Major Peter Badcoe V.C. Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Russell Byers

A rest area commemorates Peter Badcoe who was awarded the Victoria Cross (V.C.) during the Vietnam War.

In August 1966 Badcoe realized his ambition to serve in Vietnam when he was posted to the Australian Army Training Team there as a subsector adviser to the Nam Hoa district of Thua Thien province. As an adviser he was concerned with military operations and training carried out by the Ruff Puffs in his district.

On 23 February 1967 he was acting as adviser to a regional force company in support of a sector operation in Phu Tho district when he monitored a radio transmission which reported the death of an American subsector adviser and the wounding of an American medical adviser. With complete disregard for his own safety Badcoe moved alone across 600 metres of fire-swept ground, attended to the wounded medical adviser and ensured his safety.

He then organized a force of platoon strength and led them in a successful assault against the enemy machine-gun post near the body of the American adviser. He killed the machine-gunners in front of him, picked up the body of the dead American and ran back , over open ground still covered by hostile fire, to the regional command post. On the 7th April 1967, Badcoe was killed by enemy fire.


Address:Federal Highway, Peter Badcoe V.C. Memorial Rest Area, Lake George , 2581
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.035383
Long: 149.377967
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Park
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:23-February-1967
Actual Event End Date:23-February-1967


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1998
Front Inscription

Plaque :

Peter Badcoe VC Rest Area

Dedicated to the memory of a gallant soldier who gave his life for his comrades and his country.

41400 Major Peter John Badcoe
Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
23 February to 7 April 1967.
Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam

On 23 February, in Phu Thu District, Major Badcoe with complete disregard for his own safety moved alone across 600 meters of fire swept ground and reached a United States medical advisor wounded by enemy fire, 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 of the face of hostile enemy fire forced the platoon to successfully assault the enemy position and capture it.

On 7th March 1967, in Quang Dien District, Major Badcoe led a 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 for capturing District headquarters.

On 7th April 1967, in Huong Tra District, Major Badcoe was with a South Vietnamese company which 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 and when getting up to throw a grenade he was hit and killed by a burst of machine gun fire.

"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 best traditions of the military profession and the Australian Regular Army."  (London Gazette : 13 October 1967 ; Supplement, 17 October 1967).

Peter John Badcoe was born in Adelaide on 11 January 1934,  He was buried at the Terendak Cemetery, Malaysia.

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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