Phony PJ? (Linked now)

| March 1, 2012 | 17 Comments

Robert sends a link to a discussion in the Orange County Register over an obituary of Patrick Shayne Murphy who claimed to be an Air Force Pararescueman. Apparently, the folks in the discussion can’t find him listed in the tiny database of PJs.

Pat was trained as a pararescue man and medic, known in the Special Forces by the moniker “PJ”. As a PJ he served as part of a helicopter rescue crew highly trained for the retrieval and treatment of downed American pilots in the jungles of Southeast Asia (i.e., Vietnam Cambodia, Laos and the China Sea), thereby saving many lives. His time in the service of his country had a profound impact on him.

Understandably, the family is trying to defend the deceased from his detractors, an uncomfortable position to be in, I’m sure. But they’re using things like the fire at the National Archives to explain why he’s not listed in their database. The fire only affected the section of records which contained Korean War veterans’s records, so since this guy had served in the Vietnam War, his records should be intact. They also say that they have a maroon beret as proof. Yeah, berets don’t prove much of anything, other than the fact that he had the money to buy one somewhere.

Since there are so few PJs it almost doesn’t make sense to pretend to be one, neither does it make much sense to argue with the community about a supposed member. they all know each other.

But, Stolen Valor is a victimless crime.

Category: Air Force

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Comments (17)

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  1. Hondo says:

    Actually, the 1973 NPRC fire took out quite a bit more than Korean War records.

    Initially, Army records of personnel discharged between 1 Nov 1912 and 1 Jan 1960 were est 80% lost, and USAF records for those discharged between 25 Sep 1947 and 1 Jan 1964 were estimated at around 75% lost.

    http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/fire-1973.html

    Many (maybe most) records have since been reconstructed to some degree. However, full reconstruction will never be possible.

    Get and keep a copy of your records, folks – in multiple places. A scanner and a couple of thumbdrives are your friend.

  2. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    Ya gotta give hi points for originality, at least he didn’t claim SF or SEAL!?

  3. CI says:

    Throw his ass in a pool. Proof will sink or swim… literally.

  4. Hondo says:

    Uh, CI . . . as McCoy said in more than one Star Trek episode: “He’s dead, Jim.”

  5. Jeff says:

    @Hondo…great reference!

  6. Flagwaver says:

    @4, Guess that means he will be a floater… unless you weigh him down.

  7. Dave says:

    Hondo – 100% accurate. When my father retired from the Reserves, he found that all his WWII records including his Bronze Star award had burned. Luckily he was a very methodical man who kept copies of everything and was able to more or less recreate his 201.

  8. Joseph Brown says:

    One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that simple math would help people out. I’m talking about when a relative’s obituary is written. Usually obits are written by widows or young adult children who don’t have a clue. I, personally joined the AF in 1954, after a cease fire was attained in Korea, and I’ve read obits of some guy who was a Korean Conflict vet when he would probably be in elementary school. The same with ww2 vets. I told my wife that should I go before her, I was an era vet not an actual vet of Korea or Vietnam.

  9. Marine_7002 says:

    Jonn: had you intended to post the link? If so, it doesn’t appear on your post.

  10. Kevin says:

    I wonder if his friends/relatives defending his obit will agree that it is victimless?

  11. Beretverde says:

    Fuck him.

  12. malclave says:

    They also say that they have a maroon beret as proof.

    I never realized Monica Lewinsky was a PJ. I’m surprised the media didn’t play that up more.

  13. UpNorth says:

    There went my after dinner drink, malclave.

  14. Hondo says:

    UpNorth: I thought Lewinsky “wore a raspberry beret . . . ”

    Oh, my bad. Sorry, artist formerly known as Prince.

  15. streetsweeper says:

    < Has a retired USAF E-9 that I've been helping re-establish his record of service in S/E Asia…Problem is, nobody except his former C/O and his own records can verify that he was even there. Dude kept wiping "secret squirrel" stuff on me until I went a PJ's forum…Won't sign an SF-180, tells me there was a fire in St Louis…PJ's have not hear of him, so what is one to do? LMAO!

  16. streetsweeper says:

    < Waiting for UpNorth to beat n release me….LOL!

  17. johca says:

    The 1973 NPR fire is not the only records repository for verifying USAF Pararescue service history. There is four person’s having the Murphy surname in the records as serving as a USAP Pararescue going back to 1947 when the career field transferred as an Army MOS to the newly formed Air Force.

    Any Southeast Asia claim is verifiable from mission reports that identify all participants and unit rosters to include any secret squirrel classified units.

    There is no record of a Patrick Shayne Murphy performing Pararescue duties in the active duty or the AF Reserve or Air Guard.

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