Two stories that Wilde
told about Navy service in Vietnam waters.
(1) Served with the Australian Navy on the Vietnam
gun line at age 15.
This would have to be 1973 according to his year of
birth 1958, but HMAS Brisbane was the last ship to
leave the gun line in October 1971. On the gun line aged
(2) Served on board a Navy ship in Vietnam waters at
This could allude to HMAS Swan which was an escort for
the last HMAS Sydney trip in early 1972.
He said his records for this period of time can’t be
checked because like the records of all good wannabes,
they’re secret. The Navy wouldn’t admit that he was on
overseas active duty because he was too young, he
says. 14 years old?
Both the above stories are obviously false.
Attached to the SAS as an instructor.
He said that he was detached from HMAS Swan, sometimes
HMAS Stirling, to the SAS base to instruct on weapons,
urban guerrilla warfare, and small watercraft handling.
He was mostly needed for his weapons knowledge.
Like most wannabes who aren’t very bright, he left
written evidence of his fantasy.
On a pub wall in Vung Tau, he wrote;
“Pom Wilde R123739 ( his Navy number )
Cpl. 3 SQN SAS.” ( Cpl = Corporal, this is
not a Navy rank) No photo available at this time.
At the pub he had met a former SAS member who had been
in 3 Squadron during the war. He adopted the SQN as
his own and dreamed up a rank.
Served with the Australian Navy in the Gulf War.
His name doesn’t appear on the Gulf War nominal roll
and when challenged on this he stated that he was
onboard a Destroyer escort that didn’t actually enter
He was posted to HMAS Swan, January 1990 to October
1991, at the time of the war, and Swan didn’t go near
Served in Vietnam with the SAS.
No substantiated stories from him about this service.
He was very careful to not get into details when there
were Veterans around.
A SAS trained Paramedic.
In 2002 he told stories of assisting traffic accident
victims in Saigon.
Most expats, with any sense, living in Asia would not
go near the scene of an accident in case they got
blamed for it.
FACTS. From records.
Wilde served in the Royal Australian Navy
from March 1978 to September 1995.
He began a diver’s course in 1979 but was back classed
(failed) and there is no indication that he attempted
to complete the course.
He also failed a Coxswain course in 1988 but
apparently managed to pass the course later on.
He did not serve in the Gulf in any capacity.
He was posted to HMAS Swan in January 1990,
Quartermaster duties, and served twice on Swan in 1990
- 91 and 93.
From HMAS Swan he was detached to the Navy Clearance
Diving Team 4 at Swanbourne as a coxswain from October
1991 to June 1993. CDT divers did train with the SAS.
He was not the Coxswain of a boat that struck a diver
in the Bass Strait during an exercise as he said.
He was injured while on duty but this happened after
he was posted back to HMAS Swan.
Wilde was awarded the Defence Forces Service Medal in
March 1993 for 15 years long service not active
service and the DFSM is his only award.
He was discharged as unfit for duty in 1995. Records
Just before leaving Australia with a friend in 1999 he
was given an SAS beret complete with badge to present
to a pub owner in Vung Tau. This pub owner is an
Australian who while not being a War Veteran had
served in the military and had a collection of berets
and war memorabilia in the pub poolroom.
Wilde told people that it was his beret from his SAS
days and on leaving Vung Tau stole the beret and a
very hard to get book relating to the Vietnam War. The
pub owner caught up with Wilde sometime later in
Saigon and demonstrated his displeasure by rendering
Wilde made a complaint to the Australian Consulate
about this pub owner to the effect that he had stolen
and burnt sensitive Government documents belonging to
Wilde was a severe embarrassment to veterans living in
Vung Tau and Saigon for reasons other than his
behaviour while drunk. His tales were transparent even
to people who had never served in any country’s
military; he was virtually thrown out of Vung Tau.
During a courtesy visit to Saigon by HMAS Adelaide,
Wilde attended a cocktail party on board the ship and
made sure that all in earshot knew that he is a former
RAN sailor. He was avoided by Veterans at the
reception and was eventually escorted ashore by Navy
personnel after becoming drunk, disorderly and
obnoxious causing the ship’s Captain to order that no
more drinks be served.
He has boasted of ripping off the Department of
Veterans Affairs and had offered to help a Veteran who
lives in Vietnam to do the same thing. This had to do
with receiving benefits that aren’t available to those
Veterans who live overseas, things like pharmaceutical
benefits and rent assistance. The Veteran didn’t take
him up on the harebrained scheme.
It is very likely that he was in breach of DVA
directives while living overseas and this then becomes
a Federal offence. He had notified DVA of an intended
holiday only, not an intention to live overseas for a
period longer than 6 months.
He has stated that he is still in possession of a
Military identity card that should have been handed in
before his departure from the SAS base at Swanbourne,
Perth. This card was sighted by a Veteran and deemed
This is a Federal offence also. He supposedly used
this ID, claiming to be a SAS Reservist, to chase a
wannabe SAS member out of a Saigon bar. Supposedly,
because Wilde told this story to a Veteran who never
believed a word he said.
He is in receipt of the TPI. (Ex-service disability
compensation payment) He was injured twice, 1983 and
1987, while on duty but not while attached to CDT 4.
Howard Neil Wilde. Discharged from the Navy after 17
1/2 years service with the rank of Leading Seaman,
Bosuns mate. For you non-Navy people, that rank
equates to between Corporal and Sergeant.
Now living in Parmelia, Perth. He frequents the Medina