Major Peter John Badcoe

Service number 41400
Ranks Held Major, Provisional Major
Birth Date 1934-01-11
Birth Place Australia: South Australia, Adelaide
Death Date 1967-04-07
Death Place Vietnam: South Vietnam, Huong Tra District
Final Rank Major
Service Australian Army
Unit Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
Conflict/Operation Vietnam, 1962-1975
Gazettes Biographical information They dared mightily. in 1963
Published in London Gazette in 1967-10-17
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1967-10-26

Peter Badcoe grew up in Adelaide. Always wanting to join the army, he entered the Officer Cadet School at Portsea, Victoria, in 1952. Major Peter Badcoe was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Australian Staff Corps in December 1952.

He was allotted to the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery in which he served in a number of Regimental and Staff postings until August 1965. He then transferred to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps and joined the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam in August 1966. He was posted as Sector Operations Officer in THUA THIEN Province, South Vietnam. Dubbed "the Galloping Major", he was "always on the go".

Between 23 February to 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 an 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.


  • Honours and Awards:

    Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
    Vietnam, 1962-1975
    London Gazette
    17 October 1967 on page 11273 at position 1
    Commonwealth Gazette
    26 October 1967 on page 5845 at position 1
  • Roll of Honour:

    Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
    Vietnam, 1962-1975


Date of birth 11 January 1934
Date of death 07 April 1967
Date of honour or award 07 April 1967 Awarded Victoria Cross, for action at Phu Tho, Quang Dien and Huong Tra districts, Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam whilst serving with Australian Army Training Team, Vietnam as a Major