and RSA clubs take this stuff seriously”

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