David Groves; phony POW in Utah

| April 16, 2012

AverageNCO sends us a slew of links to this smoldering turd by the name of David Groves of Utah who although POW Network outed him in 2005, he’s still playing the part of a POW who escaped from the Vietnamese after six months of imprisonment. The problem is that he didn’t enlist until November 1973, according to his records. Since by November 1973, the combat troops had left Vietnam, that’s hardly possible. Here’s an article from the Salt Lake Tribune;

One of the three Vietnam POWs honored Friday, Dave Groves, of West Jordan, was a Green Beret in the Army’s 5th Special Forces when his unit was ambushed while on patrol. He was the only survivor, shot in his upper leg and captured by the North Vietnamese.

He spent six months in a prison camp before he and other American servicemen escaped. “We lived in the jungle for two weeks. We ate off the land,” Groves recalled Friday.

Eventually, they came across a Marine patrol and were rescued. Groves, who had grown up in Santa Fe, N.M., served four more years in the Army before returning to civilian life. He later moved to Utah and worked many years for the West Jordan street department.

His idiot story will live on after he’s gone (which can’t come soon enough) as a local “Veterans Day Honoree” by the University of Utah;

David Groves enlisted in the Army in 1962 and joined the paratroopers. He volunteered to serve with the Army’s 5th Special Forces Group, one of first Green Beret units in Vietnam. Groves fought the Viet Cong in frequent close-quarter engagements. During his second tour in Vietnam, he was wounded in a VC ambush and captured . He was starved and tortured for six months until eluding his guards and hiding in the jungle for two weeks. He was finally able to contact U.S. Marines and reunited with U.S. forces. Groves is the recipient of three Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars and two Crosses of Gallantry.

And the local TV station uses this photo of Groves in the introduction to their report on a gathering of POWs;

Yeah, they could have used the clean-cut actual POWs who were there, but they’d rather have a scruffy-looking stereotypical Vietnam Veteran. Except that he never served in Vietnam, let alone got captured and escaped. Here’s the list of people that DoD says were captured by the Vietnamese and subsequently escaped;

Not even close.

Here’s the goofball in his phony finery;

Grungy POS at a ceremony honoring POWs and he can’t wear better clothes than this?

This one needs a pitchfork brigade. Light your torches, folks. The Trib story was written by Kristen Moulton (kmoulton@sltrib.com). The KSL5 story was written by Jed Boal (jboal@ksl.com) and he also crossposted it at Deseret News.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (39)

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  1. Old Trooper says:

    The stupid sonovabitch can’t even get the beret on correctly. The first thing I noticed was the flash on the wrong side. What does he think he is; FFL?

    This boy needs his ass kicked and PDQ. The mood I’m in today, I would volunteer to out this asshole in public, on tv and then hand him his crusty ass.

  2. Beretverde says:

    Fuck him.

  3. NHSparky says:

    Do these newsies even TRY anymore?

  4. BCousins says:

    He is wearing a Soldier’s Medal too so he must be one brave SOB even in non-combat situations. The Silver and Bronze Stars have stars instead of oak leaf clusters. What a phony POS. He really does need an ass kicking.

  5. AverageNCO says:

    @3 NHSparky. I’m inclined to give the media outlets “some” slack on this one. In their defense, they showed up at Hill AFB to report on a POW event sponsored by the base. Why wouldn’t they assume everyone was a legitimate POW. My question is who was the individual(s) responsible for assembling the POWs? Whoever put this well-intentioned event together should have vetted their participants against the well-established POW lists. Ultimately, the person most at most fault is Groves. This guy has some real nerve. Mary has had him listed as a phony on her site since 2003, and he obviously isn’t letting that stop him.
    @1 Aside from wearing his flash on the wrong side(just like Jess McBeth) Is it just me, or does that beret look black? Shouldn’t it be green, if he’s claiming he was a Green Beret?
    On the caption that goes with his uniform picture, he claims three Silver Stars and three Bronze Stars….so I guess that is why he is wearing three attachments to each medal? Of course none of his three Silver Stars are in the Hall of Valor database. He’s just a giant scruffy turd.

  6. I emailed the reporter with:
    ” Hello Jed:
    I am reading an article at http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=29518 about a phony by the name of David Groves of Utah who although POW Network outed him in 2005, he’s still playing the part of a POW who escaped from the Vietnamese after six months of imprisonment. The problem is that he didn’t enlist until November 1973, according to his records. Since by November 1973, the combat troops had left Vietnam, that’s hardly possible.

    Do you not investigate your stories? Do you take everyone at face value? Are you not aware of the “Freedom of Information Act”? Are sales so bad with your paper that your editor would rather print falsehoods than spend the couple of bucks needed to be able to accurately present an issue?
    At 71 years old, I can remember when the press was pretty much legit. Investigating, not being subservient to government influence, etc.
    Your article is a good illustration of why I consider my dog to be more intelligent than the average reporter today. She is not taken in by false food, false affection, etc.
    You are sad, so sad.
    Frankie Cee, just one more American Veteran fed up with phonies and those who support them, (that would be you).
    PS: I will be looking for your comment at the above linked post. (But not holding my breath waiting for it to be honest and accurate.”

  7. The Dead Man says:

    See this is what I get for religiously avoiding our local papers. I’ll keep an eye out for any further stories to pop up.

  8. NHSparky says:

    One would normally expect a reporter to have even a rudimentary knowledge of the subject on which they report. The fact that they can’t even figure out the most egregious uniform snafus that anyone with more than two days in basic would immediately recognize this guy for the walking goatfuck he is. Add that the fact there are several major military bases in the area….and you see my point.

  9. Cavfso says:

    I have seen this turd loafing around Fort Douglas. I’ll be on the lookout for him more carefully.

  10. I’m still amazed in this day of high speed internet that the MEDIA DIPSHITS don’t check the facts. this guy needs a good balls kicking.

  11. UpNorth says:

    He looks like he could be related to the Phoney SEAL in Saginaw, VanderHoof.
    Sparky, they Google what they’re going to report on, the problem is, they only read the first sentence, or two.

  12. C-Rat says:

    “During one battle, Grove lost a friend to a Vietnamese arrow.”

    -from a 1988 article in the desert news @ http://www.deseretnews.com/article/11684/VIET-VETS-FIND-MOTORCYCLING-TOGETHER-IS-GREAT-THERAPY-ON-THE-ROAD-OF-LIFE.html

    “Rebel Dave” Groves, 44, is president of the Utah chapter. A Green Beret and recipient of the Silver Star, Groves first served in 1963 as an advisor to the 5th Special Forces in Dong Tam between Saigon and the Cambodian border.

  13. Spade says:

    I like the wolf t-shirt. That’s some classy shit.

  14. AverageNCO says:

    So somewhere between 1988 and 2005 he remembered that he had been taken POW and escaped? Because he didn’t seem to mention his POW experience in the 1988 article. Of course maybe they just had to edit the POW stuff out because it wasn’t as compelling as his stories of his comrades being shot with arrows and EATEN BY TIGERS!!! OH MY!

  15. Russ Vaughn says:

    I’ve sent the following email to a couple of Salt lake city TV stations:

    May I suggest your investigative team take a look at an article at this popular military blog which has a post with a number of informed comments about a phony jerk who is presenting himself to the public as a war hero in your area? This fraud, which is being openly perpetrated on the citizens of Utah, needs to be exposed and Groves prosecuted under the Stolen Valor Act. The article at This Ain’t Hell will provide you with numerous leads to investigate this case.

    David Groves; Phony POW in Utah

    Keep in mind that this is not just some eccentric scamming the public; what Groves is doing is criminal and prosecutable. You can see that his fraud comes to a quick end and perform a service to your country, your viewers and real Vietnam vets whom this worm disrespects and dishonors.

    May I suggest if you want to speak to someone with inside knowledge of this topic, that your team contact retired Navy SEAL officer, Captain Larry Bailey, whom I am copying on this email. Capt. Bailey has been instrumental in exposing and prosecuting a number of frauds like Groves.


    Russ Vaughn
    Former SSGT E-6
    101st Airborne Division
    Vietnam 65-66

  16. Old Trooper says:

    The more I see his smiling mug, the more I want to shove that beret up his ass in front of everyone. I guess I’m just over crabby today, but the more I see of him, the more pissed off I get.

  17. Bah Bodenkurk says:

    Ex-POWs are at the top of my list of people I respect and admire. When I saw the homecoming video for Guy Gruter’s I cried like I was watching the last scene in Braveheart or something. This guy is a douchebag.

  18. NHSparky says:

    OT–fuck that. Don’t waste a perfectly good beret, just ram a shovel up his ass, twirl it around, then jerk his chickenshit guts out with it.

  19. keep up the good work guys

  20. Hondo says:

    FOIA away. (POWNetwork alludes to having them, but they’re not linked to thus a-hole’s entry.)

    If/when I receive the results, I’ll share them w/Jonn.

  21. B Woodman says:

    Sooooo. . . This dipwad lives in West Jordan, does he??? That’s my neighborhood. I’ll have to see if I can find his address and pay him a call. Mebbe ask to see his DD214. Mebbe publish his address once verified. Report back to you’all later.

  22. Hack Stone says:

    Slightly off topic, I have been led to believe that there were only two succesful escapes of US Forces from hostile forces during the Vietnam War, those being Dengler and Rowe (I read both of their books). It’s been twenty some years since I read those books, but I recall one of the books claiming their subject was the only American to successfully escape. I’m glad to find out that there were more. Does anyone know if there are any books regarding the others?

  23. Marine_7002 says:

    @23 Hack Stone: this seems to be as much of a summary of successful and unsuccessful POW escapes as I could find. There were no successful escapes from North Vietnam.


    I couldn’t find any comparable summaries at pownetwork.org (might have overlooked them?).

    Capt Mike McGrath has some additional comments here: http://www.pownetwork.org/phonies/phonies2.htm.

  24. Doug Sterner says:

    There were at least 21 successful escapes/rescues from Captivity during the Vietnam War
    Anderson, Roger Dale
    Babcock, William H., Jr.
    Braswell, Donald Robert
    Brewer, Lee
    Camacho, Isaac
    Dengler, Dieter
    Dierling, Edward Charles
    Dodson, James Stanley
    Eckes, Walter William
    Fann, Jerry L.
    Graening, Bruce Allen
    Guffey, Jerry Lester
    Hamilton, Walter “D”
    Hatch, Paul G.
    Hayhurst, Robert Edward
    Holt, Dewey Thomas
    Iodice, Frank Charles
    King, Everett Melbourne, Jr.
    Klusmann, Charles Frederick
    Martin, Donald Eugene
    Nelson, Steven Devon
    North, Joseph S., Jr.
    Page, Jasper Nelba
    Potter, Albert Joseph
    Risner, Richard Franklin
    Roha, Michael Robert
    Rowe, James Nicholas “”Nick”””
    Taliaferro (AKA: Tallaferno), William Patrick
    Taylor, William Brooks
    Van Putten, Thomas H.
    Wright, Buddy

  25. GOTTOTELLIT says:

    Edited by Jonn

  26. Hondo says:

    Official DoD Lists of POWs from Vietnam (escaped, returned alive, accounted for, unaccounted for) can be found at:


    The “accounted for” and “unaccounted for” lists are each available sorted by state and by name. The “escaped” and “returned alive” lists are available sorted by name.

  27. Hondo says:

    FOIA on Groves came back with notation of “not enough info to process”. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that much verified info on him and his name is relatively common.

    If anyone has additional info on this dipstick, please advise and I’ll re-run the FOIA. Best info would be (1) verified name, (2) former Army service number or SSN, (3) dates of service, (4) DOB, and (5) POB.

    If anyone has this info, please do not post SSN and DOB/POB publicly. That’s rather a no-no, and should be communicated privately instead. If you’ve got any of this info, advise here and we’ll arrange contact.

  28. DR_BRETT says:

    To No. 10:

    I am not sure that the “reporters” have the ability to TYPEWRITE, or even the brains to discover a Computer Power Switch.
    I AM certain that many are DISHONEST FRAUDS — and that many hate themselves, and hate existence in general .

  29. Zah says:

    Grrr…. Telling “war” stories is one thing.. the “no shit there we where…” This type of garbage.. who the hell turned on the light and made the roaches scurry?

    Now look.. if his story (hah..) turns out to be true I will be the first to apologize… but I do not think I am going to have to. Can we please get rid of the roaches now?

  30. cfg says:

    The story on KSL and in the SL Tribune are true!

    I grew up listening to his bull-shit stories, it pains me to say but that lying fuck is my father! The guy has always been a fraud! Each time he told his war-stories they got more and more grand!

    That whole thing about his friend being shot with an arrow and people being attacked by tigers he got from Apocalypse Now! It wasnt until he saw that movie did he ‘remember’ his friend.

    Every couple of years he would add a new part to the story, usually after seeing some movie. After he saw the movie Uncommon Valor he changed his whole appearance to look like the character ‘Sailor’ played by Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb.

    And if any of you need more info on his background let me know. His war time heroic bull shit is not the only lies he tells!

  31. Hondo says:

    cfg: Sounds like you turned out to be a much better person than your dad. You have my congratulations for that – as well as my respect for being strong enough to admit this here.

  32. Just an Old Dog says:

    Crazy shit,,,We have a new generation of phonies, but once in a while the Vietnam guys show up again. Not as many, but I guess most of the real loons have died of alcholism, drugs or health problems, which seem to occur at a much higher rate among loser phonies then real vets.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I know his son, so fuck you Dave Groves!

  34. wtf says:

    is this some type of secret language illuminati shit

  35. AverageNCO says:

    I guess Mr. Groves wasn’t invited to this year’s ceremony. GOOD! He still never apologized, never admitted his lies….and surprise! He never followed through with his threats to sue TAH. I hope while the genuine POW’s were being honored, Groves was sitting alone with his miserable self.