Biography

Birth date: 05 September 1918
Birth place: Australia: Western Australia, Perth, Subiaco
Death date: 17 November 1989
Death place: Australia: Western Australia, Carnamah
Final rank: Private
Service number: WX11519 - Second World War, 1939-1945
Unit: 2/43rd Australian Infantry Battalion

Tom Starcevich (1918-1989) was a quietly-spoken Western Australian veteran of the fighting in Egypt - he was wounded at Tel el Eisa in July 1942 - and New Guinea before gaining the Victoria Cross in North Borneo. In the capture of Beaufort he attacked Japanese machine-gun positions, fearlessly firing his Bren gun from the hip. "The outstanding gallantry of Private Starcevich in carrying out these attacks single-handed with complete disregard of his own safety resulted in the decisive success of the action." Turning to farming and grazing after the war, Starcevich also served for a time in his local Citizen Military Forces unit.

Rolls and Awards

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 2/43rd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Collection Items

Photograph

042337

BEAUFORT, NORTH BORNEO. MEMORIAL ERECTED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE COLONY OF NORTH BORNEO AT THE SCENE OF THE ACTION WHERE, ON 1945-06-28. WX11519 PRIVATE LESLIE THOMAS STARCEVICH, VC, OF 2/43RD AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BATTALION EARNED THE VICTORIA CROSS. PRIVATE STARCEVICH RECEIVED HIS AWARD FOR MOST...

042337

042338

BEAUFORT, NORTH BORNEO, MEMORIAL ERECTED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE COLONY OF NORTH BORNEO AT THE SCENE OF THE ACTION WHERE, ON 1945-06-28, WX11519 PRIVATE LESLIE THOMAS STARCEVICH, VC, OF 2/43RD AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BATTALION EARNED THE VICTORIA CROSS. PRIVATE STARCEVICH RECEIVED HIS AWARD FOR MOST...

042338

042339

BEAUFORT, NORTH BORNEO, MEMORIAL ERECTED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE COLONY OF NORTH BORNEO AT THE SCENE OF THE ACTION WHERE, ON 1945-06-28, WX11519 PRIVATE LESLIE THOMAS STARCEVICH, VC, OF 2/43RD AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BATTALION EARNED THE VICTORIA CROSS. PRIVATE STARCEVICH RECEIVED HIS AWARD FOR MOST...

042339

042340

BEAUFORT, NORTH BORNEO, THE PLAQUE ON THE MEMORIAL ERECTED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE COLONY OF NORTH BORNEO, AT THE SCENE OF THE ACTION AT BEAUFORT ON 1945-06-28, WHERE WX11519 PRIVATE LESLIE THOMAS STARCEVICH, VC, OF 2/43RD AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BATTALION EARNED HIS VICTORIA CROSS. IT SHOULD BE NOTED...

042340

122813

LABUAN ISLAND, NORTH WEST BORNEO 1945-12-08. ADMIRAL LORD LOUIS MOUNTBATTEN GCVO CB DSO, SUPREME COMMANDER SOUTH EAST ASIA COMMAND, SHAKING HANDS WITH WARRANT OFFICER 1 STICPEWICH, 8TH DIVISION ARMY SERVICE CORPS, ONE OF THE SIX SURVIVORS OF THE "DEATH MARCH" FROM SANDAKAN TO RANAU. ON THE FAR...

122813

124953

BRITISH NORTH WEST BORNEO 1945-11-17. LIEUTENANT D. VALENTINE (RIGHT) ADC TO BRIGADIER W. J. V. WINDEYER DSO ED (LEFT), IN THE STARBOARD BLISTER OF A CATALINA AMPHIBIAN AIRCRAFT. THE TWO MEN WERE EN ROUTE BETWEEN LABUAN AND JESSELTON WHERE THE BRIGADIER WAS TO PRESENT THE VC TO PRIVATE LESLIE...

124953

124955

PAPAR, BRITISH NORTH WEST BORNEO 1945-11-17. MEN ON PARADE WATCH BRIGADIER W. J. V. WINDEYER DSO ED, PINNING THE RIBBON OF THE VICTORIA CROSS ON PRIVATE LESLIE THOMAS STARCEVICH OF THE 2/43RD BATTALION. (PHOTOGRAPHER LT A. W. HORNER)

124955

124956

PAPAR, BRITISH NORTH WEST BORNEO 1945-11-12. PORTRAIT OF PRIVATE LESLIE THOMAS STARCEVICH VC OF THE 2/43RD BATTALION WHO HAD JUST BEEN PRESENTED WITH THE RIBBON OF THE AWARD BY BRIGADIER WILLIAM JOHN VICTOR WINDEYER DSO ED DURING A UNIT PARADE. (PHOTOGRAPHER LT A. W. HORNER)

124956

124956A

2/43TH INFANTRY BATTALION, PAPAR. 1945-11-17. CLOSE UP OF PRIVATE LESLIE THOMAS STARCEVICH VC, OF 2/43RD INFANTRY BATTALION.

124956A

124957

PAPAR, BRITISH NORTH WEST BORNEO 1945-11-12. PORTRAIT OF PRIVATE LESLIE THOMAS STARCEVICH (WITHOUT HAT) OFF THE 2/43RD BATTALION WHO HAD JUST BEEN PRESENTED WITH THE RIBBON OF THE VICTORIA CROSS (VC) BY BRIGADIER W. J. V. WINDEYER DSO ED DURING A UNIT PARADE. (PHOTOGRAPHER LT A. W. HORNER)

124957

Film

Mountbatten at Labuan

On 8 December 1945, Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten GCVO CB DSO, Supreme Commander South East Asia Command, arrived in Labuan. During his stay he toured units and addressed troops in a most informal manner. Also identified: VX12014 Major General Edward James Milford CBE DSO, Chief of Staff, AMF;...

F07406

Timeline

Date of birth 1918-09-05
Date of honour or award 1945-05-29 Awared Victoria Cross for action at Beaufort, British North Borneo whilst serving with 2/43 Battalion, 24 Brigade, 9 Division as a Private
Date of death 1989-11-17