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.

Rolls and Awards

Roll of Honour

  • Rank: Provisional Major
  • Date of Death: 07 April 1967
  • Unit: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
  • Conflict: Vietnam, 1962-1975

Collection Items

Photograph

044681

MALAYA, C1954. BATTERY CAPTAIN PETER BADCOE, 1 FIELD REGIMENT ROYAL AUSTRALIAN ARTILLERY, WHO WAS POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS FOR AN ACTION IN VIETNAM.

044681

044464

GOVERNOR GENERAL LORD CASEY FAMILIARISES HIMSELF WITH SLR DURING VISIT TO GREENHILLS HOLSWORTHY RANGE. MAJOR P. BADCOE IS IN BACKGROUND.

044464

044465

MAJOR P.J. BADCOE AT RIFLE RANGE.

044465

044466

SINGAPORE, N.D. MAJOR P.J. BADCOE (2ND LEFT). OTHER PERSONNEL UNIDENTIFIED.

044466

116857

MAJOR P.J. BADCOE, AUSTRALIAN ARMY TRAINING TEAM VIETNAM (AATTV); PERIOD 1967-02-23 TO 1967-04-07, PHU THU, QUANG DIEN AND HUONG TRA AREAS. POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS (VC). THIS PORTRAIT IS CROPPED FROM DNE/66/0150/HQ.

116857

EKT/71/0792/VN

Soldiers sit at tables in the upstairs open-air bar of the Peter Badcoe Club. The Club was an Army rest and recreation centre located at the 1st Australian Logistic Support Group (1ALSG) base at Back Beach. The Club was named for Major Peter Badcoe who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross...

EKT/71/0792/VN

MISC/68/0003/VN

Vung Tau, South Vietnam. 1968-01. Exterior of the Army rest and recreation facility, the Peter Badcoe Club, named after Major Peter Badcoe who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for several courageous actions in Vietnam.

MISC/68/0003/VN

MISC/68/0047/VN

Vung Tau, South Vietnam. 1968. Two groups of soldiers sit at tables in the upstairs open-air bar of the Peter Badcoe Club. The Club was an Army rest and recreation centre located at the 1st Australian Logistic Support Group (1ALSG) base at Back Beach. The Club was named for Major Peter Badcoe who...

MISC/68/0047/VN

P00180.004

1970-04-05, Vung Tau, South Vietnam. The swimming pool at the Badcoe Club, Back Beach.

P00180.004

P00942.001

SYDNEY, NSW. 1970-05-03. TWELVE YEARS OLD KERRY BADCOE IS PRESENTED TO QUEEN ELIZABETH II, WATCHED BY PRIME MINISTER JOHN GORTON, ON THE OCCASION OF THE OPENING OF KINGSFORD SMITH AIRPORT. KERRY WAS THE DAUGHTER OF MAJOR PETER JOHN BADCOE (1934-67) WHO WAS POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS...

P00942.001

P00942.002

Studio portrait of Second Lieutenant Peter John Badcock wearing service dress with Royal Australian Artillery cap and collar badges, shoulder titles, formation sign for 1st Infantry Brigade Group and Parachutist’s qualification badge. Badcock later changed his name to Badcoe and reached the rank...

P00942.002

P00966.031

VUNG TAU, SOUTH VIETNAM. 1971. MEMBERS OF 2 SQUADRON, SPECIAL AIR SERVICE (SAS), RELAX ON THEIR REST DAY AFTER COMPLETING A PATROL AT THE PETER BADCOE CLUB, NO.1 ADMINISTRATIVE AND LOGISTIC SUPPORT GROUP (1ALSG). LEFT TO RIGHT: SECOND LIEUTENANT BRIAN RUSSELL; ?; ?; TROOPER W. NISBETT; CORPORAL B....

P00966.031

P00800.066

Visiting entertainer and local hired help at the Peter Badcoe Club.

P00800.066

P00800.067

Visiting Australian group of entertainers, Hi Lites, performing on stage at the Peter Badcoe Club.

P00800.067

P07803.001

Group portrait of 14 National Service Training Battalion (NSTB), comprising National Servicemen from Bairnsdale, Sale, and Traralgon. In the second row from front, centre, are three officers of the Royal Australian Artillery: an unidentified Corporal, unidentified Sergeant, and 41400 Second...

P07803.001

P09340.021

Australians enjoying a drink in the bar of the Peter Badcoe Club at Vung Tau. 16906 Temporary Corporal Harry Lovett, 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF), a headquarters cook, is downing a beer (centre) as are other unidentified men who have just returned from a swim on Vung Tau beach. The club was...

P09340.021

Film

For valour

This kinescope recording of the 'For valour' television documentary on the four Victoria Cross (VC) recipients from the Vietnam war. The documentary tells the story of the actions for which Major Peter Badcoe, Warrant Officer (WO) Kevin Wheatley, WO Keith Payne and WO Ray Simpson were awarded the...

F04628

Major Badcoe VC family DPR/TV/719

The DART target system was one of the training projects that the late Major Badcoe was engaged in, in 1966, prior to his posting to Vietnam. He was responsible for teaching snap shooting to a number of young soldiers, many of whom have since been posted to Vietnam. DART is an electronically...

F03934

A day in the life of the Badcoe club DPR/TV/825

Whether it be to get away from the dust at Nui Dat or the blowing sand at the Logistic Support base at Vung Tau, the ideal place to do it is at the Peter Badcoe Club. The club, named after Victoria Cross winner Major Peter Badcoe, is sited less than 200 yards from the South China Sea. Two bars and...

F03997

Technology

Brown leather Pilot survival knife scabbard with field dressing : Major P. Badcoe, VC, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam

Brown leather scabbard for a survival knife has a loop with a press stud near the top for holding the knife handle. Below it is a belt loop. A small pocket is sewn below the body of the scabbard. A field dressing has been attached to the outside of the scabbard with green plastic adhesive tape. The...

RELAWM40155.002

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