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Maj Peter John Badcoe

Photo added by Anthony Staunton

Maj Peter John Badcoe

  • Birth 11 Jan 1934 Malvern, Unley City, South Australia, Australia
  • Death 7 Apr 1967 Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam
  • Burial Malacca, Melaka, Malaysia
  • Memorial ID 8170666

Vietnam War Victoria Cross recipient. Badcoe was born at Malvern in Adelaide, and educated at Adelaide Technical High School. He enlisted in the Australian Military Forces on June 10, 1950 graduating from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea, Victoria, on December 13, 1952. He served with the Royal Australian Artillery until 1965 when he transferred to the infantry. On May 16, 1956, he married Denise Maureen MacMahon in the Methodist Church, Manly, Sydney. While serving in Malaya from September 1961 to November 1963, he spent a week in South Vietnam. He was promoted provisional major in June 1966 and two months later joined the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam. From December 1966, he was operations adviser at the Thua Thien provincial headquarters, Hue. On February 23, 1967, in the Phu Thu district, he ran across almost 650 yards of fire-swept ground to assist a platoon of the South Vietnamese Popular Forces. He took charge of the unit which he led in a frontal attack inflicting heavy casualties. On March 7, he commanded the province's reaction company in a series of fierce assaults which saved the district headquarters of Quang Dien and its defenders and forced the attackers to flee. On April 7, learning that the 1st Division Reaction Company was in difficulty near the hamlet of An Thuan and knowing that an adviser was needed to be present to ensure air support, he drove to the scene where he took charge and rallied the men in the face of withering fire. He made several attempts to silence a machine-gun with grenades and rising to throw another grenade, he was shot and killed. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for three acts of bravery between February and April 1967. He was survived by his wife and three daughters and was buried in the Terendak military cemetery, Malacca, Malaysia. Ian McNeill, who wrote the definitive history of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam described him as "Short, round and stocky, with horn-rimmed spectacles, Badcoe did not look a hero. He was a quiet, gentle and retiring man, with a dry sense of humour. His wife was his confidante. Badcoe neither drank alcohol nor smoked; bored by boisterous mess activities, he preferred the company of a book on military history. To his colleagues he was an enigma, yet many humoured his boundless enthusiasm in field exercises and his off-duty discourses on martial matters".

Bio by: Anthony Staunton





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Peterborough "K"
  • Added: 9 Dec 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8170666
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Maj Peter John Badcoe (11 Jan 1934–7 Apr 1967), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8170666, citing Terendak Military Cemetery, Malacca, Melaka, Malaysia ; Maintained by Find A Grave .