John Lawson Griffith; phony POW

| July 30, 2016

John Griffith (4)

Someone sent us a link to the Tennessean which reported about Vietnam Veteran John Lawson Griffith. He told them the story about how his helicopter had been shot down and he’d been captured. Well, here, let him tell it;

His UH-1 “Huey” helicopter had crashed in the dense jungle, killing three people whose identities he has never known. The less you know, the less you can tell the enemy if you’re captured.

And that’s exactly what happened not long after the crash.

Griffith remembers being led by a rope tied around his neck, his hands secured tightly behind his back. He and another soldier captured with him marched like this for 19 hours through thick foliage.

Knowing he faced torture, death or both, he waited for his captor to make a misstep — mapping out a plan of attack in his mind.

Finally, his North Vietnamese captor stumbled. He hit the ground, dragging Griffith and the other soldier nearly on top of him.

Griffith, his hands still tied, immediately pounced, tearing into the enemy’s neck with his teeth.

“I gauged where his carotid artery would be, and I knew that since I didn’t have a weapon, that’s what I needed to do,” he says.

Griffith and the other soldier were recovered a short time later, their captor left to bleed to death on the jungle floor.

He says he killed dozens of other enemy combatants, mostly by slitting their throats.

It’s something he’s neither proud nor ashamed of.

“I did it because I’m a survivor,” he said. “Had I not done it, other people would have died. Not only me, but maybe this squad or platoon that was coming in.”

Checking with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), I don’t see Griffith’s name among the Marine Corps POW/MIAs;

Griffith DPAA

Looking at his records, John was a Marine, and he was indeed in Vietnam from October 1967 – October 1968. In the article, he says that he was assigned to a recon unit in the 1st Marine Division, but his records say that he was assigned to the Headquarters and Service Company of 1st Battalion of the 1st Marine Division. I don’t see any Recon training, either. I see some Nuclear, Biological and Chemical training that makes me think he was the NBC/CBR guy at the Battalion Headquarters.

John Griffith (5)

In the picture above, he’s wearing a Bronze Star Medal with a Valor device, three Purple Heart Medals, and a POW Medal. I’ll grant him that he left the service more than a decade before the POW Medal existed, so it wouldn’t be in his records unless he’d filed a DD215 correction to his discharge, however there’s nothing in his records that would support his POW claims. His records credit him with one Purple Heart (not the three he’s wearing) and there is no Bronze Star in his file (with or without a Valor device). I also don’t see the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal in his records, but there it is on his uniform. Everybody wants to wear jump wings, but no one wants to jump from airplanes.

John Griffith FOIA

John Griffith Schools

John Griffith Assignments

John Griffith Combat Participation

Griffith has plenty to be proud of in his records, I don’t know why he felt that he needed to add anything to it. I was going to hold off on this one until after the weekend, but the more I looked at it, the more it pissed me off. So, here you go.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (95)

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  1. Hondo says:

    I’ll let our USMC readers confirm or correct – but I don’t think the USMC sends too many people to jump school who remain “5 jump chumps” for very long.

    Sheesh. Yet another LSoS with perfectly honorable combat service who had to p!ss all over it later. Purple Heart, CAR, in Vietnam for freaking TET – and still had to add sh!t he never earned to his rack to make himself into “the hero he never was”.

    SaD. ThAt’S jUsT fReAkInG sAd.

    • Just An Old Dog says:

      Actually depending on the billet they get assigned to its plausible they get a shot at The BAC and never jump out of a plane for the rest of their Career.
      I know some of the officers (especially Navy Academy) got a shot a BAC between their Jr and Sr college years.
      But you are right, Marines who are in Jump Billets ( Recon, Raiders, ANGLICO and Air Cargo) generally get the gold Navy wings.

      • CWORet says:

        Not sure anymore, but I was stationed in Agony GA (Albany Logistics Base) in the late 80’s. You could compete (and I did) for slots at Benning. If you made the top cut, every class/quarter would give a weekends notice for any available last minute openings – like 1 or 2. About the most us REMF’s could get. Never got in. All I would have gotten was the 5 Jump Chump badge. Kinda glad now, but I tried to get in the club. FML.

    • IDC SARC says:

      minor point…Unless you’re in a jump billet you can’t wear gold wings regardless of the number of jumps you have.Once you have them you don’t lose them if you leave a billet. However, you could strap hang any number of jumps and wouldn’t be awarded gold wings unless you get into a bona fide billet.

      • IDC SARC says:

        and WTF is a Meritorious Commendation Medal?!?

        • Hondo says:

          My guess is that “Meritorious Commendation Medal” is what’s technically called an “NPRC clerk screw-up”. I’m thinking it’s supposed to read “Meritorious Unit Commendation” or “Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal”. My best guess would be the former, but I can’t rule out the latter.

          • Navy CPO says:

            This what I see, the clerk was just lazy, as it looks like he combined the two Unit awards of the Navy Unit commendation and Meritorious Unit Commendation.

            The other other thing is I don’t see the NAVCOM and Navy Achievement Medal.

          • Navy CPO says:

            The NAM (Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal) did not become recognized until 1994.

            • Hondo says:

              Might want to double-check that, Chief. Other sources I’ve read say that the NAM was created in 1961 and that the NAM was the first Achievement medal to be created (the other services each created one later – USCG in 1967, USAF in 1980, Army in 1981, Joint in 1983).

              The name was indeed changed in 1994, but the medal itself appears far older.

            • Silentium Est Aureum says:

              Marines were given NAMs long before 1994, they just renamed them then.

              Ditto NCMs.

        • Silentium Est Aureum says:

          PUC, NUC, and MUC.

          Those alone are hard enough to come by.

          Seriously, why do they have to shit all over perfectly good service like that?

  2. Jay says:

    Damn…pretty impressive record with the added fuckery. Too bad so sad, you’re a douche

  3. ex-OS2 says:


  4. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    This is one tough SOB. Marines usually boiled VC before eating them. This guy took his raw. Tough SOB. (Lucky that he and the mysteriously anonymous other captive were being escorted by only one guy in his pjs named Charlie.)

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    Here’s Mikey’s song, revised to accommodate the VC story:

    Oh, I love to bite them VC
    Charlie what I love to eat
    Bite they little heads off
    Nibble on they tiny feet

    What a gnatbrain!

  6. MCPO NYC USN Ret. ain't goin' no where says:

    What he meant to say was:

    “I have a sick fascination with necks, slitting throats and leaving someone to die in a pool of their own blood”.

    Well Griffith, so does ISIS and our worst enemies … perhaps you can share your BS stories with them … in person!

  7. HMCS(FMF) ret. says:

    Served his time honorably and made SGT. Then decided to go Bernath/QuEeFeRs/Forgin’ Frank about his time in the Marine Corps.

    I wonder if he knows Lon Duc Dong and like Cream of Sum Yun Guy soup? Bet you he has a shitload of stories about “Rice Paddy Daddy” and missions out of their advanced base in Poon Tang village (Ho Li Phuc Provence).

    Hope your lies bite you in the ass, John Lawson Griffith…

  8. Green Thumb says:

    False POW claims.

    This turd is at the bottom of the sewer.

    And he used his teeth as a weapon?

    If I had my way, he would have no teeth.


    • Hack Stone says:

      That is why it is important to make those dental appointments when the Company Gunnery Sergeant hands you the appointment chit.

  9. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    FAKE POW, that alone makes him lower than whale shit in my book! He already as a legit PH BUT NOOOO, he had to embellish with more.

    Enjoy your newfound internet fame, dingleberry!

  10. Just An Old Dog says:

    Fucking heart-breaking that he feels he needs to embelish anything. Looks like he was a radio operator attached to Infantry Units. Basically a grunt with extra weight to carry who was a high priority target.

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      Whatever John Lawson Griffith may have been in actuality decades ago, he exchanged it all (every bit of it) for an Asshole Trophy. Of course, that comes with engraving: “John Lawson Griffith, Asshole”

  11. Hack Stone says:

    I would tell him to bite me, but then he just might do it.

  12. OldManchu says:

    He sure does fantasize about ropes around necks and neck biting and throat slitting a lot.

    • Hack Stone says:

      Maybe HO could start doing Public Service Announcements regarding the dangers of auto-erotic asphyxiation.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Or maybe he watched too many vampire movies, and has flashbacks to ‘Dark Shadows’.

  13. USMCMSgt (Ret) says:

    Why hasn’t the Marine Corps’ School of Martial Arts Excellence contacted this guy and incorporate his war fighting skills into the MCMAP program?

    • Warrior0369 says:

      It’s a teeth thing Top…..You gotta have the right sized incisors to qualify for the neck biting MOS…..

  14. IDC SARC says:

    Guys got a helluva set of choppers…gaining access to the carotid artery with a body lying still and a scalpel in hand requires cutting with some depth through skin, muscle and connective tissues. Badass.

    • Tony180a says:

      Wait…. I just saw this done. Games of Thrones season 6. Probably the same place he saw it too.

  15. Chip says:

    These guys are too old to act like this. Really nobody cares if you were Rambo anways. Our current culture only likes free shit a Pokémon.

  16. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    This might be one guy the DHS ought to track. Too much fascination with slitting throats and biting. I’d like to see what his basement looks like. I bet it has blacked-out windows.

  17. Skippy says:

    Why Shit all over a good service record?????

    • Claw says:

      Skippy, it all has to do with hangy thingy envy.

      By shitting all over his record, he gets to wear 10 hangy thingys instead of just five hangy thingys.

      It’s all a matter of perspective and how much in love you are with hangy thingys.

      His original hangy thingys were a pizza box and a fire guard badge. That’s when the hangy thingy envy started.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      The other part of his hangy thingies doesn’t work right any more. You left that part out, Claw.

      Send him a scrip for Viagra or something. Then he might shut up.

      • Claw says:

        Well, I thought maybe one of our resident medics would write him up with an Rx for that wonder drug call Growacet.

        Having the prescription come from a bonafide pecker checker may carry more weight.

        But Yeah, his hangy thingy may have a case of the droopies.

        • Ex-PH2 says:

          ‘that wonder drug called Growacet’…

          Claw, I am so borrowing that for future use.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        So his nickname now is Dick Dragon?

    • Pinto Nag says:

      Because he’s feeling left behind and old. We all get the chance to feel that way, it’s just that some people handle it better than others.

  18. Honey Badger says:

    This guy is a pain in the neck.. oh damnit, autocorrect. What I meant was a huge piece of shit.

  19. Johnny Elk says:

    Sent this lying POS a note on FB. Told him how I felt about his bullshit lies and this is what he had to say: “YOU IGNORANT POS….
    IT WAS VERIFIED ……YOU WEREN’T THERE…… ASSHOLES LIKE YOU…..IS THERE REASON THAT I HAVE NOT SHARED THAT STORY…..SO GO FUCK YOURSELF”. HaHa! I can’t believe the trash that is out there these days. He is truly a candidate for Shitbag of the year.

  20. HMCS(FMF) ret. says:

    Someone’s already dropped a link to here on JOHN LAWSON GRIFFITH’s lies with the story at the Tennessean… has anyone contacted the reporter or editor so they can either do a follow up or pull it?

    Also looks like the FB link is gone… someone is following SV SOP and is in damage control mode.

    • Claw says:

      Senior, his FB page is still there.

      It has many, many pictures of him (in all his finery and wearing the Marine Gold Jump Wings) and C&W singer Vince Gil.

      I wonder how Gil is going to feel if he ever finds out Griffith is as full of shit as a Christmas turkey?

      • jarhead says:

        Claw…man, you just hit on another new country song. Write it, send it to Vince Gil, and call it “Cuttin’ Up the Christmas Turkey, Lookin’ For The Wish Bone, and Only Findin’ A Pile of Bullshit”.

  21. 3/17 Air Cav says:

    Stupid old fuck is my age give or take a year. He’s somebody’s grandfather. Had a honorable service in the marines. Why in the hell he had to start telling his bullshit stories who knows. Maybe life left him behind and forgotten. It’s just sad.

    Being 68-70 years old and a shitstain is no way to go out! Sucks to be him!

    • jarhead says:

      317…You’ve created even a better idea for a Vince Gil Christmas song.

      “My Wife Done Up and Run Off With A Turkey
      He Was and Is, Completely Full Of Shit
      Had I Known She Was Gonna Do That
      I’da Tattooed My Name On Her Biggest Tit”

  22. Hondo says:

    For completeness: here are the lists of personnel who were ever POW/MIA in Vietnam maintained by DPAA. These lists are comprehensive, and include ALL personnel POW/MIA during that conflict – including personnel taken captive who were rescued or escaped the same day. The first list includes those whose fate is definitively known, excluding those known to have KIA/BNR; the second, those who fate is not definitively known plus who are known to have been KIA/BNR.

    Only two persons on those lists have the last name “Griffith”:

    1. LT John Gary Griffith, US Navy, of Kansas City, MO. LT Griffith was KIA/BNR in or over North Vietnam on 12 March 1968. To date, his remains have not been recovered.
    2. SGT Robert S. Griffith, US Army, of Hapeville, GA. SGT Griffith was lost in Laos on 19 February 1968. His remains were recovered on 21 November 2007, and they were formally identified and SGT Grifith formally accounted for on 2 October 2008.

    Neither of these individuals was a Marine. Moreover, the lists maintained by DPAA for Vietnam are comprehensive and also include people held less than one full day. Ergo, this guy is simply a LSoS bastard – he’d have been reported MIA if what he claimed had actually happened and would be on the first of those two lists. “Been verified” my ass, dipstick.

    This case is particularly odious since this tool may well be using the fact that a dead guy with a similar name (John Gary Griffith) is still listed by DPAA today as unaccounted for to bolster his story. That’s freaking low.

    Screw this guy.

  23. HT3 '83-'87 says:

    Another case of a lazy journalist believing everything at face value. What ever happened to verifying a story with at least 2 sources? Plus, where is this writer’s bullshit detector? Here’s a rule of thumb: If it sounds like something to fantastic for a Chuck Norris Delta Force/Missing in Action I, II, or III movie then it’s probably not true.

    • HMCS(FMF) ret. says:

      Face checking – that shit went the way of the dinosaurs at “J” school. The little wannabe’s want to be the next Brian Ross, Brian Williams or Katie Couric.

  24. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Two were taken prisoner, according to Fang. What was the other fellow’s name? Now that’s something no one would ever forget. Also, since a bird went down, that should be no trouble to verify, especially since he says three crewman were killed. Who would forget the date? No one. So, whatever else he says, writes, or sings, he should be able to supply those two small pieces of info.

  25. AZtoVA says:

    I was XO for HQ Co, H&S Bn, 3rd FSSG in ’91 – does that make me Recon also? Or did that end in the 70’s? How come no one ever told me?!?!?

  26. jarhead says:

    Partial response to Tony 180a and HMCS…No way in hell am I going to let something like this from my old stomping grounds go unheard.
    This list is from A L Post 17 in Gallatin, Tn.







    Charlene Jackson

    1st Vice
    Curtis Malone

    2nd Vice
    Greg Johnson

    Sheila Parson

    Tried to call the reporter at the Tennessean, but only reached voice mail. Left my home #, hoping she’d call. Meanwhile, I was able to speak directly to 2nd V P Greg Johnson. Gave him all details and how to contact Jonn. He seemed interested and concerned as we all are….time will tell. This is NOT over yet. NOT by a long shot!!!!! Please bombard these people with phone calls.

  27. Tony180a says:

    Jarhead I’m about 40 miles away from Gallatin. Thanks for the info I’m dialing now.

    • jarhead says:

      Thanks for pitching in Tony. Just could not help myself…just finished speaking with 1st V P Curtis Malone; good conversation. Let’s put it this way, he was not too surprised by the story in the newspaper. Like all of us, people get a gut feeling when they read something that just does not sound right. Especially when it’s someone you know.

      That kind of character WANTS and NEEDS recognition…this is his day!

      John Griffith= Stolen Valor= Lying POS.

  28. jarhead says:

    As of this minute you can add one more A L name to the list of those contacted. That being Commander Charlene Jackson. Good phone call, a bit broken up (cell phone apparently), but interesting enough she mentioned something about some “Black Ops” info blacked out on what one of the other members saw.

    Her we go again, another…”It’s classified and I can’t talk about it!” First sign of a lying POS!!!

    • jarhead says:

      This will be my final comment on the matter. A few minutes ago the A L Commander called back with a better phone connection this time. When she pointed at that she had been a Woman Marine for some 22 1/2 years, I knew the jig is up for Griffith. As any other branch of service, Marines do NOT take kindly to POSERS of their own. My guess is Griffith is going to wish he had been a Boy Scout before she’s done with him!

      Thanks to the others who also took an interest exposing this P O S.

      • HMCS(FMF) ret. says:

        BZ for the work, jarhead! Nice to see the local AL is taking an interest in STOLEN VALOR SHITBAG John Lawson Griffith. Hopefully they put his nutsack in a vice and hammer the dogshit out of him for his lies.

  29. Tony180a says:

    I’ve been playing phone tag with the AL post Commander but she did return my phone call regarding this issue. John Griffith is listed as the POC for the post F-4(?)and boy scout committees.

    • Green Thumb says:

      Maybe he should be running the “Turd Scout” committees.

      My understanding is that is a position at All-Points Logistics that needs to be “Philled”.

  30. Be More Careful says:

    I don’t know if you are aware of how face book works with hot links but in this case, when you click on Griffiths name in the article, it was erroneously taking people to my face book page. I attended high school with him 50 years ago and exchanged a few comments one of which referenced a newspaper article. Apparently his page has been taken down so face book pulls up the next item referencing that name which happened to be that article on my page. Some yahoo from this site sent me a message. For the record, I have no idea what Griffiths military record or claims were/are but I do know that this site is very irresponsible for allowing an error like this. Please be more careful in the future when inadvertently associating other people with your witch hunts.

    • GDContractor says:

      A.) This isn’t a “witch hunt”.
      B.) The “hot link” took me right to Griffith’s Facebook page, just moments ago.

      • Be More Careful says:

        How did your boy Culp know to try to contact me directly? Neither he nor Griffith has any other connection to me or my facebook or messenger account, only to this site. If you are Doug Culp, why do you wish to contact me?

        • jarhead says:

          T A H folks…may we have your attention? Issue an immediate BOLO for one Doug Culp.
          He’s a thoroughly dangerous man!
          Yep, he’s MY BOY!!!! As others will attest, he is a secret agent conspiring to attack your Face Book page. He is paid under the table by other T A H sekrit spooks to confuse people. Sounds like he is earning his dough. BTW, he is the brother of Robert Culp, the man from U.N.C.L.E. Beware the stranger! Don’t answer the phone, even if it is in YOUR shoe!

          • TheCloser says:

            jh- Robert Culp was in ‘I Spy’ (with Bill Cosby). Robert Vaughn was the man from U.N.C.L.E.

            • jarhead says:

              Closer….my error and my apology. You are correct and I am too damned old to think I can remember television show from way back without looking them up first. Thank you for the correction.
              Crap, next thing you know I’ll be claiming Tarzan was humping Annette Funicello on “I Love Lucy”

    • jarhead says:

      Me thinks you are a bit confused sir. This site is NOT responsible for whatever happened to your Face Book page; no matter how things were misdirected. It is Face Book you need to contact to complain.
      BTW, we DO KNOW what Griffith’s military history is. We DO know the guy you attended high school with 50 years ago is a lying weasel and a POS. Hope you don’t associate with him or believe in Santa Clause. Might make you feel better if you were to contact another Marine…..the Post Commandant. She will echo these remarks in full.

      • Be More Careful says:

        I don’t defend Griffiths situation. I do not want some specious gang to try to associate me with anyone I haven’t ever associated with other than to be on the same high school class page of 500+ former students. I served honorably as well and you self appointed arbiters of matters do not invole me or contact me. Since the link only appears on your site you are responsible for your users misuse to harrass people completely not involved in the matter. Incitement?

        • MrBill says:

          Wow, Jarhead – YOU are responsible for whatever this dude Culp did. I hope you’re ashamed of yourself!

          Look, Mr. Careful – I just checked the link above, and like others have attested, it goes to Griffith’s Facebook page – no one else’s. I can’t imagine how you think it’s this site’s fault that someone is picking on you, unless your name is John Lawson Griffith.

          • jarhead says:

            Oh yeh, I’m crawling under my Snoopy blanket as we speak. The Culp dude is really Bat Man, but please keep this to yourself.

          • jarhead says:

            Mr. Bill..your last sentence wins the weekly prize for discovery and completion. The cricket farm is now on alert. Your winning prize is an autographed 8 X 10 framed photo of Slim Whitman yodeling “Crickets Lives Matter”

        • Green Thumb says:


        • jarhead says:

          Very inciting sir. The specious “gang” you refer is actually a bunch of mostly veterans who YES consider ourselves self-appointed arbiters given the sole or absolute power to change the world. Thanks to your post, a special Board of Directors meeting has been scheduled this evening to resolve your complaint. Our special envoy/contact person, Mrs. Shownuff Lovliness will be in touch later.

        • 3/17 Air Cav says:

          Relax Francis, your reacting like this is a JFK conspiracy. I recommend taking two salt tabs and bedrest!

        • 3/17 Air Cav says:

          Relax Francis, your acting like this is a JFK conspiracy! I recommend two salt tabs, followed by bedrest.

  31. Be More Careful says:

    Doug Culp: you were the guy trying to contact me on Messenger last night. What do you want? The name’s Callaway.

    • jarhead says:

      Cab…..that you Brother? A psychic told me you’d be back one day soon. Go easy on that smoke.

  32. ex-OS2 says:

    @Be More Careful, is that you Joe?