- Name: Peter John BADCOE
- D.O.B: 11th Jan, 1934
- D.O.A: 7th Apr, 1967
- D.O.D: 7th Apr, 1967
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Major, Australian Army Training Team
- Book: The Complete History - Volume 3
Thua Thien Province, Vietnam 23 February, 7 March and 7 April 1967
23 February, 7 March and 7 April 1967
AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR 1945-2013
Thua Thien Province was the area around the old imperial capital of Hue not far south of the border between North and South Vietnam. Phu Thu district, the location of Major P J Badcoe’s first action, bordered the coast south-east of Hue. Quang Dien district, the site of the second, was 15 miles north-west of Hue. His third and final action was during the assault on the Communist-occupied village of An Thuan in Huong Tra district, about five miles north-west of Hue. The ARVN was the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (South Vietnam).
The QUEEN has been graciously pleased on the advice of Her Majesty’s Australian Ministers to approve the posthumous award of the VICTORIA CROSS to: Major PETER JOHN BADCOE (41400), Royal Australian Infantry Corps. 41400 Major PETER JOHN 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. On 23rd February 1967 he was acting as an Advisor to a Regional Force Company in support of a Sector operation in Phu Thu District. He monitored a radio transmission which stated that the Subsector Adviser, a United States Army Officer, had been killed and that his body was within 50 metres of an enemy machine gun postion; further, the United States Medical Adviser had been wounded and was in immediate danger from the enemy. Major BADCOE with complete disregard for his own safety moved alone across 600 metres of fire-swept ground and reached the wounded Adviser, attended to him and ensured his future safety. He then organised a force of one platoon and led them towards the enemy post. His personal leadership, words of encouragement, and actions in the face of hostile enemy fire forced the platoon to successfully assault the enemy position and capture it, where he personally killed the machine gunners directly in front of him. He picked up the body of the dead officer and ran back to the Command post over open ground still covered by enemy fire. On 7th March 1967, at approximately 0645 hours, the Sector Reaction Company was deployed to Quang Dien Subsector to counter an attack by the Viet Cong on the Headquarters. Major BADCOE left the Command group after their vehicle broke down and a United States Officer was killed; he joined the Company Headquarters and personally led the company in an attack over open terrain to assault and capture a heavily defended enemy position. In the face of certain death and heavy losses his personal courage and leadership turned certain defeat into victory and prevented the enemy from capturing the District Headquarters. On 7th April 1967, on an operation in Huong Tra District, Major BADCOE was with the 1st A.R.V.N. Division Reaction Company and some armoured personnel carriers. During the move forward to an objective the company came under heavy small arms fire and withdrew to a cemetery for cover, this left Major BADCOE and his radio operator about 50 metres in front of the leading elements, under heavy mortar fire. Seeing this withdrawal, Major BADCOE ran back to them, moved amongst them and by encouragement and example got them moving forward again. He then set out in front of the company to lead them on; the company stopped again under heavy fire but Major BADCOE continued on to cover and prepared to throw grenades, when he rose to throw, his radio operator pulled him down as heavy small arms fire was being brought to bear on them; he later got up again to throw a grenade and was hit and killed by a burst of machine gun fire. Soon after, friendly artillery fire was called in and the position was assaulted and captured. Major BADCOE’s conspicuous gallantry and leadership on all these occasions was an inspiration to all, each action, ultimately, was successful, due entirely to his efforts, the final one ending in his death. His valour and leadership were in the highest traditions of the military profession and the Australian Regular Army.