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View Full Version : How Gene DeFord won WW2


Richard
02-11-2009, 20:57
Makes me wonder why my Dad, his brother, my Father-in-Law, and all the rest had to serve with this guy on the loose. :rolleyes:

For some persepective on this guy:


In Jun 43, UDT training began in Fort Pierce, FL, in preparation for D-Day. They were sent to Europe in Nov 43...and the battle for Tarawa was also in Nov 43 on the other side of the world.

In October 1943, Mountbatten was put in charge of all British and American forces in South East Asia, where he remained until the end of the war as CBI CINC. How and why would a Brit award a Silver Star?

Patton was in England on 13 Jun 44. He didn't get to France until Aug 44.

The battle of the Philippine Sea (also known as The Marianas Turkey Shoot) was fought 19-20 Jun 44.

A regimental combat team of the 41st Division landed on Palawan Island on February 28, 1945.

The battle took place between February 19 and March 26, 1945.

The Franklin was an Essex Class carrier and earned four battle stars during the Pacific Campaign. On 19 March 1945, two bombs went through the flight deck and detonated in the hangar. It was the worst damage which any United States warship survived.


Gene was one busy guy! :rolleyes:

Richard's $.02 :munchin

http://www.legacy.com/theolympian/Obituaries.asp?Page=SearchResults

Gene Franklin DeFord

Gene DeFord, WWII Veteran, beloved husband and father, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, February 6, 2009. He was 81 years old.
Gene was born April 26, 1927 in Ashland, Oregon, to the pioneer family of Byron Franklin DeFord and Addie Laura Cameron.

He attended Yelm High School. He volunteered for the Navy on his sixteenth birthday. Being 6' 4", he was counting on the fact that he would be accepted as old enough to join. That's exactly what happened.

In 1943, Gene traveled to England for training in the Underwater Demolition Team, what is now called the Navy Seals. Under Wild Bill Donovan, General in Command of the United States Office of Strategic Services, he saw service in most of the world during the war. During his UDT years, his team set several free-diving depth records.

At Normandy on June 8, 1944, Gene was cited for a Silver Star by General Ted Roosevelt. That same day he was cited for another Silver Star by Lord Louie Mountbatten. On June 13, 1944, he was again cited for a Silver Star by General George Patton. Gene believed he was the only 17-year-old to have ever received a triple Silver Star. "The water ran red with American Blood. Our team lost 95%. We were getting killed on the beach. I was not injured, but just a little tired," from Gene's memoirs.

Gene helped liberate prison camps and was proud to have been aboard the USS Franklin "Big Ben", the most decorated people in Naval history. He served on the islands of Tarawa and Iwo Jima during major battles. On October 24, 1944, Gene was engaged in the battle of the Philippine Sea on Palawan Island. He was severely injured and was cited for the Purple Heart.

Gene married Margie Haley in February 1947. They had five children.
He worked for the State of Washington Department of Natural Resources and Corrections Department, and was a volunteer firefighter and medic for North Olympia Fire Department.

SF_BHT
02-12-2009, 08:09
He must have had CAPT Kirk teleporting him around the world for key Historical events.:confused::p

Sorry You should never talk ill of the dead.:rolleyes:

JJ_BPK
02-12-2009, 09:05
Someone should at least tell one of his kids..

Richard
02-12-2009, 09:28
Someone should at least tell one of his kids..

I sent the link to Chuck and Mary Schontag over at the POW/MIA Net so they can 'out' our 'hero.' I do have some empathy for his family...but they do need to know the truth. I wonder if this guy was drawing any VA benefits based upon his heroic claims or if he used his claimed hero status to get a job over others who weren't so...'colorful.' :mad:


Richard's $.02 :munchin

Pigpen
02-16-2009, 00:44
check the reporter first, then check the facts. How many times have real soldiers been buried with obituaries that read: "Served in the Army 1941-1945"? Do not discount his service based off what an uneducated reporter place in print.

Richard
02-16-2009, 09:28
I don't discount his service--he did serve in the Navy. I do, however, challenge what was said in the obituary...which is normally written by a relative and placed in the paper. Therefore, it is nearly certain that DeFord fed his family a lot of happy horses**t heroic tales of his time in the service...which, according to the ffolkes at the UDT/SEAL Museum are untrue. :mad:

Gene F. DeFord is a real piece of work, the untruths he has stated are too many for me to take time to list. Let me just say the WWII UDT guys were NEVER trained in England but instead Fort Pierce, Florida, which by-the-way the UDT-SEAL Museum is located there for just that reason. Also he is not listed in our database, as a result he was NEVER a member of the Scouts & Raiders (which were the name of original WWII UDT Guys), UDT (The name changed around 1950) or SEAL Teams. Curtis

Richard's $.02 :munchin

Abu Jack
02-16-2009, 09:56
He's dead. If in fact he lied, he won't anymore. What good would outing him do besides making them feel worse? Why punish the family for something he did? Outing him now doesn't make sense to me.

Richard
02-16-2009, 10:16
He's dead. If in fact he lied, he won't anymore. What good would outing him do...

You should read Stolen Valor-How the Vietnam Generation was Robbed of its Heroes and its History by Jug Burkett and Fake Warriors by Henry and Erica Holzer, and go to the POW/MIA web-site to see how pervasive this problem is and understand how such wannabe's (men and women) affect us all.

http://www.pownetwork.org/phonies/phonies.htm

Richard's $.02 :munchin

JJ_BPK
02-16-2009, 10:23
He's dead. If in fact he lied, he won't anymore. What good would outing him do besides making them feel worse? Why punish the family for something he did? Outing him now doesn't make sense to me.

I think it is prudent to tell the family..

As convoluted as this story is,, they may already know..

I don't think anyone is talking about taking out a full page spread in the home town paper..

Richard
02-16-2009, 10:46
I don't think anyone is talking about taking out a full page spread in the home town paper..

No...but a corrected obituary needs to be printed in the local paper. If not, this matter remains a matter of public record and such records are used in the future by historians and family genealogical researchers to support their research.

Ever watch an episode of Antiques Road Show when they debunk a bit of false family history about an object that was passed down for generations? ;)

Personally, I'm sad that this guy--who was a veteran and had served honorably--had to resort to such John Kerry-like lying to give himself a sense of self-worth. :(

Richard's $.02 :munchin

JJ_BPK
02-16-2009, 10:48
No...but a corrected obituary needs to be printed in the local paper. Richard's $.02 :munchin

100% Agreed..

Abu Jack
02-16-2009, 11:00
You should read Stolen Valor-How the Vietnam Generation was Robbed of its Heroes and its History by Jug Burkett and Fake Warriors by Henry and Erica Holzer, and go to the POW/MIA web-site to see how pervasive this problem is and understand how such wannabe's (men and women) affect us all.

I think it is prudent to tell the family..

The wannabe in question is dead. I can see no good coming out of informing the family. Can you explain what veterans gain versus the additional pain it will cause the family?

I am fully on board with finding and prosecuting those that we can. This one is beyond the laws reach. I don't agree with using an obituary to inform family members that their recently lost loved one is a liar. Aren't there enough live ones to find? Leave the dead alone.

From the article:

Gene married Margie Haley in February 1947. They had five children.
He worked for the State of Washington Department of Natural Resources and Corrections Department, and was a volunteer firefighter and medic for North Olympia Fire Department.

He led a life of service and was married for 52 years. No one is perfect.

I think it's wrong and you are taking this too far.

You guys have at it.

Richard
02-16-2009, 11:19
I think it's wrong and you are taking this too far. You guys have at it.

Nobody said printing an obit was the way to inform the family--but the family needs to know and so do his 'brothers' at the VFW to which he belonged and believed his shtick.

Have you read the books mentioned? You really should. I was more blase' about it all until I read them and came to realize the costs to us all in $$, job opportunity, societal mores, false history, etc.

Richard's $.02 :munchin

Abu Jack
02-16-2009, 13:02
Have you read the books mentioned? You really should. I was more blase' about it all until I read them and came to realize the costs to us all in $$, job opportunity, societal mores, etc.

No and I can't fathom anything in them that would make me want to tell a recently widowed wife of 52 years or their children that her husband and their father was a liar.

What do we as a community of veterans gain? Does the cost of the pain to the family justify the benefit? My question is what is the benefit?

What $$ are going to be recouped?
Which job opportunity is going to be created?
Whose societal mores are going to be changed?

Is telling the family really going to make a difference?

Richard
02-16-2009, 13:57
My question is what is the benefit?

The truth...and the honor of those who actually did what Gene DeFord fraudulently claimed to have done.

I suggest anyone ask a SEAL/UDT guy how they feel about people like Gene DeFord.

For anyone who has not read Stolen Valor or Fake Warriors, here's but one example of how such an act of lying can affect a family, a community, organizations, and government agencies.

Richard's $.02 :munchin

I read your article in the K.C. Star about military phonies and how you were working to expose them. I think you should be commended for your outstanding work. The web site and links were so helpful to us.

Without the knowledge that we gained through them, we would never have been able to prove that our cousin was never in the armed forces. Our situation wasn't like most and maybe it was only minor, but to us it was an embarrassment to the family. When our cousin died in Maryville, MO, funeral arrangement had already been made by people outside the family. We tried to tell the "personal representative" and Price's Funeral Home that he had not been in the military, but no one would listen to the family, they went ahead and had a full military funeral. We were told that he had served as a sniper in the special forces during the Vietnam War. They said his work was so top secret that his files were sealed along with his purple heart and they could never be touched. They said the family would never have know about it because he went on such secret missions. The family was incredulous. His mother was so upset and confused, she didn't know what was happening. We all knew that he hadn't been in the service, but how were we going to prove it. We made a time line of his life. We asked for his DD 214 discharge. They promised to send it, but never did. We talked to the funeral home and he said why are you so concerned, just drop it. He said arrangements were made by the Va so he gave us the MO Veterans Commissioner's number. The commissioner said he didn't have anything to do with it, that why did it matter because it is better to give a military funeral to someone that wasn't in the service than to leave someone out that was in. We didn't agree with that. We called the Missouri Military Honors Program to see what the procedure was on military funerals and if they verified if a person was in the military or not. They said they had a form with his claim number on it, so it had to be so. They called back later and said they had ran the number and a black screen came up so that meant it was top secret.

We then read your article and went to various links and learned a lot. Through the Freedom of Information Act, Form 180, we requested information. While waiting for the reply, we contacted Jimmy Wallace, Operations Officer, VFW, National Veterans Service. He was very helpful in suggesting what to do to get answers. We received a letter back from the National Personnel Records Center. They had conducted extensive searches of every record source and alternate records and could not come up with any data that our cousin had served in the military. They even checked with the FBI but there was nothing. I had given them a number that the "personal representative" had said was his service number. The Records Center said it was a VA file number and to contact them to obtain information from that file. I called the Regional VA office. When they put his name or social security in the computer, nothing would come up. When I gave them the file number, the screen said our cousins name and San Bruno, CA, October 1961. I called San Bruno, CA. It is a National Cemetery. They don't have files there. I called the VA back and talked to another representative. She wanted to know why I was so concerned about this. She said drop it, he is dead and gone, so just let it go. She said no one was hurt having a military funeral. I told her I was sorry she didn't understand but we were going to keep searching. I talked to Mr. Wallace again and he said the VA office is required to have the discharge papers on file. I called the Missouri Regional VA Office in St Louis. At last I reached someone who was very helpful. She searched and cross searched. She even checked with the social security to see if he had ever collected any benefits, but there was nothing. She said she could honestly say he was never in the service and there isn't even a hair of evidence that would make her think otherwise. I told her now that we know for sure he was not in the military that we, the family, can not accept the military marker that the Maryville people had requested. The crisis our country is in now we believe stronger than ever that by honoring those that do not deserve it, we dishonor those who do. I called the Memorial Program Service in Washington, DC and explained the situation. She said the screen did not match the application. She did some extensive searching and said he was not in the military that the marker needed to be returned.

We now know that our cousin must have been a military phony. The tales he must have told his friends, co-workers and students. Why they wouldn't listen to the family, we'll never know. I don't know what they had to gain, but they would make up stories to go along with his. To put closure to this, we had to keep searching until we knew the truth. There were times when the fire would almost go out, but then there would be a flicker of hope. If it hadn't been for your article, we wouldn't have known where to turn, as we kept trying to find someone to listen to our cause. Thank you very much and keep up the good work.

Abu Jack
02-16-2009, 16:10
His mother was so upset and confused, she didn't know what was happening.


If the family wants to investigate because they have issues, let them.

I cannot imagine contacting a grieving family to "fix" an obituary and adding another issue on top what they are already dealing with. He cannot be punished now. Only the living will feel worse.

Like I said before, have at it.

Richard
02-16-2009, 19:35
Like I said before, have at it.

An Epidemic of Military Imposters
By Steve Robinson

"The name and regiment of the person with the action so certified are to be entered in the 'Book of Merit,' which will be kept at the orderly office. Should any who are not entitled to these honors have the insolence to assume the badges of them, they shall be severely punished."

So wrote General George Washington in his Aug. 7, 1782, general order establishing the nation's first military decoration, now known as the Purple Heart. Recent amendments to the laws of our land, proposed legislation for a national database of valor awards, and a concerted effort by federal law enforcement personnel to bring lawbreakers to justice, are aimed at ensuring that General Washington’s instructions are fully honored and implemented.

As this article is written there is a veritable epidemic of military imposters loose in our nation; respect and admiration for our armed forces personnel are at a level not seen since the days of World War Two. Military personnel are seen as laudable and commendable, and are praised and honored at public gatherings. Hardly a day passes without mention of “our heroes in uniform” in the print and broadcast media.

While most military veterans are loath to be called a “hero” themselves, most will readily suggest that they have met or served with some bona fide heroes. There are some members of our society, however, who covet the title of “military hero” and intentionally seek the spotlight, despite never having served in the nation’s armed forces. There are some legitimate military veterans who are not satisfied with their record of achievements and duties and who embellish their military records, claiming duties, skills, awards and commendations which they never actually earned.

False claims of military service are offered by charlatans for a plethora of reasons. Lecherous Lotharios attempt to impress potential female companions with their false claims of military prowess. Chest-thumping barroom braggarts attempt to impress and intimidate their drinking buddies with false claims of ‘secret missions’. Jail cell braggarts attempt to intimidate inmates and guards with false claims of deadly military hand-to-hand training. Office personnel offer false claims in an attempt to gain an advantage in the battle for promotions where preferences are given to military veterans. Corporate executives use false military credentials in an attempt to gain an edge in corporate marketing directed at military clients. Members of military and fraternal organizations attempt to gain undeserved praise and unearned recognition with false claims of extraordinary valor and wear medals which reflect their false claims. One of the largest contingents of military imposters involves those who falsely claim to be military veterans for the purpose of obtaining VA medical benefits, tax benefits, and monetary compensation.

The majority of Americans are trusting individuals who readily accept personal credentials when they are offered. Most wouldn’t think of claiming deeds or honors which they didn’t earn. Military imposters thrive in this trusting atmosphere. Hollywood movies are intentionally designed so that viewers might imagine themselves in situations being portrayed on the big screen. Many movies in recent years have depicted an ‘everyman’ going about his normal job by day, but acting as a secret agent at nights and on weekends in the defense of our nation. Co-workers are shown to be completely oblivious to the skills and abilities of these remarkable warriors. These surreptitious heroes are often depicted receiving secret awards and medals which ‘cannot be documented because of national security interests’. Often there are depictions of military actions taking place which are never documented, and men being held as prisoners of war without records of their captivity, all presented as being in an effort to preserve national security. Such fictional plot elements are completely false and unrealistic, but since only about 7% of the American population has been involved in active military service, the remainder of the population is ill-equipped to determine where reality ends and fantasy begins. When an imposter offers claims of military service, rank, awards, and events which are virtually lifted from the scripts of such movies, few outside of military veterans will suspect the duplicity.

The Stolen Valor Act of 2005

When informed about the growing epidemic of military imposters in our nation, many people ask “why bother with them?” Inquirers often suggest that military imposters are more to be pitied for their lack of self-esteem and self-worth than prosecuted, and that the making of false claims of military service is a ‘victimless crime’. On the contrary, it is not victimless, and it should be strongly stressed that it is a crime; a violation of federal law. Title 18 of the United States Code, Sections 702 and 704, the original laws which pertained to this sort of thing, had some sizeable loopholes which allowed imposters to get away with making false claims so long as they didn’t actually wear the specific awards, medals, or insignias. Those loopholes were closed by the STOLEN VALOR ACT OF 2005 which amended the original Title 18 USC sections. It was signed into law by President G.W. Bush on 20 December 2006 and the making of false verbal claims is now legally defined as a violation of federal law.

The applicable laws refer to “the uniform, or a distinctive part thereof or anything similar to a distinctive part of the uniform of any of the armed services of the United States…” as well as “any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States, or any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, or the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration, or medal, or any colorable imitation thereof, except when authorized under regulations made pursuant to law…”

The amended law specifically includes doubly harsh penalties for those who make false claims of being awarded the highest medals for valor such as the Congressional Medal of Honor, the three Service Crosses, the Silver Star, and the Purple Heart, or of being awarded the POW Medal.

Federal law enforcement agents are currently engaged in Operation Stolen Valor, a nationwide effort to bring the most egregious offenders to justice and demonstrate to the American public that our government will not tolerate those in our society who make false military claims for any reason, whether it is to gain employment or promotion under false pretenses, obtain unearned government benefits, or for purposes of selfaggrandizement of an over-inflated ego.

There are victims aplenty when false military claims are made. In addition to those individuals who are personally defrauded of goods, services and cash by multitudes of military imposters, the American taxpayers often bear the burden and costs of fraudulently obtained benefits which annually runs into the billions of dollars. That’s “Billions” with a capital “B”.

(Cont'd) http://www.pownetwork.org/pownet.secure1/An%20Epidemic%20of%20Military%20Imposters1.pdf

WILCO.

Richard's $.02 :munchin

Abu Jack
03-22-2009, 04:26
Any AARs on the conversation with the family or a copy of the corrected obit?

:munchin

greenberetTFS
03-22-2009, 16:29
His mother was so upset and confused, she didn't know what was happening.


If the family wants to investigate because they have issues, let them.

I cannot imagine contacting a grieving family to "fix" an obituary and adding another issue on top what they are already dealing with. He cannot be punished now. Only the living will feel worse.

Like I said before, have at it.

I'm sorry guys but I'm with Abu Jack on this one......I respect all of you who believe he's a serious poser,however this is a grieving family where we could be breaking a lot of hearts at this outing of their father,husband and son. I think the "outing" stops once the poser is dead. Nothing is gained by it,nothing :(:(:(

GB TFS :munchin

Richard
04-04-2009, 16:18
POW/MIA Network posted his FOIA records now.

http://www.pownetwork.org/pownet.secure/deford_gene_franklin_records.pdf

Richard's $.02 :munchin

jdl141
05-03-2009, 19:45
"There are victims aplenty when false military claims are made. In addition to those individuals who are personally defrauded of goods, services and cash by multitudes of military imposters, the American taxpayers often bear the burden and costs of fraudulently obtained benefits which annually runs into the billions of dollars. That’s “Billions” with a capital “B”."


My personal opinion is that even though the guy is dead, the record should still be set straight. I could really care less about an obit in a newspaper, but the possibility that benefits are being paid based on a lie does not set well with me.