James Shippey; phony POW

| June 5, 2017

AverageNCO spotted this fellow, James Shippey, in his local Anderson, Indiana Herald Bulletin.

When Diana Shippey married Jim Shippey 30 years ago, she wasn’t exactly sure what she was getting into.

Over the years, she has helped her husband, who served in the Army in Korea in 1952, did five tours of Vietnam between 1964 and 1973, and spent 52 months as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, fight off nightmares.

“I wish I had been there and been a part of his life before it was all over. I could have been there for him sooner,” said the Elwood native who now lives in Alexandria.

So it turns out that Jim has been busted before by the old POW Network, countless times between 2004 and 2007, and now he’s back;

Shippey claims that he served in the Korean War and in Vietnam, that he began his service in 1951. Yeah, no. He served in Vietnam – twice – but he enlisted in 1955, two years after the armistice in Korea. He retired in 1976. He claims that he has three Silver Star Medals, a Distinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Star Medals, five Purple Heart Medals but none of that s true. He has one Purple Heart, not five, and no valor awards. He does have a Combat Infantryman Badge because he was assigned as an 11 Foxtrot in Vietnam (Infantry Operations and Intelligence Specialist) during his two tours of the war in 1967 and 1972;

He’s not listed at DPAA as a recovered POW;

Yeah, this one is a head scratcher.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (42)

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  1. Doc Savage says:

    Excellent……take a massive dump on an otherwise honorable service record that should have needed no embellishment.

    I don’t get this one at all.

    • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

      I scratch my head every time I see one of these guys that has served honorably, yet got to embellish.

      • Medic09 says:

        I’m absolutely convinced that in call these cases there is a psychological pathology at work. How else do you explain the need to embellish accomplishments that the vast majority of folks can only (maybe) imagine from TV?

        • @ MEDIC 09:

          I think you’re probably right, that this guy has a psychiatric problem that needs to be addressed.

          It’s sad, because he really was a genuine war hero, being Airborne Infantry, wounded in action, decorated, and a drill sergeant with over twenty years of active duty.

        • IDC SARC says:

          mentally ill….orMaybe he’s just an asshole.

  2. Claims three awards of the Silver Star, and only one of those was for valor.

    You’d think a retired non-commissioned officer would know how to tell more believable lies.

    He really was Airborne Infantry, really wounded in combat, and really was a drill sergeant.

  3. Hayabusa says:

    These people are bizarre. Being a Vietnam combat infantry veteran, airborne-qualified, and recipient of the Purple Heart should be enough for anyone to be proud of.

    And why the hell does everyone want to be a POW? The thought process of these phonies eludes me.

    • Mick says:

      I don’t get the POW thing, either.

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

      None of them go around running their mouths and bragging about being a POW.

      • Hayabusa says:

        Yeah, I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have total respect for former POWs; they all suffered greatly, and some of them are genuine heroes for their resistance to their captors. But when did the mere fact of having been captured become something to go around bragging about? Was it the “Rambo” movies or something?

    • NormanS says:

      I registered with HB just to add a comment. I included the DPAA link for all names of accounted for POWs.

    • The Old Maj says:

      Purple Hearts too. If I am getting wounded by the enemy I kind of feel like a I screwed up somewhere.

    • I’m guessing that after returning Vietnam veterans were treated so badly, or ignored, America was in desperate need of heroes.

      So, when the POWs were returned from Hanoi, our Country went wild with celebration, for these guys were the new American heroes.

      The same thing happened again when the hostages were returned from Iran.

      I suspect that’s why there’s so many phony former POWs out there running around, trying to cash in on the glory and publicity.

      Also, it was after all the parades and hoopla when the Iran hostages came home, that suddenly, Vietnam veterans began speaking up and asking, “Where was OUR parade?”

      Suddenly, being a Vietnam veteran became popular, and Hollywood got into the act with, “RAMBO”.

      • Also, guys who hadn’t gone to Viet Nam began questioning their own manhood, as war protesters and draft dodgers began having guilt trips.

        • oldrmepilot says:

          So Much BS-Smoke coming out of my ears. Everybody was not “lucky” enough to go to Nam. Combat arms occifer on flight status and I did not go. And so what. Only bad part is the friends I lost (best friend last name on the wall killed in Ford’s Mayaguez fiasco). I did spend the summer of 1968 getting crap thrown on me every Saturday as we practiced riot control in anticipation of going to Chicago for the DNC. We went and I had a loaded 45 strapped to my butt and a school bus full of troops with fixed bayonets and loaded magazines locked in. TG for Daley for releasing the cops or we would have gone down town and half the kids on the bus had already had a tour and did not think much of the hippees, yippees, SDC etc and there could have been more blood.
          I also always take exception to the “war protests” which,in general were draft protests. Draft ends-protests disappear.
          If you want to question my manhood, even though I am in my seventies, come on down.

  4. OWB says:

    While some folks out there truly feel great guilt for surviving what others did not, that certainly does not explain this clown.

    Why? Oh, and while we wait for the explanation, is it really asking too much that you simply quite lying about what would otherwise be considered quite honorable service JAMES SHIPPEY?

  5. 1610desig says:

    An attention seeking moron…all those patches and bling, for what? Dude looks like he should be on the track at Daytona

  6. UpNorth says:

    He couldn’t help it, just had to shit all over an honorable service.

  7. IDC SARC says:

    lol…I think one of those patches says, “continued on next vest”

    • Mick says:


      There just had to be a vest covered in poser bling involved in all of this embellishing nonsense.

      There just had to be.

      Its almost like it’s a prerequisite for posers or something. There is always a vest.


      • 1610desig says:

        I can’t even cut slack for the harmless geezers wearing the WWII and Korean War vet hats…I assume they want attention and I don’t offer it..

    • mr. sharkman says:

      You know, the Nazis had pieces of flair that they made the Jews wear.


  8. Wilted Willy says:

    You sir, had a perfectly honorable career, then you had to shit all over it and ruin it all. Now instead of being remembered as an honorable soldier, you will forever be remembered as a disgusting shit bag that lied about his time in the service. COCKSUCKER!

  9. Mick says:

    Distinguished Flying Cross?

    Sure thing. Infantrymen get those all the time.

    Totally legit.

    • jonp says:

      It was for that time he was getting ready to jump and the plane got hit killing the pilot so he took over, circled the DZ until all the jumpers were out then jumped himself completing the misson. Pretty heady stuff for someone with no training.

  10. Martinjmpr says:

    And why the hell does everyone want to be a POW? The thought process of these phonies eludes me.

    I’ve been asking the same question here for years.

    But it occurs to me now that maybe it’s the wrong question to ask.

    The question of “why do people fake POW status” is really not a tough one. No tougher than the question of why Willie Sutton robbed banks: Because that’s where the money is.

    People fake POW status because they get something of value out of it: Attention, sympathy, pity, admiration, etc.

    So maybe the question we SHOULD be asking is: Why do we, as a society, venerate POWs? Seems to me this is a relatively recent phenomenon, dating back to Vietnam or at the oldest, to Korea.

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it wasn’t until the Korean war and the ideological struggle against communism that POWs became a propaganda tool.

    Or maybe it’s much simpler than that: During Vietnam and all of our subsequent wars, there just weren’t very many POWs, whereas during WWII and the Korean war, there were thousands and thousands of POWs, which meant that being a POW wasn’t that big a deal (writer Kurt Vonnegut, for example, was a POW in Germany after having been taken prisoner during the initial stages of the Battle of the Bulge.)

    Either way, I’m starting to think that the “fake POW” phenomenon has more to do with how we, as a society, react to POWs than it does to any specific mental pathology that these fakers have.

  11. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    He COULD HAVE just told the truth and held his head high BUT NO, he just HAD TO run his mouth and embellish thus making himself yet another pisspants pus-nuts no-load dick-licking thumbsucking booger-eating butt-sniffing pencil-dicked Sparkle Pony of a LYING dildo-head.


  12. Ex-PH2 says:

    Well, I’m stumped, too. It must be some sort of airborne virus or something. These people get to a certain point in life, and then common sense just evaporates right out of them.

    Like the rest of you, I just do not get it, either, especially when it’s so easy to check these things out. There’s a LIST, for Pete’s sake. Don’t they understand that?

  13. Combat Historian says:

    He claimed he did FIVE tours in Vietnam between 64-73 as well as FIFTY-TWO months as a POW ??? For fucks sake that is not even believable at the most basic levels of fundamental math and logic.

    You gullible media fucks, apply some BASIC THINKING before you write this garbage !!!

  14. Chief says:


    I continue to scratch my head on this one.

    side note: Have there been any posted instances where a person accused of stolen valor turned out to be legit? I’d like to read a positive story for once. I was twice accused of stolen valor; the first time didn’t end well for that soldier, the second time faired much better because of his attitude.

  15. Jabatam says:

    AverageNCO and I are practically neighbors since I love about 25 miles south of this town

  16. Alberich says:

    Last weekend I saw Separate Tables…which manages to make a semi-sympathetic character out of one of these “exaggerators.” (A Supply Corps lieutenant who pretends he was a combat arms major, and is always reminiscing about the North African campaign he wasn’t in.) The young lady who’s been falling for him asks “Why?” and his shorter answer is —

    “Because I don’t like myself the way I am, I suppose. I had to invent someone else… It’s not harmful really. We all have our daydreams. Mine have just gone a step further than most people…Sometimes I just manage to believe in the Major myself.”

    But the real ones aren’t played by David Niven.

    • bg2 says:

      Very telling! I believe this one: “Because I don’t like myself the way I am, I suppose.” And disbelieve this: “It’s not harmful really.”

      • Alberich says:

        Sometimes the classics really do have insights into human nature, fictional though they are.

        Niven’s character has a longer speech afterwards where he says he’s been afraid of people, but especially women, his whole life…suggesting that he built up the “heroic” personality as a way to get over that fear. He ends up on his way to a happy ending with the young lady he’s disappointed…but only after he has owned the lie, and worked up the courage to face people afterwards.

  17. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    This guy earned a CIB and a legit Purple Heart but it wasn’t enough?

    How fucking big a hole exists in these guys that their lies have to be so much larger than life when the truth is so much more than most men will ever do already?

    These guys seem to be the lowest sort of offender, because they of all people should really know better than to do such things as to try and steal honor and valor that was not theirs to take.

  18. Silentium Est Aureum says:

    You’d think he’d at least be smart enough to know 1–someone is going to check up on a claims of multiple PHs and Silver Stars, 2–once busted, you should realize that the AlGoreNet knows all, sees all.

  19. jonp says:

    Seriously, this buffet of medals crap is unreal. Why not stop at one or two, why multiples? If some guy started out with “I have 3 Silver Stars” he can stop right there cause I’m calling it before it goes any farther.

  20. Green Thumb says:

    I wonder if Diana has headed out the door?

    What a clown.

  21. RCAF_Chairborne says:

    He had perfectly honourable service with a bona fide CIB and PH. That SHOULD have been enough genuine Valour for this clown.