Men Who Falsely Claim to have Received the Medal of Honor.
What can you do to right this wrong?
I put this Medal of Honor website on the internet in 1996. Since that time, I have received way too many e-mail messages inquiring why a person's name is not on the list of recipients for the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.
Alas, it is a sad fact that there are some men who have lied to family, friends, acquaintances and strangers regarding their military exploits.
Be advised, the list of men on this site who have received the Medal of Honor for actions during the Vietnam War is complete.
You can check for every living (WWII, Korea, Vietnam) Medal of Honor recipient by doing the following:
Review the Living Medal of Honor Recipient page which contains the names of all living Medal of Honor recipients. I make a conscious effort to keep this information up to date.
If the man's name is not on the Living Medal of Honor Recipient page he is not a living recipient of the Medal of Honor.
You can check for every man, living or dead, who received the Medal of Honor for actions during the Vietnam War by doing the following:
Review the Vietnam Medal of Honor Citation page which contains the names and citations of the 243 men who received the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.
If the man's name is not on the Vietnam Medal of Honor Citation page he is not a recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions during the Vietnam War.
You have a judgement call to make if you identify a man who is falsely stating that he is a Medal of Honor recipient. Should you allow this imposter to continue with his deceit, and continue to besmirch the names of all the men who actually received the Medal of Honor. Men who shed their blood, and in many cases gave their lives? I think not.
There are corrective measures that can be taken. Please read the below information, which is from the FBI, and decide what actions you will take.
Due to the incredible valor and sacrifice displayed by a soldier to earn them, the Medal of Honor and all other military awards are protected by federal law to ensure that they are not exploited or dishonored. Title 18, United States Code, Section 704 prohibits the unauthorized wearing, manufacturing or selling of all military awards. Violators of this statute face a fine of up to $100,000 and or imprisoned up to one year.
In April of 1995, as a result of information furnished by a concerned citizen, an undercover FBI Agent attended a military collectibles show that was being held in Totowa, New Jersey. This agent was able to purchase an Army Medal of Honor and an Air Force Medal of Honor that were openly being offered for sale. The purchase of these two Medals was the first step in what was to become an ongoing, lengthy, nationwide investigation.
In order to authenticate the two Medals, the FBI contacted the Congressional Medal Of Honor Society. At this time, they were informed that the sale of what appeared to be authentic Medals of Honor, as well as the wearing of the Medal of Honor by unauthorized individuals, called "imposters", had reached epidemic proportions. The FBI quickly expanded its investigation and was able to recover additional Medals of Honor that were periodically being offered for sale at various shows and auctions around the country.
The FBI also identified and prosecuted numerous "imposters" who were illegally wearing the Medal of Honor and who were representing themselves to be actual Medal of Honor recipients. Most of these individuals had never even been in combat and some were never in any branch of military service. The FBI confiscated the Medals of Honor from these individuals whose backgrounds ranged from a sitting Judge in Illinois, to a Corporate President in California. The FBI was also able to recover Medals of Honor that had been stolen from legitimate recipients by con men seeking to profit from the bravery of these heroic Americans.
The investigation into the source of the Medals of Honor that were illegally being sold and worn eventually led to a company by the name of H.L.I. Lordship Industries, located in Long Island, New York. H.L.I. Lordship Industries was the largest manufacturer of military medals for the United States Government and was the only official manufacturer of the Medal of Honor. Extensive investigation by the FBI determined that H.L.I. Lordship Industries was illegally manufacturing additional Medals of Honor and in turn selling these medals to a friend of the owner of the company. This individual would then go around the country re-selling the Medals of Honor to anyone who was willing to pay his price. These actions were not only a violation of the federal law, but also were an insult to the brave soldiers who earned their Medals through blood and sacrifice.
On December 3, 1996, H.L.I. Lordship Industries entered a corporate guilty plea in United States District Court, Newark, New Jersey. They admitted to illegally manufacturing and selling at least 300 Medals of Honor during the time period of 1991 through 1994. H.L.I. Lordship Industries was fined the maximum amount allowed under Federal Sentencing Guidelines and subsequent legislation has prevented them from receiving future government contracts.
Every Medal of Honor that has been recovered from an "imposter" during the course of this investigation can be traced back to Lordship Industries. Because of those individuals who have violated Title 18, United States Code, Section 704, there are potentially more "imposters" wearing the Medal of Honor than actual recipients. The FBI will continue to honor our veteran's service to our country by maintaining the integrity of all the military awards, especially the Medal of Honor.
Your help as a citizen is needed in this endeavor. If you know of someone that is selling a Medal of Honor, or suspect that someone is illegally wearing the Medal of Honor, please contact the FBI.
Go to: Vietnam Medal of Honor Citations
Go to: Tracking Down False Medal of Honor Recipients
© 1999 by Neil Mishalov