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World War Two wannabe

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  • World War Two wannabe

    While selling my novel, which is set in the Vietnam era special forces, at a reading fair in St. Petersburg, Florida yesterday, I was approached by an elegantly but informally dressed man who seeing my Special Forces regimental insignia, assured me that he had been in the very first Special Forces in World War Two.

    When I asked him it this was the First Special Service Force, he replied that no, it was not, that they came after his unit, which he insisted was named the First Special Services Troop Unit. My immediate thought was some headquarters or support type unit, but he insisted that no, it was the unit which is the progenitor of all modern Special Forces units.

    According to his account, he received parachute training, diving training, explosives, mountain, jungle, desert, and high altitude training. Perhaps my incredulity was showing, because he guided his equally elegantly dressed wife away while I kept trying to get him to tell me when and where he had seen combat.

    Anyone who claims such service, who emphasizes the training they received rather than with who and where they served is highly suspect. I may have run into one of the last WWII wannabees. Or at the very least, someone who had volunteered for such a unit, washed out, received a Section 8, and now that many WWII vets have passed on, can safely claim the service.
    dit: Lirelou

    Phong trần mi một lưỡi gươm, Những loi gi o ti cơm s g!

  • #2
    No comment.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by lirelou View Post
      While selling my novel, which is set in the Vietnam era special forces, at a reading fair in St. Petersburg, Florida yesterday, I was approached by an elegantly but informally dressed man who seeing my Special Forces regimental insignia, assured me that he had been in the very first Special Forces in World War Two.

      When I asked him it this was the First Special Service Force, he replied that no, it was not, that they came after his unit, which he insisted was named the First Special Services Troop Unit. My immediate thought was some headquarters or support type unit, but he insisted that no, it was the unit which is the progenitor of all modern Special Forces units.

      According to his account, he received parachute training, diving training, explosives, mountain, jungle, desert, and high altitude training. Perhaps my incredulity was showing, because he guided his equally elegantly dressed wife away while I kept trying to get him to tell me when and where he had seen combat.

      Anyone who claims such service, who emphasizes the training they received rather than with who and where they served is highly suspect. I may have run into one of the last WWII wannabees. Or at the very least, someone who had volunteered for such a unit, washed out, received a Section 8, and now that many WWII vets have passed on, can safely claim the service.
      Did he give a date as to when his unit was formed? Was it any time after Dec 7 1941? If so, it is impossible for his claim (to have been in "the very first Special Forces of WW2") to be true anyway; regardless of whether or not he is 'genuine' (which seems highly doubtful).
      "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
      Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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      • #4
        This is a very old problem!

        By Nicholas Ehrenberg /
        Weekly Standard/ September 22, 2009, 11:06 AM
        Fake War Stories Exposed
        This column was written by Anne Morse.

        When Walter Williams, America's last living Civil War veteran, died on December 19, 1959, the city of Houston gave him a funeral procession the likes of which the town had never before seen. A week of official mourning was declared, and more than 100,000 people lined the streets to salute the passing of the last link to a war that had torn America apart.

        There was just one problem. Williams had never served in the Civil War. He was a fraud, as writer William Marvel discovered when he began researching a story for Blue & Gray magazine a few years ago. Although Williams had passed himself off as a Confederate soldier for 27 years, records proved he had actually been just five years old when hostilities broke out too young even to serve as a drummer boy.

        Amusingly, the man from whom Williams inherited the "Oldest Living Confederate" title, John Salling, was another phony. In fact, a dismayed Marvel wrote, "Every one of the last dozen recognized Confederates was bogus" including all three attendees at the last United Confederate Veterans' reunion, where, one imagines, they shared made-up stories of how they whipped the Yankees at Bull Run, witnessed the burning of Atlanta, and gave Scarlet O'Hara directions to Tara.

        These sham soldiers have a lot of company. Over the years thousands of men have claimed to come marching home again from the Old South, the trenches of France, the halls of Montezuma, Pork Chop Hill, and 'Nam. And now, they are marching home from Iraq, their chests covered with medals they didn't earn for gallantry they never modeled. Some of these frauds never saw military service; those that did dissatisfied with their actual deeds invent spectacular feats of derring-do that put Sergeant York and Audie Murphy to shame.

        http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-215_162-1039199.html

        I'm a little leary when I hear veteran's tell great stories of daring actions. The men I knew who with out a doubt were in combat do not talk about it alot.

        Converseley I've known several guys who where not in the combat zone who made up rather impressive stories.
        "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
        Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

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        • #5
          We call 'em 'Walts'... I think it's a send up of Walter Mitty?
          The long toll of the brave
          Is not lost in darkness
          Over the fruitful earth
          And athwart the seas
          Hath passed the light of noble deeds
          Unquenchable forever.

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          • #6
            We have a little town down the road where a gent named "Brushy Bill" held forth for years that he was really Billy the Kid. It was proven forensicly after his death that he was a fraud, but the town still proudly shows the tombstone they erected for him. Sad.
            Will no one tell me what she sings?--
            Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
            For old, unhappy, far-off things,
            And battles long ago:
            -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

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            • #7
              My Dad knew Evans Carlson but that didn't make him a Marine or a Raider.

              Think some boys just get carried away and embellish too much.
              Skip

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
                We call 'em 'Walts'... I think it's a send up of Walter Mitty?
                Good ole Walter, a real class act. We have some here.
                "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                youre entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                  Good ole Walter, a real class act. We have some here.
                  We have, maybe 1.

                  I don't see a reason why this behavior is necessary at all, and all of it points to the individual's deep-seated longings/insecurities/psychological problems rather than anything else.

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                  • #10
                    Im sure all of us have encountered these phonys at one time or another; I have often been challenged due to my calling out someone making, what I knew had to be, false claims.

                    I firmly believe many of these men believe their own stories. They begin trying to impress someone and continue to tell the tale. Over the years they have told it so often that they believe it to be true. Many of them are elderly and (with the exception of the last generation or two) most of us were raised to respect them for their age and supposed wisdom; so often younger people wont confront them or ask deeper questions.

                    And there is the sad fact that most people really don't know very much about history, and what they do know is often false. Therefor most people don't know to question these men about their calims.

                    I fear this has always been so and will always be so.

                    I recently saw a program on TV about a man that claimed he was one of Custers force that escaped the Little Bighorn and lived out his live in the Pacific N. W.

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                    • #11
                      My favourite Wannabe is the american fellow who wrote a letter to George MacDonald Fraser saying that his great Grandfather had known Henry Flashman during his time in the Confederate Army during the civil war.
                      One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions - Admiral Grace Hopper

                      "The eunuch should not take pride in his chastity."
                      Wu Cheng'en Monkey

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                      • #12
                        back a ways before I retired, I was tasked to go out to Baie-Comeau, Quebec to change a rotor blade and the rotor hub on a CH-113 Labrador helicopter after high winds had done it's deed before the F.E. had been able to tie down the blades.
                        Anyway, after we had completed the job, we had do a test flight to carry out a V.A. (Vibration Analysis) and to track the blades. The pilot decided to carry out the procedure on our way home. We proceeded along the St Lawrence river and carried out the assigned tasks, but had to set down in Sept-Iles, Quebec after we found high vibs in the aft rotor mast.

                        That night, me and my assistant went to a bar to have a few and relax. While there we met a guy who, after we told him what we were doing there, proceeded to tell us he had been a pilot in Vietnam during the war there. We were hitting it off pretty well and this fella was buying all of our drinks.

                        I was questioning him about his experiences and things just didn't sound right to me, so I had to ask him what he had flown in combat.
                        When he told me he was flying F-15s over Vietnam, I knew I had him cold.
                        I told him F-15s hadn't been taken into service until the mid 70's, so then he decided he had flown Hueys instead. Things proceeded in a good mannered way however, with him trying to tell me he really had been a pilot in Vietnam and me basically calling him a liar.
                        What really amazed me and my assistant was that even after me telling him he had been lying to us the whole night, he still kept buying our drinks.
                        Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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                        • #13
                          "High altitude training." WTF?!

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                          • #14
                            And why named "first" if it was before that the program was effective with several units ?

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                            • #15
                              He could've been pulling your leg purposely, i.e. trolling to see what your reaction would be or if you're gullible. When you didn't take the bait, he left to fish other waters. Con-man

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