Stephen Holloway; needless embellishment

| May 19, 2017 | 94 Comments

AvergeNCO found this fellow, Stephen Holloway in the Chattanooga Times Free Press as they prepared to dedicate a veterans’ park in Pikeville, Tennessee last year.

Keynote speaker Stephen Holloway, a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran and prisoner of war who received 57 medals, said the park represents not just the soldiers but, more importantly, their sacrifices and why they made them.

Pretty impressive, huh? 57 medals. But Stephen isn’t done;

After 27 months of combat with the U.S. Army Special Forces 101st Airborne and two years in a prisoner-of-war camp, Holloway is proud to speak about his fellow veterans.

Wait, wait, he’s not done;

Holloway — awarded the Bronze Star, two Silver Stars, three Army Commendation medals, air medals, three Presidential Unit Citations and a long list of others — was injured repeatedly during the Tet Offensive, earning four Purple Hearts in two tours in Vietnam. After recovering, he got 20 days leave at home before he was sent back to the 101st Airborne.

Back in Vietnam, Holloway and other soldiers were aboard a helicopter when it was hit, killing the pilot. The helicopter was about 600 feet in the air.

“I tried to land the helicopter but I crashed it,” he said. “But I got it on the ground and didn’t kill anybody.”

Despite artificial parts in his arms and legs, surgically rebuilt hands and a long rehabilitation, Holloway has no regrets.

OK, let’s get the POW claims out of the way first. He’s not listed by the DPAA;

Now the copies of his DD214s are barely legible and what you can read is confusing;

These are the two, they are both for the same January 1967 – January 1971 time period. Both list the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. Both DD214s agree that he was a 76A supply clerk and that he was discharged as an E-1. Both DD214s agree that he was discharged from the 71st Transportation Battalion in Vietnam. So we can reasonably assume that he was indeed a Vietnam veteran. But there are not 57 medals.

In neither discharge does it indicate that he was Airborne or Special Forces qualified. There re no Air Medals or Presidential Unit Citations.

Where the two discharges diverge is in the awards column where one shows that he earned nine Purple Heart Medals, one Bronze Star Medal, one Silver Star Medal and one Army Commendation Medal for valor. The other discharge, for the same period, doesn’t list any of those awards. Both DD214s came from the National Personnel Records Center, but both are vastly different.

So, Stephen here wasn’t a POW, he wasn’t special forces, he doesn’t have 57 medals. He was a supply clerk, so I don’t know how he would have to fly a helicopter 600 feet to the ground. I don’t think he realizes how high 600 feet is.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (94)

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  1. Doc Savage says:

    *sigh*

    They don’t even try anymore…..

  2. Jay says:

    He subscribes to the “go big or don’t go at all” theory.

  3. Wilted Willy says:

    Just another shitbag wannabe poser, send him to the sand box and let’s see a demonstration of his bad assery? I’ll give you a Purple Heart you lying scumbag!

  4. Ret_25X says:

    57 Medals….57!

    Good Lord….he must have been looking at a Heinz ketchup bottle when he came up with that BS

  5. Hondo says:

    57 “medals” isn’t out of the question for a Vietnam War aviator – those guys flew a sh!tload of hours. 57 AMs is plausible given the criteria in use for award of the AM to Army aviators (that would equate to credit for around 1425 “high-intensity” flight hours, AKA combat mission hours). That’s eminently doable, though it might take more than a single 1-year tour.

    For a ground soldier? Um, 57 awards would be kinda . . . difficult. Extremely implausible IMO.

    • 26Limabeans says:

      Everytime I look at a “veterans” magazine I see another bullshit medal that I can be awarded. Fifty seven medals is just the starter kit nowadays. I’m waiting for the Franklin Mint to come out with the commemorative plates to go above my ARCOM.
      And the certificates of appreciation are so numerous I could paper the room with them.
      But alas, I have never landed a helicopter from 600 feet after witnessing the pilot get shot. That is just fucking amazing although apparently not that rare /s

      • Mick says:

        I would like to hear this assclown’s explanation of how he managed to get up into the cockpit and take the controls after the ‘pilot was killed’.

        I would also like to hear his story as to why the helicopter’s co-pilot didn’t take control of the aircraft after the ‘pilot was killed’.

        How can these reporters and editors not recognize how outrageously stupid and phony these Stolen Valor tall tales really are?

        Have they actually never seen a military helicopter, even on TV or in a war movie?

        The mind staggers at the gullible idiocy of all of this.

        • Martinjmpr says:

          Yes, thank you I was just about to post that as well. I’m wondering how he climbed over the armored seat back and somehow got ahold of the controls. And since a big part of flying a helicopter is using the foot controls, how did he get his feet on those? Did he just open the door and push the pilot out? That’s pretty cold blooded.

          And you have to wonder, what was the co-pilot doing while SP/5 Holloway was saving the day?

          • Claw says:

            Although his story doesn’t say what model of helicopter he was supposedly flying on, I can you that the Hueys pilot/co-pilot seats had a “Tilt Back” feature for just that purpose, i.e., pulling a wounded pilot into the crew compartment and taking over the seat.

            Don’t ask me how I know. I was only a lowly, lowly crew chief on one of those Hueys.

            • Perry Gaskill says:

              Claw, IIRC there was a fairly wide space between the Huey seats to move from front to the back. Also, one of the things I’ve sometimes wondered about is if Hueys flew with two pilots in all cases. On OH-58s, it was fairly routine to have single pilots who seemed to switch back and forth from flying left or right seat. It was also common for them to have you sit in an empty front seat if available, but you would get yelled at if you put your feet on the rudder pedals.

              • Claw says:

                Perry, It was my experience that when doing missions we always had two pilots.

                Although, I had heard, that for the spin around the block/check flight after the 100 hour Periodical Maintenance by the maintenance officer,(Widow Mender 6) it would at times just be him and the head TI (Technical Inspector)(usually a Spec6) who took a bird out.

                Other than that, can’t tell you much more. Every once in a while, the AC did let me have a little stick time, but we had to be really careful crawling in and out by the seats. There were all kinds of switches and knobs on the console between the seats and God only knows what might have happened if old size 12 clubfoot had broke some of them off. (Smiley Face)

        • Forest Green says:

          I would think that during one of the uncontrolled barrel rolls experienced by the pilotless helo the cabin door would open allowing the genius Holloway to unbuckle and discharge the deceased pilot making space for him to float into the pilot seat (during a brief period of weightlessness). He then was able to gain just enough control to set the helo down before catastrophic impact.

          The copilot was so amazed at this display of superhuman agility and strength that he collapsed in amazement and lost all cognizance of the situation.

          Oh, and having seen the supply clerk training syllabus, I know this particular emergency procedure is included basic (Pvt/PFC) skill set.

      • MSG Eric says:

        Yeah, the last time I looked at how much an upgrade to my rack would be, 65 dollars. I’m so f’n happy that dumb C and R do not go retroactively past a year ago for deployments.

        “Okay everyone, how do we improve morale?”

        “Um, lets give them another medal?”

        “Nah, we just did a year ago.”

        “Wait, lets give them more accoutrements for their awards. Not ‘new’ awards, but new devices!”

        “That’ll keep them quiet for a while, do it!”

    • The Old Maj says:

      I agree on the Air Medal part. Last year a friend of mine buried his father. He did some research and found out that he had 60 Air Medals. His father never went to a ceremony claiming 60 medals either. He just had them. Knowing his dad I think he knew the Air Medal thing was a bit of a dodge even if he earned them.

      600 feet eh? Till just now I did not know they stacked bullshit that high.

      • Chief says:

        holy effing shit!! 60 air medals? People stare at me with that stolen valor look as I sport my 15 air medals. I thought 25 would be about the highest, but damn — 60?!? that’s crazy

    • Charlie Six says:

      Medal of Honor recipient Pat Brady has 52 Air Medals to his credit.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Henry_Brady#U.S._Individual_decorations

  6. Claw says:

    Jimmy Walls, Frank Visconi and Michael Killam all rolled into one.

    Anyway, not discharged as a PV1. Spec5 at discharge.

    Received initial training as a apprentice supply clerk, but ended up as a Battalion level 71N, (Traffic Management Specialist)otherwise known as the load dispatcher.

    71st Trans Bn ran all their stuff down south in Viet of the Nam, nowhere near the 101st Airborne’s area up north in I Corps.

    Probably one of those “I got a bad SPN Code and it fucked up my life” conspiracy theorists.

    Dumbass.

    • 26Limabeans says:

      “101st Airborne’s area up north in I Corps.”

      That is one of my gotcha questions for 101st posers. Not a well known fact unless you actually served there. Same thing for the 82nd in that a poser will place themselves far from the actual Corps AO.

      • sj says:

        And most don’t know the 82nd was even there.

        • 1stCavRVN11B says:

          And hardly anybody knows that a 82nd TDY contingent went back to Nam in 1972 with jeep mounted Tow missiles. They had to rip off their patches. And they killed T-54 and T-59 tanks attacking Kontum. We (D 1/12th Cav and later D 2/8th Cav) provided security for them. Some documentation in the book; Kontum: The Battle To Save South Vietnam.

      • Combat Historian says:

        The one caveat to that is that when 101st Airborne Division arrived as a complete division in Vietnam in Nov 1967 (less 1st Brigade, which was already in Vietnam since 1965), it was assigned to III Corps, and fought its initial TET battles in and around Saigon during Jan and Feb 1968. 101st Airborne Division was not transferred to Northern I Corps until March 1968, and pretty much stayed in Northern I Corps all the way until 1972.

        One other smaller caveat is that 101st Airborne’s 3-506 Infantry was separated from the rest of the division and spent over two years as the core of Task Force South in southern II Corps, serving near Phan Rang and Phan Thiet; 3-506 did not rejoin 101st Airborne Division in northern I Corps until 1970…

        So yes, there are 101st guys who served outside of I Corps, but the vast vast majority of vets with 101st did serve in northern I Corps…

        • Sj says:

          Yep. I was in Song F’ing Be with the 1/101 (ABN)(SEP) on Tet and, as you stated, they moved us to F’ing Phu Bai. My tent was the first one in that area.

          Know I’m old when history is something I participated in.

        • Claw says:

          Yep, all true. But this turd never was anywhere near the 101st during his time in country.

          The 71st Trans Battalion operated the Terminal Port Facilities at Newport, Saigon and Tay Ninh. The Battalion contonement area was at Camp Camelot in Long Binh.

          In other words, his outfit unloaded the supplies from boats onto trucks and he load planned/dispatched the trucks on where to go to, all from the safety of being snuggled up to the 1st Logistics Command flagpole.

  7. Marvin Gibson says:

    My question; does he get a VA disability pension?

    • Hondo says:

      He might. But under today’s rules of “presumptive exposure” and “presumptive service connection”, it could well be “legit”. (The last pair of quotes are intentional.)

      Thanks to former VA Secretary Shinseki, anyone who set foot in Vietnam is “presumed” to have been exposed to Agent Orange. That means they are also thus “presumed” to be service-connected for a sh!tload of conditions also associated with normal male aging. Develop those conditions, even if they run in your family, and you’re “disabled” and get treatment – and likely compensation as well.

      If his VA compensation is due to any of those reasons, under today’s rules it’s “legit”. Ditto if it’s for for injuries received in Vietnam

      I’m not begrudging anyone who served in SEA and was actually injured or exposed to Agent Orange their due. But it kinda torques me to see folks who spent a year in Saigon or Long Binh – or who RONed ONE NIGHT at Da Nang AB – qualify for the same presumptive exposure as those guys on isolated firebases where Agent Orange was actually used, or who humped through contaminated areas routinely.

      • OWB says:

        Don’t forget that in addition to those guys, there were maintainers and others who were routinely exposed to the chemicals doing their jobs. I even worked with a transportation guy whose job it was to inventory and “isolate” the leaking barrels of the stuff on the receiving dock.

        So much of that sort of legitimate exposure is probably why the decision was finally made that it was easier and probably cheaper to just presume potential exposure rather than investigate each case.

        But, I agree that it is very frustrating to watch the moochers take easy passes to benefits they did not earn.

      • sj says:

        I read somewhere that there is a fake CPO disbarred lawyer who claims it and he never set foot in Viet of the Nam until recently and his boat that sailed off shore didn’t have AO on it.

  8. Mick says:

    All of this alleged high speed derring-do in the Viet of the Nam and no CIB?

  9. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    The real question – Does he know Long Duk Dong (GONG!!!) and like Cream of Sum Yung Guy Soup?

  10. Some Guy says:

    It’s very hard to read, but can anyone clarify why the top of the form says “SP 5 (P) E5” while further down it says “PVT E-1 (P)”?

  11. Brown Neck Gaitor says:

    Jonn,

    Looks like he was a Spec 5 (p) at discharge (see second line of both docs).

    The section VII, Chapter 5 SPN 411 (redacted on one of the two docs) at that time mapped to “early separation of overseas returnees”

    You are correct, honorable service with zero reason to embellish…

  12. Combat Historian says:

    May be the 71st Trans Battalion was the cover designation for MACV-SOG’s Command Control North…(Sarc Snark)…

  13. Slick Goodlin says:

    Obviously after the pilot was killed, the Co-pilot and Crew Chief shouted,
    “Hey,are there any Supply Clerks who can fly this this thing!”

  14. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    NO REASON AT ALL to embellish like that but yet he did…

    In the absence of Ex-OS2,

    Cocksucker.

  15. Club Manager says:

    Ahhhh, but he does have the difficult to receive NDSM so cut him some slack. Oh, hold on a second. Our dog who accompanied us when I worked for the Army in Republic de Panama was awarded the NDSM so scratch the slack comment.

  16. Mick says:

    And why do so many of these Stolen Valor posers always want to falsely claim that they were POWs? From my perspective, becoming a POW is something that one would want to avoid if at all possible.

    My great uncle was a POW during WW2, and I’m acquainted with a couple of the American POWs held by the Iraqis during Operation DESERT STORM.

    In the time that I’ve known them, none of them have ever even wanted to talk about their experience as POWs with friends and family, let alone going around running their mouths and bragging about it in public and/or in the media.

    As I’ve said before on these pages, I just can’t seem to get my mind around this phony POW phenomenon. I really do not understand the motivation behind it.

    • Martinjmpr says:

      As I’ve said before on these pages, I just can’t seem to get my mind around this phony POW phenomenon. I really do not understand the motivation behind it.

      You and me both. Seriously, I think there is material for a doctoral dissertation in psychology somewhere in this phenomenon.

      You don’t see people making up stories about doing hard time in a state prison, but false POW stories are among the most common that you see.

      My guess (and it’s just that) is that most of the people who fake POW status are people who see themselves as “victims” in life: Exploited, downtrodden, kept from the success they believe they deserve by outside forces keeping them down.

      The fake POW stories let them assume the role Hero/Victim has the sad sack life of the victim, but with the redeeming mantle of the hero. Playing the hero/victim gets them both the admiration and the pity that they seek.

      At least, that’s my (admittedly non-expert) take on the fake POW phenomenon.

      Incidentally I think we see this in non-military areas as well where people will pretend to be, for example, 9/11 victims or victims of Hurricane Katrina but when you look into their background you find they were hundreds of miles away and have just been rocking the lie for so long it’s become natural to them.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      It’s most likelty the idea that being a victim of the VC’s treatment of POWs will grant immediate victim status to the faker, while the idea that there is an actual list of POWs doesn’t occur to them at all.

      • rgr769 says:

        IIRC, I read somewhere that there are over 13,000 Vietnam veterans or claimed veterans who have asserted in their VA claims they were POWs of the VC or the NVA.

    • The Old Maj says:

      He tells us:

      “I’m not much of a speaker. I’m going to stand up there and say a few words. I haven’t done this since I got back from Vietnam,” he said.

      He wanted to steal a moment of glory for himself in the sun. Vietnam POW is such a rarity that the only I have ever seen were at large Army Ceremonies. He figured he was a shoe-in.

    • Cris says:

      There have been so few POWs from the conflicts since Vietnam, that I’m surprised that anyone would even try to claim that, since it could be easily verified. But, seeing the type of boneheads that pull this stuff, they obviously have not concept of any history or historic accuracy.

  17. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    I’m wondering if the 214 that has the nine PH’s, SS and BS could have been done by an Admin type to “fluff up” his service?

    If someone had the time and access to the resources to do it, it may be worth looking at.

    • Martinjmpr says:

      Isn’t there a publicly available, published citation for every Silver Star ever issued? It’s the 3rd highest award for valor, you would think there would be an independently verifiable record somewhere.

      • Hondo says:

        No, to my knowledge there isn’t. And IMO there probably never will be.

        Working from memory below, but I’m reasonably sure I’m damn close to correct if not exact.

        It’s my understanding that the USMC and USN did a pretty good job keeping track of their Silver Stars, and their records are fairly complete. However, the Army did not. Not sure about the USAF.

        Here’s the problem. Starting in World War II, the Army has devolved Silver Star approval authority to the 3-star level during wartime (it’s at DA level during peacetime, as I recall). The rationale is to allow immediate recognition of combat heroism.

        Thus every Army Corps Commander (or equivalent level of command) and higher had Silver Star approval authority during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Unfortunately, such decentralized approval authority makes keeping central records a bear.

        The Army also had the bulk of all combat forces engaged during all 3 wars. The result is predictable: no – it appears that the Army doesn’t seem to have any validated list of Silver Star awardees and/or citations for same.

        The most complete lists are believed to be at around 70-80% for Vietnam and prior, and more accurate (but likely still not 100% complete) for later conflicts.

        Creating a validated list for the Silver Star would be a quite massive undertaking, because you’d literally have to first search NPRC’s records on everyone. However, some awards didn’t make it into peoples records. So you’d also have to search the orders archives of every 3-star Army command from World War II forward to ensure you had them all.

        And if you wanted the list to be truly validated, you’d have to cross-check NPRC against actual orders anyway. There have been validated instances of bogus awards appearing in military records at NPRC.

        Then there’s the issue of pre-World War II Silver Stars. They were issued as a conversion of Citation Stars for World War I (Teddy Roosevelt Jr. had one such Silver Star due to conversion, and was awarded a second for actions during World War II also.) Finding those would also be required.

        Doug Sterner covered this in some detail on his old Home of Heroes website and elsewhere. I hope my memory here has done his fine work justice.

  18. The Other Whitey says:

    57 medals, huh? Did Audie Murphy even have that many?

  19. Carlton G. Long says:

    If he had been able to kill the VC the way he’s killing that dessert, Lyndon Johnson might have tried for another term.

  20. OldManchu says:

    Landed a dead pilot Huey? Pfffftttt.

    I once, while under canopy, grabbed on to a buddy who was riding in a streaming malfunction. I grabbed his canopies as he passed by and held on to him and landed him safely to the DZ just like a nicely packed rucksack. Really… It’s true. Maybe. Not.

  21. Green Thumb says:

    I bet he knows all about getting “high”.

    Hence the e-1 level discharge after four years.

    I hope he takes that fork and shoves it up his ass.

  22. Wilted Willy says:

    My pos brother had a phony DD214 and the form was dated 1956! You would think that any clerk typist would at least notice that little detail? You know how much they like their forms and all?? I will never understand how this cocksucker has gotten away with this bullshit for so long??? I hope I don’t die before this asshamster goes to prison, but I am slowly beginning to lose all hope of his arrest and trial?????

  23. ChipNASA says:

    Crusty Old Lying Fucker.
    Fuck Him.
    Fuck.

  24. Mark Duncan says:

    9 Purple Hearts?
    Bwahahahaha! I’m dying from laughter.
    If that were true, we would have learned about this douche nozzle a long time ago.
    I’m surprised someone hasn’t pulled his medical records and looked to see what “wounds ” he actually received.
    But I doubt paper cuts and staple wounds count

    • Martinjmpr says:

      Maybe he got a shell fragment in his eye, Frank Burns style. 😉

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Naw. It was an eyelash. Irritated his eye till it looked like a road map. He could hardly see out of one eye and was nearly blind in the other. That’s why his DDs are barely legible. That, and they were done with disappearing ink that can only be properly read under the light of a crescent moon in the Spring, with a candle made of the tallow from a dead fatburger or cheeseslayer.

    • timactualt says:

      Sure they do. Ask John Kerry. If he got three in three months, it should be child’s play to get nine in 27 months.

      I do like the shirt, though.

  25. RCAF_Chairborne says:

    The Supply Clerk (AKA:Blanket Stacker, BinRat) can be a soldiers greatest friend or the bane of ones existence.

    Another VN Vet who should have just been proud with his perfectly honourable service.

  26. RCAF_Chairborne says:

    Totally Unrelated,

    Question for my friendly neighbours to the South……

    Are your medics/corpsman lovingly referred to as ‘Pecker-Checkers’ as are ours??

  27. FatCircles0311 says:

    Supply clerks trying to land helicopters was so common back in Nam. Now days in order to give the enemy a chance they limit supply clerks from operating operationally. Also other troops complained supply clerks kept taking all the medals.

    What a bag of shit.

    • rgr769 says:

      His claim that he piloted a helicopter to a controlled crash is absurd. I had received 40 hours of fixed wing flight training in the ROTC flight program, and several times when I was an infantry officer in the Viet of the Nam, pilots gave me a little stick time in the left seat of Hueys and LOH’s. With no helicopter training there is no way I could have crash landed without killing or hurting anyone. I had a LOH pilot try to teach me how to hover once, which is easier than landing, as you only need to simultaneously operate two controls instead of four, and I just about put the bird into the dirt near our helipad instead of hovering 50 feet above it. Why is it mostly the supply clerks and wiredogs who were actually there that spin these fantastic yarns? It is not like there was a surplus of REMF’s volunteering to pick up a ruck and a rifle and live in the boonies. If any of my company supply clerks had asked to join one of the rifle platoons that would have happened. In fact, we had a cook join our Ranger Company and become a LRRP team-member.

  28. Jonp says:

    I’d google it but im too damned lazy and someone here knows the answer anyways. 4 Purple Hearts in 2 hrs should have set off alarm bells but 9 should have been an air raid siren.
    Whats the record on both most fastest and total and can you earn more than one for the same action?

  29. Mark Lauer says:

    57 medals. 9 of them Purple Hearts!

    Usually the armed forces will offer a man fewer medals, and might say; “would you rather have a DSC, or maybe the Medal of Honor, just to save you wear and tear on your uniform?”
    And wouldn’t this ass ape be in every fucking history book on the Vietnam War?
    JEEZ, mother fucker, save some bling for the other posers!

  30. SidneyBroadshead says:

    You are all glossing over the bit about “artificial parts in his arms and legs [and] surgically rebuilt hands”. What the h@ll is that about? Is he also Colonel Steve Austin?

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