Major Peter John Badcoe VC

Peter John Badcoe. 116857 Peter John Badcoe

Date of birth: 11 January 1934
Place of birth: Malvern, Adelaide, SA
Date of death: 7 April 1967
Place of death: Thua Thien province, South Vietnam

Peter Badcoe grew up in Adelaide. Always wanting to join the army, he entered the Officer Cadet School at Portsea, Victoria, in 1952. He served as an artillery officer in Malaya and later transferred to the infantry in 1965. He realised an ambition when he was sent to Vietnam. Dubbed "the Galloping Major", he was "always on the go".

Over 23 February – 7 April 1967 Badcoe repeatedly performed extraordinary feats. While under fire he attacked across open ground; he rescued an American adviser; he captured a machine-gun; he led attacks; and he provided leadership and example to wavering troops. He was eventually killed by a burst of enemy fire as he rose to throw a grenade. "His valour and leadership were in the highest traditions of the military profession and the Australian Regular Army." He was buried at Terendak Cemetery, Malaysia.

Badcoe was awarded the Victoria Cross, service medals for the Vietnam War, the United States Silver Star, the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the South Vietnamese Wound Medal.

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