James Edward Ferris; Korean War phony

| March 1, 2013 | 182 Comments

I got this about six weeks ago and somehow it slipped through the cracks on me. But this is the story of James Edward Ferris, a homeboy from Liverpool, NY. Here he is on the CSPAN broadcast of ceremonies commemorating the signing of the armistice ceasing outward hostilities on the Korean Penninsula back in July;

James Edward Ferris CSPAN

Here he is with Joe Bite Me at the same ceremony;

James Edward Ferris and Bite Me

And Leon Panetta;

James Edward Ferris and Panetta

Here’s what he was wearing;

James Edward Ferris awards

Here’s where the trouble begins;

James Edward Ferris FOIA

Right off, anyone who can count can see that he’s wearing more than the four awards that are in his records. His records also say that he was in the Pacific with the 3rd Marine Division. Wiki says the 3rd marine Division never went to Korea;

The Division was reactivated on 7 January 1952 at Camp Pendleton, California. Immediately after its activation and still in its organizational state, the Division began intensive combat training, including new tactics and maneuvers based on lessons learned in Korean War. During the remaining part of 1952 elements of the Division participated in numerous exercises and training problems, including vertical envelopment (helicopter landing), airborne operations and attack, and defense against atomic weapons and missiles.

In August 1953 the Division arrived in Japan to support the 1st Marine Division in the defense of the Far Eastern area. In March 1956 the Division moved to Okinawa and remained there in a readiness posture until 1965.

By the time the 3rd Division got to Japan, a cease fire had been signed the month before and major combat operations in Korea had ceased. it wasn’t his fault that he didn’t get to Korea, but it is his fault that that he’s told several journalists that he was in Korea in 1952 while hostilities were raging, when, in fact, he was at Camp Pendleton, CA.

Of course, Wiki isn’t a real source, so I went to the 3rd Marine Division Association‘s website, and there is a big gap in their history between World War II and Vietnam. Another website mirror’s Wiki’s history;

The 3rd Marine Division was reactivated on January 7, 1952 at Camp Pendleton, California. This was the Korean War era, but the Division did not deploy to the theater. Instead they undertook training that involved both experimental tactics and lessons learned from Korea. In August of 1953 the Division arrived in Japan to support the defense of the Far Eastern area. In March of 1956 the 3d Marine Division moved to Okinawa and remained there until their deployment to Vietnam in 1965.

So, who is James Edward Ferris? Well, he is the national director of the Korean War Veterans Association. Technically, his service in Japan qualifies him for membership in the Association. Their website says;

If you have EVER honorably served in Korea as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, or served outside of Korea June 25, 1950 to Jan. 31, 1955, you qualify to be a Regular Member of the Korean War Veterans Association, Inc.

So all of that bling is unnecessary for his position. I can’t find the top ribbon, so it may be somehow connected to the Association, but I do see a Combat Action Ribbon, his Army of Occupation Medal is on upside down and neither are in his records. But his National Defense, Marine Corps Good Conduct, Korean Service and UN Service Medals are all there. I didn’t bother looking up the rest that stuff, and I’m guessing that the badge above it all is part of the Association’s stuff, since I don’t recognize it. Maybe you guys know more.

ADDED: I have text to several interviews he did in which he said he was in Korea in 1952, but he couldn’t have been since the 3rd Marine Division was at Camp Pendleton in 1952. Those articles, from July, have mysteriously disappeared from the internet. Wearing a CAR for Japan after the Korean War is like wearing a CIB for Iraq while he was stationed at Doha.

Category: Phony soldiers

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  1. OldSargeUSAR says:

    @150 my pleasure, young troop.

  2. Hondo says:

    Ferris’ letter is just another example of the “stopped clock” principle, Green Thumb.

  3. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Follow-up to cmt 144.

    BK and interested others: Here’s a link to an excellent piece that describes the 3,ooo 1st Cav troops’ fight against 20,000 Chinese troops near Unsan on 2 November 1950. Indeed, Corporal Rubin is named in the article. He and Father Kapaun were there together. The White House Medal of Honor ceremony is at 1:00 today.

    http://www.kansas.com/2009/12/06/1085753/father-emil-kapaun-in-korea-kapaun.html

  4. BK says:

    Thanks for the links, Mr. Air Cav! We’ll be in our local veterans court at that time today, but I will give a shpiel about it to the court. I am so grateful that for every phony like Ferris, we have 10 times as many men and women to be proud of.

  5. Sam Naomi says:

    HONDO
    On your 152 regarding Ferris’s letter to Leon E. Panella our SOD, I would say that you and I are on the same page. I would also say that EdUSMCleg & MCPONYC USN and afew more of you guys are also on the same page, right now I am just hopeing that all of you will not drop the ball on this Ferris matter, if we’re going to clean house lets do it all together as a team. Jonn has my email address if any of you wish to drop me a line.

    Sam Naomi—- From Iowa (Where the tall corn grows)

  6. EdUSMCleg says:

    I am all about it, Sam. I want to see all you who served honorably remembered without any issues. This guy taints it all.

  7. EdUSMCleg says:

    Sam- why aren’t more KWVA members aware of all this? With Charley D Price’s (National Legislative Liaison) and Ferris’ reputation, you would think they would want to get rid of them all.

  8. Interested says:

    I took a look at the earlier video posted @122

    He described his brother as a Marine flame-thrower operator at Pelileu, Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Looks like he was at Perris Island January 1944, later 5th Service Battalion with the 5th Marine Division. This means service in possibly 3 Divisions some at about the same time. The 5th Division left Pendleton for Iwo then back to Hawaii. I’ll let the WWII guys figure this out.

    What is going on here?

  9. Sam Naomi says:

    EdUSMCleg
    Your answer to your post#158
    There’s more to whats taking place within the KWVA then many outsiders are aware of. We just got over a large and drawn-out law suite that included Charley D. Price. This is why I would rather have someone like either Jonn Lilyea or the owner of the POW Network clue you guys in on this Charley D. Price. In my book he’s no better a person then Ferris, I guess this was one of the reason Ferris appointed Charley Price as the KWVA National Legislative Director. now you know why nobody is hearing anything about what took place at the Board of Directors meeting, everyone is Hush Hush, myself I think if nothing more is said Ferris might think everything will dry up and go away, thats why I am hopeing you guys don’t drop the ball on the rest of us cause its going to take more then a hand full of us KWVA members to put Ferris in his place. Like I said, if I had a few phone numbers of some of you guys I would be more that glad to buzz you up and give you a run down on both Ferris and Charley Price. Right now our only hope is, that Jonn along with who ever he’s working with will lay the ground work to put Ferris where he belongs, (OUTSIDE LOOKING IN). As I said before, Jonn has my email address and phone number, see what he says about us doing any emailing, I sure don’t want to upset the apple-cart if Jonn is on to something. Sam

  10. OWB says:

    If I may offer a brief recap: Ferris is authorized to belong to the KWVA due to his actual service during that time. (Someone please correct me if I am remembering that wrong.) Evidently he displayed some sort of admin skills from which the KWVA benefitted. Evidently he displayed enough people skills to get elected to KWVA national office.

    I have no issue with members of the KWVA (most of whom are likely more than happy to have someone other than themselves do whatever it is/was that Ferris did) selecting whomever they wish as their officers. It’s just none of my business.

    I do not, however, appreciate Mr. Ferris embellishing his service record any more or less than all the other vets who have been caught embellishing their service records. That is the only argument I have with this man.

  11. Sam Naomi says:

    Please allow me to make a small comment to OWB, this might clear up something that he and others are not aware of. This Organization that I have been a member of for fifteen years has been going down hill for the pass ten or more years. When I first joined the KWVA there were alittle over 16,400 members, and this was back in 1998. Today theres only about 14,335 members, many of them are only Associated members who are unable to vote or hold office. The fact that we are loosing many members due to them passing away etc due to ageing is no excuse for what is taking place and having the problems now at hand. Mr. Ferris only won being elected as the President due to the fact that not even HALF of the total membership did not take the time or trouble to vote, Why????????? well because they had no reason to vote, the election was cut an dry as to who was going to be the next President. Call me sometime OWB, and I’ll clue you in as to whats going on in this KWVA. Jonn has my phone number, Iam retired from the railroad, home all day, and plenty time to talk. Sam

  12. OWB says:

    Sam, I fully understand your angst. Other organizations have had and do have similar issues. None of us can do anything about our aging or the apathy of so many.

    My father was both a WWII and Korean War veteran. For that reason I am interested in your concerns. Please so not misunderstand my comments.

    I am concerned, but do not consider all you say to be my fight. I am with you completely through the embellishing issue and have no problem being involved with making that issue known far and wide. But, I would also caution you to be careful what you ask for. I hope, for your sake, that the cure would not be worse than the disease.

  13. EdUSMCleg says:

    My only issue with it is that an embellisher is out there representing Korean War veterans in Nationally recognized events. This is the 60 year anniversary and should be a big deal. I respect the hell out of Korean War vets, and Ferris technically rates to be in KWVA. Problem is, he never did the things he said he did and has no place representing those who really gave a lot.

  14. Green Thumb says:

    Shitbag.

  15. WFT says:

    This may be one case TAH can’t crack.

    Ferris reportedly attended the White House Medal of Honor ceremony with Colonel Warren Wiedhahn, an official with the 3rd Marine Division Association and a long term KWVA official.

    Ferris is the main Korean War combat celebrity with the DOD 60th Anniversary Committee and the Korean government.

  16. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    “This may be one case TAH can’t crack.” It’s already cracked. We are waiting for it to fall into itsy-bitsy pieces.

  17. A Proud Infidel says:

    @167, Sam, are you located in the Southeastern US? If so, I wouldn’t mind getting in touch and saying “Hi”!

  18. AirOutThere says:

    2/17 at 167….So naive like most of the other keyboard jockeys who have nothing better to do than comment on others to make themselves feel better about their own empty lives. Like sheep to the slaughter most of the regular comment leavers are on this site. Kinda like itsy-bitsy pieces the blog owners life is falling into with his disease.

  19. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @169. Hey, that was clever. Now, what is it you were struggling to say? Are you a Ferris fan or just a tormented soul who hates for the sake of hating?

  20. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @169. I have to leave here very soon but I hate to be left hanging. Got an answer or another clever comment before I depart?

  21. OWB says:

    That was exceptionally wierd. And we know wierd around here!

  22. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @172. Yeah. I can’t wait any longer. If you will be stopping here again tonight, OWB, please have a look-see at this thread for me.

  23. Green Thumb says:

    169 is out there.

    Loser.

  24. Hondo says:

    OWB, 2/17 Air Cav: struck me the same. Anyone know where we can find a gibberish interpreter to translate comment 169 into some intelligible dialect of English?

  25. OWB says:

    Will do, for sure, for sure, AC.

    My gibberish translator is at the cleaners, though.

  26. Green Thumb says:

    @175

    You ever sit in on a BUB or CUB?

    Gibberish. Especially when the Brigade CO shows up.

    And people wonder why I dod not participate in the 12 step.

    Yeah.

  27. OWB says:

    Just checking to see if one of the pet crickets might have slipped in here.

  28. Hondo says:

    Green Thumb: I know what you mean. Most staff meetings I ever attended were similar.

  29. OWB says:

    Hey, Sparky! You don’t want to miss this one either!

  30. Baldy says:

    Our Association got this in early 2009 about Price, one of the head honcho’s of the KWVA National. We never got answers:

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/military/activist-price-sues-over-reports-of-phony-law-degree/955350

  31. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @182. That’s a heck of a read. I’m sorry for your troubles and those of the others good men in (or who were in) KWVA.

  32. MatyBo says:

    That badge is not a recon, jump wings, etc. What it is (and it took searching) is a Ground Search and Rescue “Ground Team” badge senior rating, for the Civil Air Patrol.

    Because the CAP was totally in Korea. Just sayin…

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