Roque Charles "China" Hammal
Over the years he has obtained more medals to add to his official ‘rack’ of three but it is suggested that he did this not only in an attempt to further his ‘heroic’ war service but also to add credence to his far fetched stories.
Some wannabes claim that their records are "Secret", have been "Sanitised" or have been "Destroyed" in an attempt to further their standing in the Veteran community. Some records are classified Secret when it becomes a matter of National security. An Able-Seaman would not fall into this category. Sanitised is a new ‘buzz-word’ among wannabes with the implication that should you gain access to a persons file then you will not be able to see the complete file. Records are never Destroyed. Some wannabes claim this has happened and at times attempt to provide bogus proof of this. In conjunction with this the 30 year secrecy act for Viet Nam is over.
Hammal made application for and was issued his Service Medals in the following order:
Navy Tin Medals such as the HMAS Sydney Medal - A tin association medal which is purchased by the wearer and has no official recognition. This medal is shown below and is not to be worn on an authorised rack of medals
The Australian Logistic Support Forces Medal - A tin commemorative medal which is purchased by the wearer and has no official recognition. This medal is shown below and is not to be worn on an authorised rack of medals
Foreign Service Medal - A tin commemorative medal which is purchased by the wearer and has no official recognition. This medal is shown below and is not to be worn on an authorised rack of medals
If worn at all, these tin medals should be worn on the right breast, inline with awarded medals which are worn by the recipient on the left breast.
You will see from evidence produced below that ‘China’ Hammal’s real Viet Nam Service consisted of approximately 12 hours in Vietnamese waters on the HMAS Swan, a ship that did not anchor. An extract of evidence from an AAT hearing on the activities of HMAS Swan in Vietnamese waters is shown below.
During his childhood ( 7 & 8 yrs old) he was billeted with his parents at HMS Tamar on Stonecutters Island (1959-60) which was the Royal Navy shore base in Hong Kong. This is confirmed on his Dept of Navy Personal Particulars Form CDO 4664 dated 12 Aug 69 shown here.
Fact 4. A search of HMS Danae’s (Royal Navy) crew listing (1967-71) does not show any person named Hammal. Another absurd claim easily disproved because the full crew listing may be found at [bookmark us first....this will take you away from the site] http://www.fullspeed.to/hmsdanaeand Hammal’s naval records do not show any posting or attachments to not only the RN but to HMS Danae from the RAN.
Claim 6. From Hammal’s local community newspaper, the Cockburn Gazette, dated June 11 - June 17, 2002 in an interview given, Hammal states, "China served in the Hong Kong Navy and the Australian Navy for more than 12 years which involved three years in the Viet Nam war."
Nowhere can it be found that Hammal refuted the above claims.
Fact 7. As can be seen in Fact 1 above, Hammal never enlisted in the RAN until 18 Oct 69. Taking into account the time required for him to complete his "rookies" course at HMAS Cerberusit is just farcical to claim he went to Viet Nam in 1969.
To be a recipient of this medal, you must have a good standing in the community and a flawless record. Non-disclosure of discrepancies can and does see the award rescinded. This is unfortunate due to the outstanding work that Hammal has done within the community, but lies and deceit are not tolerated and the reward for this is removal of the medal as has been the case here. Veterans were outraged at this award and took appropriate action to have it rescinded. This is now going to create further expense for the Veteran community as this plaque below displaying OAM after Hammal’s name will have to be recast to reflect the truth. This is in Fremantle, Western Australia.
This applies to anyone who feels they have a need to wear tin.
This photo is the latest taken - 30 Nov 2003
Cheers China.........the beers are on us.
There will no doubt be many comments passed on this site entry. Please come back and visit again as we will post them all here for you to see......good and bad. Your details will be recorded by CPMH but not displayed. This section is to allow you to make your judgement on if we have been fair in exposing the truth. This is the area where you can have your say......not our guest book.
THE CHINA HAMMAL COMMENTS SECTION
Sent: Thursday, 25 December 2003 9:16 AM
Subject: China & PERTH launch
Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours.
Here's a snippet and prediction . . . . .
Tenix in Williamstown have just sent out lots of invitations to the launch of PERTH(3), happening on Saturday 20th March 2004. Our dearest "friend" China would have received one, along wilt all PERTH Association members.
Here's my prediction . . . . . I'd almost bet that China will accept the invitation, and if he does, he'll "demand" money from the ANVVWA ("his" welfare association) to cover the cost of airfares and accommodation for at least himself, and possibly his partner. Reason to be given will be that since he is proposing to replicate the PERTH bells, the welfare association should pay for his attendance so he can personally make arrangements for the bell "donation".
Sent: Friday, 26 December 2003 8:52 PM
fellas what can I say? After what seems years the XXX fool has been nailed to the wall.
There is a God! You do realise that China will bleat his innocence to anyone that will listen.
But he didn't reckon on the care factor. WE DON'T CARE!!!!!!!!!!!!
PS I have taken the liberty to forward that article on to the number of ex-members of the RAN who had the misfortune to serve with the XXX lying XXXXX XXXX.
Can I ring a friend?
Well the lies have been around for a long time and now we finally have the truth. There are a lot in the west who will have egg on their face once they read this entry. Well done CPMH. All us "real" veterans applaud you for your efforts. Do government departments read your site? If they do they should gather the facts, compare it to what they have on record and then conduct their own investigations as there is a lot more to this "bubblie" than you have shown here. Congratulations on getting his OAM removed too. He is not a worthy recipient of this award and if he had it, it would only belittle all those who have it or receive it in the future. It is now up to the veterans in WA to replace the plaque that displays his name with OAM after it..........the bill should be sent to China for its replacement.
NB: CPMH were not responsible for the removal of the OAM award. This was taken up by concerned Veterans who, under their own steam ensured that the truth was known concerning this award. CPMH congratulates them for their concerns and attention to this matter.
Sent: Sunday, 28 December 2003 9:17 AM
To: CPMH (Wannabe's)
As the advert' says....."I don't know how he can live with himself"
Thankyou CPMH, you've done a sterling job, I can only hope someone takes the ***** to court.
Sent: Sunday, 28 December 2003 10:45 PM
Subject: Roque (china) Hammal
To the instigator of this website.
I am very concerned that your organisation has taken it upon itself to "expose" persons who you claim to be not entitled to wear the medals or have not served their country in the manner which appears to be supported by the official records of the military system and D.V.A.
I am also very well aquainted with China and can vouch for his support of the veteran community in general. I believe that I would be dead or very incapable of looking after myself or anyone else if I had not received some very genuine assistance from China.
I realise that there are many people who do pretend to be what they are not. These are usually detected very quickly and do not need the national publicity of your website to deter them from offending further once discovered.
In fact, I feel very sorry for those that feel they need to act out a role to which they probably could never have belonged.
Your insistence that China wears medals to which he is not entitled is one which should be referred to the Commonwealth Police if you have genuine information that this is the case. You do not have the authority to libel anyone, regardless of the "crime" you think they may have commited. That is exactly what you are doing and your website and its various connections are being investigated further to establish what charges may be brought against you personally and anyone else found to be linked to your site.
It would appear that this attempt to villify various individuals may be connected to your own shortcomings. Perhaps you would care to make personal contact with me through my e-mail address, I will be happy to let you "investigate" me, but I assure you, that I will be doing the same for you and anyone connected with you.
I will be seeking further information about you and will refer all found to the appropriate authorities.
Yours very sincerely,
Another error in your drivel is that HMS Tamar is not on Stonecutters island it is situated on Hong Kong Island . Please print only correct facts - this includes the facts regarding the wearing of commemorative medals and the length of navy diving courses.
NB:....when one quotes facts one should check facts first. http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9704/11/hong.kong/
To those of you at CPMH who have put China Hammal's name up in lights on your websight, and "exposed" him for not being entitled to wear the Vietnam Campaign Medal, you may want to start thinking about how you are going to pay the defamation suit that I hope he brings against you. The fact that not one of you have the guts to publicly state who you are, will not help you in the end. You will be exposed for the world to see and there are those of us who will ensure that your names are spread around, just as you have spread China's name. The difference between you and us, is that despite your so called criteria, we will do our homework properly and get it right before we name you. In your report on how investigations are done you claim that in the case of real veterans, they are always given the chance to cease and desist before publication. Just when did you contact China and give him this option? You didn't, and he would not have done so in any case. He doesn't have to prove anything to you anonymous cowards. Like the gutless wonders you are, you went ahead and published this litany of lies without even following your own guidelines and checking the facts.
The people who have compiled the data on China have very conveniently changed things around to suit their own twisted ideas of what really transpired during his service in the RAN. Had they bothered to check the Australian Navy in Vietnam Veterans Welfare Association (WA Inc) website, and clicked on to "Committee," they would have been able to read both his claims to wearing the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the OAM Story. There is ample proof there that shows he has been investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, The Commonwealth Fraud Squad, and the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia WA Branch Inc, all of whom have verified his entiltlement to this medal.
You claim that the Vietnamese Campaign Medal was awarded with the Queen's permission for 181 days continuous "Special Service" in Vietnam or adjacent waters. If you had done your homework, you would have known that no Australian navy ship served in adjacent waters off the coast of Vietnam for 181 continuous days during the Vietnam conflict. The four destroyers HMAS Perth, Hobart, Brisbane and Vendetta were deployed for periods in excess of six months from their home port of Sydney on their tours of duty, but they did not serve continuously on the Gunline for 181 days at any time. There must have been some other criteria for the awarding of this medal to RAN sailors. We know what it was, why don't you?
As far as his commemorative medals are concerned, there is no law which says he cannot wear them wherever he likes once he becomes a civilian. Some ex service Associations have made their own rules about the wearing of these medals. The Australian Navy in Vietnam Veterans Welfare Association (WA), of which China is the Honourable Chairman does not have any such regulations. If he chooses to wear them for whatever reason, that is his business, and neither you nor any other association has the right to say he cannot wear them. As someone already explained to you, despite your sarcastic remark of "yeah....right on," those of us who served on the logistic support ships, ie HMAS Sydney and her escorts, and were not real heros like yourselves had to fight for many years for recognition which was why some chose to wear commemorative medals. Had you bothered to do your checking on that fact, you would have known that to be true.
The writer points out that China's real service in Vietnam consisted of 12 hours in Vietnamese waters on HMAS Swan, and produces a letter to back this up. Unfortunately this letter never mentions anything about the Swan being in Vietnamese waters during this "Operation Awkward," which by the way was a common operational name given to many exercises during my 20 years in the RAN. The letter mentions Thailand and Hong Kong but not Vietnam and gives no dates when this particular "Operation Awkward" took place.
China has never claimed that he was a clearance diver in the RAN. He wore a cuff rate (badge) on his uniform to indicate that he was a ship's diver. Under no circumstances would he have been able to wear this badge and perform diving duties if he was not qualified to do so. As one of his Petty Officers on HMAS Perth in 1973, I distinctly remember that China was often required to perform diving duties (Bubblie) as opposed to Engineering duties (Stoker), and for that reason whilst on the Engineering Watchbill, most of his duties allowed him to be freed up quickly for diving duties if required.
Your writer disputes China's claim that he served on HMS Danae for a period of time during the Vietnam conflict, and provides a website that lists the ships crew from 1967-71. A check of this website reveals that it primarily concerns HMS Danae's first commission from 1967-69, when it returned to the UK, and lists the crew for that period of time. It does not show any deployment details past October 2, 1969, which was before China enlisted in the RAN. China could very well have been posted to HMS Danae on temporary duties during his service and it would not necessarily show up in his Service Records. Since you guys are so clever and have access to everything, it should be a simple matter for you to cross reference HMS Danae's later deployments and those of the RAN ships China was on and see if you can match up anything. You might just be surprised. Many of these types of posting were logged only by confirmation signals between ships and c.c.'d to relevant authorities in Navy Office. During my time on HMAS Perth in 1981, I did temporary exchange duties with USS Charles F Adams for about five days in the Indian Ocean. This is not listed on my Service Records. My service records also do not indicate that whilst serving at sea, I was hospitalised at HMAS Penguin for a week on two occasions. This is confirmed by my medical records.
In China's claim that he served at sea for a period of time, your writer is clutching at straws by stating that he served on "sea going ships" as opposed to being "at sea." In the RAN a person is posted either to shore or to sea. That the ship may not be underway, does not diminish the fact that a person is classified as being "at sea." by Navy Office. A special payment called Hard Laying Allowance was paid to all sailors serving on ships irrespective of whether the ship was actually underway or sitting in dry dock, and an extra two weeks leave per year was granted to these sailors to compensate for the fact that they were at sea and living in abnormal conditions compared to their counterparts on shore based postings.
China's service record indicates that he spent an extraordinary amount of time at sea from April 1970 until December 1979. This is completely out of proportion to the normal sea/shore ratio for engineering sailors of his rank during that time, which was approximately two and a half years at sea followed by 18 months in a shore posting. It appears that his only shore time was taken to allow him to do the necessary courses required for further training and promotion. Perhaps your writer can explain this anomoly.
It has already been shown that just because a person was posted to a ship, doesn't necessarily mean that he was actually on the ship for the full period of time without going elsewhere. China joined the RAN in October 1969, Saigon fell in 1975. China has stated he served for 12 years in the RAN, which involved 3 years in the Vietnam War. He has also stated he was sent to HMAS Parramatta during HMAS Perth's refit in Sydney and was on that ship during the fall of Saigon. Whilst Saigondid not actually fall until 1975, the writing was on the wall long before that time and the Americans had started a massive pull out. HMAS Parramatta was in Asian waters during that time when the Americans started to pull out of Vietnam. That is the period of time China refers to during his HMAS Parramatta sea service. Simply because a particular ship that he was on was not actually in Vietnamese waters has no bearing on where China might have been at any time during his service career. His claim is for 207 days in Vietnam. If you had bothered to check the movements of the ships he served on from 1970 until his return to HMAS Perth in May 1974, you might have realised that most of the times these ships were in Asian waters.
Your writer conveniently supplied me with China's leave record for his period of 18 months service on HMAS Swan. He states that China had 90 days leave. RAN regulations would only have entitled him to 63 days for that length of time on a ship. So how did he manage to get an extra 27 days? Where was he, and when was this leave taken in relation to the ships movements?
Your claim that an Able Seaman (ie China) would never have records classified "Secret" and be destroyed are also false. If you bothered to check the ANVVWA website there is a letter from the Department of Defence confirming that China's files namely, Postings/Transfers of Branch Files, Removals and Associated Allowances Files and Overseas Allowances Files were destroyed in 1990 and 1989 respectively. Why would an Able Seaman have these files destroyed? If there were nothing in these files that were not "Undicloseable," why were they destroyed? China's Service Rankings do not have any bearing on what he actually did or where he went at various times during his RAN career. This is what you people have not and cannot establish.
You congratulate some Veterans for ensuring that China's OAM was rescinded. It is a pity that these small minded people didn't clean up their own backyards first. They live in glass houses, and shouldn't throw stones. China never asked for this award, and it was other Veterans who nominated him for it in the first place in appreciation for all he has done for the Veteran community, irrespective of which Service they served in.. He filled in the appropriate forms correctly and answered all questions asked of him honestly. It is only a few senile old fools in other Associations, jealous of China's standing in the community, who are trying to bring him down. This is known as the Tall Poppy Syndrome. If they really are that upset about his name and OAM post nominals appearing on the plaque, then let them replace it at their cost. The rest of us don't care. If it wasn't for China's efforts, the Monument to RAN Personnel who served and lost their lives in Vietnam would not even be there. He got off his arse and made it happen.
China's mates will stand by him, and like him, we don't give a toss about you, or the rest of the backstabbers. You people have no right to set yourselves up as Judge, Jury and Executioners. If you believe you are correct in your assassination of China's character, then I challange all of you responsible for compiling and publishing these accusations to at least have the intestinal fortitude to put your names to the accusations. If you believe you have the proof, take it to the appropriate authorities for them to investigate properly.
7th March 2009
Hammal has had his TPI Special Rate reinstated – this is a scandalous affair and a sad day for the veteran community
Chairman of the Australian Naval Vietnam Veterans Welfare Association (ANVVWA) Peter Denver has gleefully advised that China Hammal has had his TPI, Special Rate reinstated. Reinstatement has been verbally confirmed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and it is a sad day for truth, honesty and the integrity of Veterans everywhere. This is what Denver has written:
“Quite often I get asked how our Association founder is getting on these days. Those of you that know China Hammal are probably aware that there were people in the veteran community that did not like him, and complained to DVA that his status as a TPI was not based on service related conditions. These complaints resulted in DVA investigators coming to the conclusion that he was not entitled to his TPI pension, and subsequently took it off him. As a result of these malicious complaints from other veterans, he had no money, had been advised he had to repay over $230,000 to DVA, was unable to work, was reduced to handouts from charitable organizations, and was often on the very edge of giving up the will to live.
Those of us who knew the man, refused to accept the decision by the DVA investigators, and we stood along side him as mates. We supported and assisted him financially to survive, helped him to get his VRB Appeal together, and he finally had his day at the VRB in January 2008.
The VRB heard his appeal, and they accepted the evidence that China presented, that his claim was genuine. This was the same evidence, that China had advised the DVA investigators was available if they would look at it during their investigation. They did not do it. China won his appeal and his TPI status was restored. He received all the back pay that had been withheld. DVA have not lodged an appeal against the decision handed down by the VRB. What those people who call themselves veterans did to another veteran was unforgivable in my book. They are not worthy of the title veteran. The truth prevailed.
China Hammal was the founder of ANVVWA and was well known for his ability to “sell” pensions to his Pusser mates. “Just sign the blank application, tell China on which ships you served and he would conjure up all kinds of trauma stressors to get you the TPI Special Rate, and of course there was the donation to ANVVWA for services rendered.” There are many smiling ex Pussers in the Perth WA area who benefited greatly, but dishonestly from China’s legerdemain.
After reading the original ANZMI reports on China you will understand that he was/is a thoroughly dishonest and unprincipled human being.
Before China was re-instated an article in the ANVVWA Newsletter was included, begging for funds to “Bring China Back to Perth for ANZAC Day 2009”. Here is the article:
HELPING A MATE
Some of you may remember our Association founder China Hammal, and may be aware of the disgusting inquisition that he had to endure at the hands of DVA investigators in which he lost his TPI status as a result of complaints that were made against him by other veterans in the community, who for reasons best known to themselves decided that he was not entitled to his TPI. I am sure that those of you who know him are also aware that he won his case at the VRB, and his TPI was restored.
Sadly there are still people out there who will not let it go, and they continue to hassle him about the medals he wears, which he believes he is entitled to wear, and which his detractors have never proved that he is not entitled to wear them. This has upset him so much that he no longer participates in Remembrance Day, Vietnam Veterans Day, or ANZAC Day Services and the march in NSW where he now lives.
A motion was put forward at our last Association meeting that we try and get China over here for ANZAC Day 2009. His financial situation is such that he cannot afford to pay his own way over here, as he is still trying to repay debts as a result of losing his TPI. It was agreed that we would try and raise the cost of his return airfare amongst ourselves. As such we have started a private fund raiser in the office called "China Hammal – ANZAC Day 2009." Please Note: No Association Funds will be used for this cause.
Anyone who would like to help us get China over here for ANZAC Day 2009 so he can be with his mates on this important day in the veteran community, can send a donation to our office either by cheque or money order made out to Peter Denver our ANVVWA Chairman or Carole Matthews our ANVVWA Secretary. Please include a note saying it is for "China Hammal - ANZAC Day 2009", and not a donation to our Association. You will be issued with a receipt provided you include your return address, and the money will be kept in a private safe until we have sufficient to purchase his return airfare. Any money left over after purchasing his plane ticket, from the donations received will be given to China as a gift from his mates to help him out financially. In the event that this falls through, and he does not come over, you will be given a refund of your donation less any postage costs etc. Further details including amount raised, when and where you can catch up with him will be detailed in the March 2009 Newsletter.
China helped a lot of people out there, and I'm sure that some of you would like to catch up with him again
China Hammal and the ANVVWA must have a filing cabinet full of information about bogus DVA claims lodged from Hammal and his mates. It is guaranteed that there are many nervous Pussers from the area who would show great generosity and donate to China to keep him quiet.
We urge honest veterans to express their dismay at the words and actions of Chairman Peter Denver and this ex RAN Welfare Association and also suggest to DVA, that during their idle time they recheck any DVA benefits claims handled by China Hammal and his mates. Once you know what to look for you may find many anomalies and make some smiles disappear from ANVVWA members.
Like in the ANZMI case of Joe Brain (see here http://www.anzmi.net/brain/brain.html ) another crook walks away from DVA laughing.
It is time the Australian Federal Police extended their bailiwick to include cases of DVA fraud. It is a simple fact that the current investigation section of DVA lack the expertise to bring to justice the clever major players involved in DVA fraud.
We are reliably advised that a major ESO commanded from Western Australia was well aware of the nature of China’s operation of ANVVWA, however the potential for membership from the efforts of Hammal and his mob was obviously more important to them than honesty and ethics. Those who have knowledge about this issue are advised to come forward and advise either ANZMI at email@example.com or DVA.
DVA are urged to take action to appeal the Hammal VRB decision and again take away that which he has fraudulently gained.
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.