Biography

Birth date: 11 January 1934
Birth place: Australia: South Australia, Adelaide
Death date: 07 April 1967
Death place: Vietnam: South Vietnam, Huong Tra District
Final rank: Major
Service number: 41400 - Vietnam, 1962-1975
Unit: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam

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 commisioned 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".

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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Rolls and Awards

  • Rank: Provisional Major
  • Date of Death: 07 April 1967
  • Unit: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
  • Awarded: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
  • Conflict: Vietnam, 1962-1975

Collection Items

Photograph

Timeline

Date of birth 1934-01-11
Date of death 1967-04-07
Date of honour or award 1967-04-07 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