SAMA 1129  Major Peter John Badcoe - THIS COLLECTION HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED TO THE HISTORY TRUST OF SA  Guide to Records
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Series SAMA 1129/1
Aerogrammes sent by Major Peter Badcoe to his wife, Denise and transcriptions
Date Range12 November 1966 - 7 April 1967
Quantity103 37 aerogrammes, 66 transcriptions
ProvenanceMajor Peter John Badcoe
Description

This series comprises 37 original aerogrammes sent by Major Badcoe to his wife whom he refers to as Niesi whilst serving in Vietnam, 29 transcriptions of the areogrammes provided by his eldest daughter Carey (Kerry) and 37 transcriptions provided by the South Australian Museum Archives. The items date from 12 November 1967 to 7 April 1968.

Carey Badcoe has provided two transcriptions for aerogrammes not held by the South Australian Museum Archives. See AA 1129/1/3/1 and AA 1129/1/3/39.

Each areogramme and transcription for the omitted areogrammes have been arranged chronologically and allocated an inventory identifier. The South Australian Museum transcriptions have been entered into the inventory listing but not in the original format given the limitations of the programme. A scanned copy of the original aerogramme and Carey Badcoe transcriptions can be viewed by selecting 'IMAGE >>' in the 'Inventory Listing'.

Major Peter Badcoe documents his military activities and family life. He occasionally uses the folds in the aerogramme for punctuation. A '?' has been inserted where a word cannot be identified. Comments considered private or sensitive have been deleted and indicated in the South Australian Museum Archive transcripts by '[deleted]' and blacked out in the scans. Original items without censorship can be accessed in accordance with procedures.

Acronyms, contractions and terminology used by Badcoe are as follows:

AFV: Armoured Fighting Vehicles
APC: Armoured Personnel Carrier
ARVN: Army of the Republic of Vietnam
AFU: Assault Fire Unit
AK: Assault Rifle
AATTV: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
Bn: Battalion
Huey: Bell UH-1 Iroquois Helicopter
BAR: Browning Automatic Rifle
Burp Guns: Submachine Guns
CIA: Central Intelligence Agency
L-19: Cessna L-19 Helicopter
C-rations: Combat Rations
Puff the magic dragon: DC-3 AC-47 Spooky Gunship
F4: Phantom Jet Fighter Bombers
H46: Heliopter
M113: Armoured Personnel Carrier
M2: Carbine
M6: Bayonet
M79: Hand Held Grenade Launcher
Nung: People of Chinese origin from the highlands of North Vietnam, some worked with United States Special Forces
Pen EE: Olympus Pen EE Camera
QDD: Quang Dien District Party
TET: Vietnamese and Chinese Lunar New Year Festival
USMC: United States Marine Corps

Arrangedchronological, imposed by Archives

Inventory Listing

SAMA 1129/1/1/1-3

Aerogramme dated 12 November 1966 and transcriptions

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SAT 12

My Darling Girls,

Relax, the flaps over, we had turmoil, coup and counter coup yesterday but today the baddies are all in the cooler and peace again.

We had a local revolt by three of our district chief. It was local politics QDD party against DAI-VIET. They wanted to force the overthrow of the province chief and his replacement by a QDD. The Comps Comd flew in and last night Special Branch and a bn of Combat police put in a raid, threw the three D.Cs into jail and disarmed their political followers - so that minor crisis is over.

The other one isn't on either there are 4 US and 20 ARVN prisoners we've located in a VC PW camp deep in the jungle near the Laotian border. We couldn't get any Special Forces so I was going in with a team of 9 of the "Counter Terror" team. These are NUNG's owned by CIA and used for assassination of VC etc, but Saigon has got into the act and is sending in a special team who are kept just for raids on PW camps. I'm all in favour of using professionals, anything that improves the chances of getting them out! So I got back to training my private army. We start on Tuesday now and have to be ready for ops by the 1 DEC. I've got the training program pretty well fixed now.

I had a major strike of luck in DANANGand got EXACTLY the present 'd decided on for you. I'd decided generally what I wanted and this was just that I'd had in mind - It will be waiting at Weenies for you my darling! Its pouring with rain again - and pretty cold - I've got 2 blankets on the bed at night.

Last night went back to AN CUU and presented each PF soldier who had fought with us on THU NIGHT with a big can of cooking oil, a bag of rice and 2 blankets - morale was about 300% as that represented about 2 months pay worth of money to them.

I've got to go out on an air recce tomorrow if the weather clears but I've got my doubts at the moment. We had the Marine Corps birthday here yesterday - they threw a party last night and all the marine generals look like death this morning. Must close now my darling or I'll miss the mail I hope you like your present now that I've got it - anyway I like it! Take care of yourself my wonderful darlings. I love you so very very much.

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/1/1-3
Date Range 12 November 1966
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/1/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/2/1-2

Aerogramme dated 13 November 1966 and transcription

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SUN 13

My darling girls

I'm pooped, flew for over 5 hours today. There is a fairly major deal going for the last 12 hours and we've been throwing in air strikes. Got your letter this evening about 11 is par for the course now.

I'm delighted that Weenie is so well and that she didn't have any trouble at all with her stitches.

The doctor appears to have done an excellent job all in all.

I'm very glad everyone had been so helpful as they should be for such special girls but its nice anyway. It was no trouble over the money little sweetie but fair warning. It won't be much this month - you'll see why late in DEC but who cares! I'll make up for it after Christmas and I Do want you little sweeties to have a good Christmas.

I thought one of our blokes had copped one today. We were in a bad area where you have to have live aircraft (in case one gets hit the others can call in choppers and air cover etc) and as we went down to check the result of the bombs the VC opened up and as we pulled away I saw Dennis hanging out of the window of the other L19 and something running down the side - his pilot got worried too - but all it was (was that his stomach had decided to throw up right then - he was highly embarrassed.

Another busy week ahead. I've got an air recce tomorrow morning, the a conf with some Int people then on to training my strike force people.

My tummy is going through one of its stable periods at the moment, parcel arrived from Weenie today with a very nice fruit cake block. I'll write tomorrow and thank her. I'm too pooped tonight. I'll finish this in the morning my darling. I love you dear

I feel 100% better I just couldn't keep my eyes open. Quiet night not a single telephone call from the duty officer. Paying officer is due tomorrow which will be helpful. It looks like being stinking hot today, we have 3 or 4 cold wet days and then 1 scorching hot one - crazy! Poor old Kimmy losing her school photo - but typical of her to find 20c the next day - just her luck -

The Colonel is off to Danang and Saigon for the next 4 days for a series of conf so I'm boss -which I could do without at the moment - Xim Lei. I must go my sweeties and earn some money. I think you've done wonderfully well over the whole business of Kerry's illness my darling and I'm terribly proud of you and the little girls. I love you so very much

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/2/1-2
Date Range 13 November 1966
Quantity 2 1 aerogramme, 1 transcription
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/2/1-2
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/3/1

Transcription dated 16 November 1966, no original aerogramme

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  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/3/1
Date Range 16 November 1966
Quantity 1 1 transcription
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/3/1
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/4/1-2

Aerogramme dated 18 November 1966 and transcription

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FRI 18

My Darling Girls

I've just got back from DANANG we had a panic conference. I stay with [deleted] He's as obnoxious as ever. He's waiting for [deleted] girl to have her baby in 4 wks and then he's taking her over (like a handover of slaves - yetch.)

I hate Danang - dirty smelly - brothel town

It's nice to get back to HUE. It's clean and still Vietnamese not with everyone aping the Americans

I got an extra pair of jungle boots and trousers anyway. I've decided to hold back Kerry's watch from Christmas. I think she's getting enough and it would make it too hard to balance the presents - what if I buy Kerry a nice necklace and/or Brooch, the doll for Susie - from you - and I just don't know about the microscope for Kim. I've bought Kim a cheap but I think nice ($12) watch for her birthday. It the sort you can write off in a couple of years and knowing the luck of my pour little Kimmy. I don't want to give her a good one and have her heart broken if she breaks it - a little late perhaps. So at the moment, I have sent - PACKAGE 1 your present via Weenie. - Package 2 - a communal present for the girls PACKAGE 3, Radio for the girls, brooch for Weenie, Pens for the girls. PACK 4 - watch for Kim's Birthday. Package 5 (goes tomorrow is two cartons of cigs tobacco etc For Mac) Maybe I will send Kerrys watch - she did have the appendicitis - its just so hard trying to avoid poor old Susie and getting a good deal - advice please mummy!

I've got a sore foot at themoment - Just won't heal on a cut. No mail in while I've been away. The system here is chaotic to say the least.

I must close now my sweeties or I'll miss the mail. I'll write properly tonight

Just remember I love you so very very much

Daddy D

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/4/1-2
Date Range 18 November 1966
Quantity 2 1 aerogramme, 1 transcription
Formats Video Tapes
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/4/1-2
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/5/1-2

Aerogramme dated 24 November 1966 and transcription

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N. THU 24 NOV

My Darling Niesi,

Nice long letter in tonight - written 13 NOV - which is about par of the course now - about 10 days. I'm terribly pleased with the way the little sweeties are behaving - they are being much more grown up than I ever thought they would be and I'm very very proud of them. I'm terribly pleased that weenie won the prize at Sunday school and that the other girls also seem certain to do well. They certainly tried hard enough this year and they deserve to do well. I presume by now you've received the registration papers - as you suspected the dumb buns sent them here so I returned them the same day I got them - but you sorted it out very well without them - well done my sweetie you did very very well!! I think the prices from the garage seem very reasonable - they certainly aren't robbing you pet. I'm very glad the $270 arrived, there is only the $99.75 thru the US system which I hope won't be too long. The MBS on Kerry was beaut - you can't complain at a 60c hospital bill. I don't know why the Murphy's put up with slob [deleted] - he's hopeless [deleted] a stinking nuisance staying that late on you - you need your sleep after the day you have pet. I think I'll close now as I had a long day and am a little beat. I'll finish this at lunch tomorrow to catch the out mail at 1.00 Sleep tight my wonderful Neisi.

Back again. Been out to PHU VANG on a contact this morning. Am currently soaking wet and covered in mud not that that is desperately unusual around here at the moment. It's pouring with rain on the whole place is flooded. The men up here don't mind in the least about the colours they wear and it's a little odd to see Maj Bace in his LAVENDAR raincoat 'dep qua' (very beautiful!) I'm off to Phu Luc and VIHN Loc to visit the live operations we have going this afternoon then I've go two hours of visual recce in L19 from 4 - 6 so it's a fairly busy afternoon. Tonight I'll catch up on all the useless paperwork. Its growing with our new Division Senior adviser. He wants reports on everything he loves paper.

I'm just eating a fresh bread roll and SALAMI for lunch as I write. My roomate and I now eat up here for lunch instead of the mess hall Its cheaper and much tastier to have a bread roll and a bottle of coke than the slush they serve and charge 80c for.

I received your Christmas cards which I loved! today and also the presents which I have carefully locked away without peeking at all! Must close now, my honey buns. I'm very proud of all four of my sweeties and I'll try and make up on our lovely holiday for not being with you this Christmas. I love you so very very much

Your old

Daddy diddles

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/5/1-2
Date Range 24 November 1966
Quantity 2 1 aerogramme, 1 transcription
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/5/1-2
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/6/1-2

Aerogramme dated 5 January 1967 and transcription

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7 AM THU

5 JAN

My Darling Girls

Back in late last night from a 2 day walk in the rai - and did it rain! It has now poured day and night without a break for 10 days. The country side is flooded everywhere to 3 - 4 feet.

We did a search opn in NAM HOA. Made contact 4 times but each time it was only with a few VC and they easily broke off contact in the rain. - so much for that pen! lot of people going down with the flu from the cold - I'm good as gold - touch wood. Its bitterly cold. It was better to keep moving on the opn as you almost froze if you stopped. Temp was down around 40 and after the usual heat up here that really gets to you.

I love the three photos of the little girls one of my US marine friends gave me a wallet (with USMC on it) with some photo containers inside and I've got them in that. They are all as pretty as a picture and everyone I show them to admires them very much - so thank you my sweetie.

Expecting two new WOs in this week to replace McCARTNEY and HARRIS- what a welcome to HUE. We've got a room heater now and use helicopter fuel in it - works well, so our room is a refuge from the cold. I'm eating here more than the mess hall to save money and to keep warm - also the foods better.

Had to go to the NAM HUA on the opn Scales successor had just arrived and didn't care for the place one little bit.

Poor old Ba Em still going crazy trying to get the washing dry- now has it hanging all over our room - looks like our living room at Puckapunal used to.

I've got to go down to the Marines At PHU BAI for discussion on changes to the areas of responsibility once we start the R.D. programme and also the clearing ops that start in 15 JAN in preparation for the insertion of the Revolutionary development teams into the hamlets on 1 FEB. I hate these long drawn out conferences but I guess they are just part of the job.

Today is 5 months in Vietnam - I think it was 5th I left wasn't it. Only 6 to go. We are on the downhill run now my darling. Now that its 67 I feel like we are winning on the calendar battle one poor sod of a marine arrived here DEC 15, 1966 and goes home on JAN 15, 1968. They do 13 months, but the physiological effect of being here 66, 67, 68!.

Take good care of yourselves my wonderful darlings. Remember that an old Petie loves you more than anything in this world and I'll be home in Jul to snuggle a pretty Neisi and 3 little princesses is my arms and off we'll go on a wonderful holiday together. I'm looking forward to being with you again so very very much my darling

Petie

THE PHANTOM MUSTARD SMEARER STRIKES AGAIN--->

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/6/1-2
Date Range 5 January 1967
Quantity 2 1 aerogramme, 1 transcription
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/6/1-2
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/7/1-3

Aerogramme dated 10 January 1967 and transcriptions

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11. PM TUE 10.

My Darling Girls

Have just finished writing my monthly report as the Colonel is due tomorrow so I'd better get it done. Screw up on the pay they only sent us our meals allowance and NO PAY. My anguished cries could be heard in Saigon without a telephone. Our Adm offr is USELESS.

Had one of those days - my jeep broke down, my helicopter was cancelled - no pay, etc etc - I knew I shouldn't have got up. Busy day tomorrow US General and Col Milner both so I'll be running around. VC are getting pretty active shooting at planes coming into HUE lately - If they get the C.Os it will help promotion rates - They shot down another L19 (like Cessna) today. Pilot was hit twice but managed to get her down without pranging it. STILL pouring with rain and still freezing.

WED.

Col. Milner up today. No drastic news. Brig Graham has taken over the Task Force. Vincent is taking over from Gen Mackay as AFU Comd - Mackay is sent home with ulcers. I've got to get him out to QUANG TRI tomorrow if the weather permits. Been running around all day - US general visited - no problems.

Big panic tonight 2 VC bns due to attack PHU LOC district. We've reinforced with 2 companies so I bet nothing comes of it now.

Your photos just arrives - I love them both. They were misdirected to the wrong APO - NOT your fault my darling. Your addressing was exactly right. I've got them on the wall in front on my desk. I've left them in their plastic covers to help preserve them.

I think the one of you alone is gorgeous little sweetie and so is the group one. Susy seems to be a little chubbier than I remember, and they all look as cute as buttons. I know how much trouble and drama you had over them but if its any consolation they are very much appreciated at this end my darling. I'm off to QUANG TRI tomorrow for a one day (maybe two) conference on defence of RD. I'll drive up as the weather is so lousy you can never bank on getting in or back by chopper. Must close now my darlings, once again thank you so very much for the photos, they are a lovely birthday present and I really do love them. Now I've got them for my wall to look at as I write to my sweeties. Remember I love you so very very much my darling wife.

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/7/1-3
Date Range 10 January 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/7/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/8/1-3

Aerogramme dated 15 January 1967 and transcriptions

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11.00 AM

SUNDAY 15.

My Darling Girls,

Had 2 days up at Quang Tri at a particularly useless conference. We had the organisation for the Revolutionary Development programme all worked out and it would have worked and now the stupid Viet Div Comd has made an impulsive decision to give complete comd to 3 Regt, so all the province people have washed their hands of it. Sometimes I doubt if we'll ever get anything off the ground in this mad house.

I had to work late Fri night and all day yesterday to finalise plans for an op starting today - I'm not going on this one. I've been in a foul mood the last few days. The rain hasn't stopped for almost 3 weeks and its getting everyone short tempered. That and the frustration of trying to get things accomplished without the Viets "losing face" - not to worry. Lot of the Viets are very sick from the cold weather and rain. Ba Em is off today. Her very young (6 months I think) baby (or her sisters baby I'm never very clear on this) is very sick with the flu. About 20% of air troops are down with the flu. I've got to go down to PHU BAI for another completely useless conference with the Marines at 1.00. The USMC is becoming more annoying. Doing senseless actions without telling anybody else.

- Sleeping in temples and upsetting the locals etc

I love the photos my darling. I've got them up on the wall over my desk so I can look at them as I write. I like the way you've got your hair done little Neisi - 'dep qua' - very lovely my pretty Neisi.

Had to go to dinner last night at the Province Chiefs to farewell the US. AID man [deleted] (a useless slob) and to welcome the new slob. The food was OK - but - "Rarely have I felt." I got home about 10 got to bed and then had to get up at 12 and was on the radio for hours with an attack out at PHU THU calling in flare planes, naval gunfire and all that jazz, so this morning I slept in until 8 - sheer luxury

Mail has been lousy for everybody lately. Your photos were the first mail for any Australians for about 6-7 days

Washed my hair this morning. Its Sunday and you can't let a war interfere with routine like that - more grey - too ? - I'll look more like your father than your husband when I get home my darling - I'll try not to act like it though!

Half way through Jan now my darling. The months are creeping by steadily and we are definitely on the downhill run now.

My Capt is due back tomorrow from R&R in Bangkok- I'll be please to see him to get the paperwork down. One request could you send me - (AUST) a copy of the SYD MORN HERALD - SATURDAY for Col Graeser he wants to see what jobs are like in AUST.

Must close now my wonderful Neisi unless things foul up I should be home tonight to write again. Just remember that I love you so very very much you - and those lovely little sweeties. I love you Neisi

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/8/1-3
Date Range 15 January 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/8/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/9/1-3

Aerogramme dated 16 January 1967 and transcriptions

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16 JAN

11. PM.

My Darling Girls,

Bad day today took my first AUST casualty. As you've doubtless heard young [deleted] hit a mine lost a fair bit of his right foot, multiple wounds to the groin (the private parts will be OK though) and buttocks and wounds to the left leg. This armour plate in the bottom of the boot is all that saved any of his foot. They've been working on him all day and they've saved his heel and instep. He's had a COLONOSTOMY as his bottom was chopped to ribbons.

We were out in PHONG DIEN on an op. I was a couple of thousand yards away with my reaction force on the same op. He just stepped on a mine - simple as that. One of the viets rushing to help him stepped on another - he didn't have armour in his boot so lost foot and ankle. We got him med evaced by chopper in about 15 min and his condition is excellent now. A pity he's a good lad but he's alive and he's got most of his foot left and no damage that isn't repairable. Found a nice letter waiting when I got back (2 JAN) I'm glad the mail is sorting out at last my darling. Its still a bit slow here (14 days for this last one) but I think it is mainly in DANANG that the delay occurs. I'm pleased that you are happy with the watch little sweetie and that the girls are being so good about playing by themselves over the holidays.

I'm sure you make a lovely dragon in the pool. No cake yet, but I loved my birthday card and the jumper has proved most useful.

Poor darling with all the work in the garden. I'm pleased that Kim is proving a little more liberal in her tastes.

I'll try and get a transistor and some pens for Weenie. The PX is out at the moment but should get some more in shortly. The pens are only $1.00 which isn't too bad.

I've sent the latest parcel off a few days ago but I'll send down some spare new uniforms soon so I'll enclose them with that.

Don't worry about me my little darling Petie is still the most highly qualified professional coward of them all and I still hold the record for "fastest man behind the paddy bund"

I decided not to do anything about those stinkers from 'LOOK' as the as the sooner its forgotten the better I guess. I've learnt now - I wouldn't tell a newspaper man the time of the day or trust them as far as I could kick them.

Tell Susanne I am very very proud of her for getting her swimming certificate She's a very good girl.

I'm going down to see Cope in the morning and we've go ANOTHER US general coming tomorrow P.M.

Yetch!!

So it should be a quiet day - unless Charles starts something. He's been getting busy again - his bridges went last night on Highway 1 and he hit PHONG DIEN district HQ - which is why we were out. Sizeland my new WO2 is very worried as he's got very swollen joints in the feet from the rain and is getting ARTHRITIS. He's just arrived and doesn't want to be sent home. Must close now my wonderful darling. Please don't worry and just remember that an old Petie loves you more than he could ever tell you and will be coming home THIS YEAR

I love you pretty Neis

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/9/1-3
Date Range 16 January 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/9/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/10/1-2

Aerogramme dated 24 January 1967 and transcription

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Tue 24

My Darling Niesi

Sorry I haven't written for a couple of days but I've been sick. I've had a dose of those kneedled stomach cramp things and the doc put me to bed. Fairly painful but he pumped me full of medicine and they gone now. We are off at 3 in the morning on an operation up into QUANG DIEN. We are going in to clear out the villages where young Cope got hit. They are reported to be two VC companies in there right now so I'm taking in HUC BAO plus my Reaction Forces with luck will get a few - Still raining. I'm sure it will never stop. McCartneys replacement arrives today which is a welcome. Cold wet and dismal. Received a nice long letter tonight (15 JAN) so the mail appears to have sorted itself out.

I'm delighted that the pack is such a success. It was certainly a worthwhile Christmas present little darling. I'm still eating your cake absolutely delicious. Aren't the [deleted] the absolute end - sickening!

I'm terribly pleased with our little girls. They are being tremendously good and and I‘m very very proud of them. I miss them so very much myself but we are definitely on the downhill run now my darling. I think they are did jolly well in their swimming and I'm pleased that they can all get themselves out of trouble in the water now. Your new pink floral sound nice sweetie and very cheap - inflation has really set in up here the last couple of months. I buy as little as possible outside as the prices have doubled and tripled in some cases - for example a packet of US cigarettes down town is now 75c - for 20 cigarettes and a medium bottle of coke is $1.00.

The cardigan and slacks sound nice. I'm looking forward to seeing them. They had some decent short sleeved sports shirts in the PX so I bought a couple to put away for our holiday too.

[deleted] Please let me know if they don't clear up or if you have any more trouble with them. I like your system of counting time my darling and we are DEFINITELY on the downhill run now. I must close now and get my gear packed for tomorrow probably be out for two days. I forgot to tell you they have localised my air bag in Saigon. Its at the Air France terminal - and now movements have lost the paperwork - but they are working on getting it released! I love you so much my little Neisi.

Petie.

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/10/1-2
Date Range 24 January 1967
Quantity 2 1 aerogramme, 1 transcription
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/10/1-2
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/11/1-3

Aerogramme dated 27 January 1967 and transcriptions

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FRI 27 JAN

My Darling Girls

Well Ho Chi Mihns having a really good session this time we got back in from the operation this morning and I've been in bed all day today. Ive had vomiting and bad diarreaha the last three days. I think I'm starting to stabilise a bit now though. I'm so full of pills I rattle when I walk.

The operation looked good but fouled up at the end. Reaction Force were off in Huong Dien so I used HUC BAO and we ran into a VC comp we had then pinned in a river bend like so [insert diagram] in a village about 300 yds by 400 yds and at 4.00 PM were in a position to assault and the HUC BAO comd refused to go in without arty support. I tried to talk him out of it but he fired his arty - some of it landed in the blocking force - 3 WIA

Then they called in armed choppers and shot it up- by then it was 6 and just starting to get dark as they went in - so the VC just lay low and filtered out as it got dark - somewhat frustrating. Had a bad day up here yesterday we lost 6 choppers in the province 4 big H46s, and 2 Hueys. They also lost 4 F4 jet fighters and a L19 up in QUANG TRI so its been a bad day for the fly boys. We've got some stinking US general coming in tomorrow for a briefing - I've given this RD briefing so often now Its terribly hard to keep any enthusiasm in the act. Received a letter tonight dated 11 DEC not your fault you'd put in the right APO they sent it to 95628 - clots. The sun has come out today and its glorious every time I walk out of my room Im squinting in the glare.

With a bit of luck this might be the finish of the monsoon. I can't see myself getting away on leave at the moment sweetie There is just too much work to do and I'm also loathe to spend the dough for even an in country R&R, and from what I hear Dalat isn't all that peaceful anyways

We've got some AUST P.R. photographers coming up on the 30th to take photos for the AATTV history so I'll try and scrounge some copies. New WO1 arrived today to replace McCartney - WO 1 WHITESIDE. I'm putting Mac in for the MBE he's earnt it compared to a lot of the useless bums that get it. Must close now my wonderful darling I'll be right tomorrow once these pills get through. Take care of yourself my pretty darling and remember that a Petie loves you and the little sweeties so very very much more than I could ever tell you. Take care my darlings

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/11/1-3
Date Range 27 January 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/11/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/12/1-2

Aerogramme dated 28 January 1967 and transcription

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FRI MORN 6.30

28

My Darling Neisi,

As I told you on wed we were off to Danang to brief Gen Westmoreland on the RD defence plan we went out to PHU BAI, at 2 PM WED and waited - freezing until 7 to catch a plane with all our charts etc. We got to Danang at 8. - without dinner - went straight to I Corps and did a rehearsal of the briefing and we'd just finished our rehearsal at 10 - and were about to commence 2 DIV's rehearsal when a phone call came that he would only be in Danang for an hour so no RD brief - yetch! We packed up and flew back up yesterday morning and Colonel Berenzweij stayed down to see Westmoreland and was to fly back up yesterday at 2 to be here for his farewell dinner at the big new hotel at 7 last night - 150 officers from 1 DIV (US & Viet) and 3rd Marine DIV - and he got fogged in at DANANG - so we had the farewell dinner without the guest of honour, it was an absolute scream - they played Auld Lang Syne etc - while he was 80 miles away - probably a much better party without him. I got in a replacement yesterday for Cope a WO2 CHURCHIN he's been down VING TAN for 6 months an older WO seems O.K. I didn't see Ross in Danang as we were there such a short time. The replacement for Maj Aspinall has arrived - in May an Enginer. I don't think I know him. Col Kelly the new DIV Senior Adv is due in today - Graeser says he's OK and old airbourne CO - last posting ETHOPIA. I feeling a bit better now the docs taking blood tests again. I've been getting a lot of ulcers in my mouth and tongue and he reckons my bloods out of order. He's got me on the traditional iron pills - yetch!

We are going back into DIHN MOHN again in a couple of days VC have built up about 2 companies in there. I'm sure we are going to have a major attack somewhere in the next few days before TET (8 FEB). They hit his bridges last night we lost 8 dead. I think they are working on cutting the highway. Nasty morning yesterday just outside of town Civilian bus hit a mine. 5 dead 15 wounded - some very badly. One of our L19s was over head on ? it went up 20 feet in the air and just burst and fell burning - I hate it when civilians get hit, its just so wrong.

Must close now my pretty darling. I'm definitely on the downhill run now - I like all these people getting replacements it means I'm getting closer to going home and snuggling into the arms of my wonderful Niesi and that I like. Take care of yourselves my four wonderful girls.

I love you

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/12/1-2
Date Range 28 January 1967
Quantity 2 1 aerogramme, 1 transcription
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/12/1-2
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/13/1-3

Aerogramme dated 7 February 1967, part 1 and transcriptions

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TUE MORNING

7 FEB.

My Darling Girls,

I'm tired cranky and thoroughly browned off so I shouldn‘t be writing but it has been three or four days since I wrote. So let me start back at Friday. I'm sure I wrote last on Friday morning. There was an attack at HUONG TRA by a VC Coy at 1300 hrs Friday and we moved out at 1330 we had a running fairly indecisive scrap all afternoon and stayed out overnight in ambush positions at HUONG TRA. At 0600 hrs on SAT morning the VC hit QUANG DIEU district HQ and the surrounding village of SIA with 60mm mortars killing 6 and wounding 10. We moved across country from H. TRA and its only 3 miles and get there at 0700 just as the word came close that "many VC" had just entered the northern end of the town and were killing all the P.F. We did the old "advance to the sounds of the guns" at the double we hit the centre of town and met the VC coming down the road. I was up with the point and we saw them a fraction before they saw us. They were regulars in green uniforms, helmets the works, we opened up and dropped several in the raid and then it was straight out of the wild west TV we turned over 2 wagons across the road and threw up hasty barricades of bags of rice and wheat and of cement building blocks from a construction site and fought to hold them at the market place. I even achieved live TV classic of shooting one of the roof. They got a sniper up on the roof of the church and I clobbered him with the AK and he flipped twice before he hit the ground. We found we'd got a tiger by the tail. It was 810 battalion - all regulars and the whole battalion and we had about 150 all told So we yelled for reinforcements. They sent a bn from PK 17 and 15 M113 APCs. They came tracking in from the north west but wouldn't come into the village - too many VC! I'm proud of my kids they did damned well. They put in two bayonet charges and cleared the VC from the church and the monsoon drain behind it. Then we were ordered to pull back as they were going to out in an airstrike. I pleaded with the useless slobs not to, as it was an extremely friendly village and all that was necessary was for these useless b-s in the bn and the APCs to come in and help us dig them out, but we were overruled by the people at Division and forced to pull back and they saturated the village in napalm. It didn't get the VC, they had all dug bunkers but it got a hell of a lot of the villagers. Then I said will now you're done let's get in there and clean it out - but they refused still to go in and waited until last light then the APCs withdrew and left a gap in the cordon to let the VC out so they wouldn't have to fight them.

All the advisors were ropeable, we called the Regt Comd and the APC Comd cowards to their faces. So we lost 20 dead 40 wounded - 40 civilians dead or wounded - one advisor - Capt Rud the APC advisor dead - two advisors wounded - and got 11 VC bodies - we could have killed the whole battalion if only those useless swine had a little guts.

The Regional and Popular force soldiers fought hard and

see AA 1129/1/14 for part 2

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/13/1-3
Date Range 7 February 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/13/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/14/1-3

Aerogramme dated 7 February 1967, part 2 and transcriptions

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continued from part 1, AA 1129/1/13

PART 2

well and they were as disgusted with the Regular Bn and the APC as we were. I spent all day Sunday and half of Monday getting out the bodies and cleaning up and trying to get the people a place to live and some food, what do you say to them when their houses have been burnt their families burnt to death I was so furious and disgusted I don't think I said a word all day I just couldn't speak. Last night the VC hit again in HUONG THUY they hit the Armoured compound killed 6 and wounded 10, we counter attacked and spent all night in the wet looking for them. We've just got back in I've showered, been to the doc to get something for a cold I've got and now I'm going to sleep all afternoon. We expect a lot of trouble tonight. Its TET tomorrow and the VC have promised many big attacks by TET, so we'll be ready to go on very short notice tonight. Found a nice letter waiting for me. The only nice thing about the last few days. What a shock about Johnny talk about a cold blooded sod - I'm amused by the first purchase being a grand piano. I can't really see myself having mind to discuss with Rhonda - musical though I be. perhaps I could sing I'm a lonely little Petunia for her - I'm sure anyone with musical leanings would appreciate it. What a pleasant surprise about the perculator. As you say we could have had it fixed a long time ago. I'd like LAMB when I get home my darling. We just don't ever get any and I'd love to have a Roast Lamb dinner. Poor darlings it must be awfully hot for you. I hope the fan is being some help. We should finish the wet up here any day now and then it will be hot and steamy for a few weeks and then just plain hot.

I expect and hope we'll get to Staff College next year pet. Its time we went and got it over with. That's how I feel anyway. My bag was located in Saigon and given to WO1 Whiteside to bring up to HUE.

I've booked it through and it never got here. It was off loaded in NHU TRANG or DANANG so we are close and are now trying to pin it down, but it is IN VIETNAM that's an improvement.

I'm glad Susannes haircut turned out so well. I still have the photos of all of you. I've got them here looking at me now. Must close now my little darling. I'm sorry this is such a mournful letter but I had to get it off my chest to someone - sorry sweetie. We're on the downhill run now little pet.

February already so I'll soon be back home snuggling a pretty Neisi and those lively little princesses in my arms - Just remember I love you all more that I could ever tell you and I'm being very very careful. I love you my darling Neisi.

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/14/1-3
Date Range 7 February 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/14/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/15/1-2

Aerogramme dated 9 February 1967 and transcription

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11 AM. THU 9. FEB

My Darling Niesi,

Well the truce started this morning so we've got a couple of days off. I slept late this morning and I'm going back to bed this afternoon - THOSE ARE GOOD PLANS - Tonight I've got a formal dinner at the Province Chiefs - rarely have I etc. Had a scrap yesterday at PHU THU - ran into 2 platoons - nothing drastic, lost one platoon comd though which was a pity. The sun came out yesterday and it was a scorcher. Had a nice letter (28 JAN) from you last night and got some slides back so I'll write the notes on them and get them off. What a foul up this wedding looks like being. Weenie wanting to "keep the end up", "not let the family down" and John not telling anyone anything - poor darling Niesi you're always in the middle aren't you. I don't blame you for being hopping mad at Weenie for not wanting to "get her sheets out for one night" after all the trouble she's put you to on so many stinking occasions. Poor Neisi it must have been lousy work to clean out the pool. The garcies sound fine and as you say our little girls use them a heck of a lot. I'm glad the little sweeties are back to school, the holidays are a long drag for you to handle by yourself even when the littlies are being so very very good. I'm sorry the Vietnam wives club looks like folding but that shouldn't be until Mar/April should it? and by then we will really be on the home run. I'm having a good rest tody. That sleep in this morning did me the world of good. Col Graesers just been up talking to me. He's missed out on War College (sort of LT. COL staff College) and is browned off and reckons he'll go to AUST. I had trouble with him the night before last with the 7 Regt deal. I was leading the forward section and every Time I looked around there would be Graeser - until I explained that Colonels were more nuisance that they were worth up with a lead platoon so would he please go back and keep Col KHOA from Collering me - which he took very well - and did. He's a good type and very rare amongst the US service officers - or officers generally - most of them are just plain gutless I'm afraid. Heavy firing here all last night but it was just the troops celebrating TET by firing off all their weapons into the air. Col Milner is due up in a fortnight with his replacement Col Tripp for a tour around. Big change one of advisers due in MAR. I'm already the oldest in country at HUE.

We are definitely on the downhill run little sweetie. It will be the middle of February by the time you get this as the days are going by. I'm looking forward so very much to our lovely holiday together in July. Just a pretty Neisi and those three lovely little sweeties.

I must close now little honey. I'm going to have a spring clean - no comments from the audience - that will fill in the day no doubt. Take very good care of yourself my darling Neisi. You and the little sweeties mean so very very much to me.

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/15/1-2
Date Range 9 February 1967
Quantity 2 1 aerogramme, 1 transcription
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/15/1-2
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/16/1-3

Aerogramme dated 11 February 1967 and transcriptions

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SAT 11 FEB

My Darling Girls

Well we are back onto therain game again - its pouring down and bitterly cold again.

We're still having the truce and I'm bored to back teeth with it. I know you aren't supposed to but I enjoy combat - not the effects where women and children get hurt but the straight fight between them and us where the one who thinks and moves the fastest and who dares most - wins.

Its remendously exhilarating I've got a good lot of troops and we know each other now and trust each other. It's a good feeling. They are good little soldiers and they have all developed into distinct personalities now. There are some crazy characters amongst them, one I call Bop who carries a guitar and plays American jazz on it - and who is also the best B.A.R. machine gunner I've ever seen - Sha my Browning gunner at PHONG DIEN - COBI -THAN TAN in the human wave attacks at Christmas, hit in the face with two rounds but tapping his ammo man on the shoulder in the ‘take over' signal and rolling out of his way before he lost consciousness - (he lived and will be OK) They are good people and if led well are first class soldiers. I'm lucky with the officers we've had. They've got out in front and led. That's the trouble with the 1st DIV regular units - no leadership anyway enough drivel about the army my sweetie.

Went to lunch at Capt DAO's and dinner at MAJ BAO's last night - strict Vietnamese traditional food in each case. If I see another rice cake I'll scream. We also misjudged BAO - thought it was only cocktails so had dinner in the mess before we left and then got hit with 7 courses Col Graeser and I could hardly get up from the table and you HAD to eat a little of every course - burp!

I'm going down to Special Operations Group this morning. I'm working with them a bit now to try and get some early warning of what we've got against us back in the hills. We've had two new VC regular bns against us in the last two weeks and I've got a nasty suspicion that there is a new VC division of NTH VIET Regulars that has moved in from LAOS - we'll see.

The locals are still firing off their weapons every night to celebrate TET the current scene is 1 dead 7 wounded. We've had 4 rounds through the roof of the RAP, two through the chapel, one through a room two down from mine and one went into the PX, smashed a showcase and hit a watch I just go to bed. If I'm going to be hit I'll go in comfort - I stay off the streets as much as possible during TET - I'd hate to be shot by my 'friends'. Not much news at the moment my little darling because most of the time I've been just sitting. Each day is one closer to being home with my lovely wife anyway. Try not to tire yourself too much my pretty Neisi, you are doing a wonderful job and a much harder one than mine and I know it and appreciate it. I love you so much more than I could tell you little sweetie - but I'll try in July

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/16/1-3
Date Range 11 February 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/16/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/17/1-2

Aerogramme dated 12 February 1967 and transcriptions

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SUN NI

12 FEB 67

My Darling Girls

Out again last night VC hit HUONG TRA at 0200. Wish these people would take a sleeping tablet got back in at 0800

A school in Vic send me up 50 cans of Carnation milk so I took it out to SIA today - the village we had the big fight in last weekend and gave it to the nuns out there to distribute and I took out 20 cases of C Rations we'd scrounged from the marines. I'm glad you didn't get a job little sweetie. I think you've got enough to do with those three little girls. I know it would help to pass the time but I think it would finish up being more trouble than its worth. The visit to Rhondas was interesting I'm glad the girls were so good - what a funny little sweetie that Kim is though.

You did very well to drive home that late at night in the pouring rain by Waranara but my Neisi always was a jolly good driver.

I was out at Special Forces camp yesterday and acquired a beaut new light weight nylon hammock with a cover over it and a nylon sleeping bag (waterproof) with a blanket permanently attached on the inside very light - very warm.

I'm glad you had such a good giggle with Neddie old sweetie you get few enough laughs down there. Poor Neisi - still on plastic covers for books.

My phantom bag still isn't here we still seek it. I do hope I locate it by July

Aren't the [deleted] a ghastly pair

Thank heavens I've got my Neisi and not something like that! Although I suspect he is the worst of the pair.

I hope you like the musical show. I'm delighted hear whenever you get out to one of these.
Big operation starting of the 15th 2 Para Bns plus 2 Marine Bns plus HUC BAO and my Reaction Force is on call as a reserve. They are going in to clear the people out of CO. BI THAN - TAN and burn it to the ground. Should be interesting that's were we had the big stand up fight at Christmas. My room mate has just bought a nice SONY 530 tape recorder so I've got some very pleasant music going. He's out on the bars again he's a bit of an old drunk. Must close now little honey and get to bed. A quiet night - so far. We are definitely on the down hill run now TRIPP arrives here on 23 FEB, I'll say "Just call me Short timer new boy" Take very good care of yourself my beautiful Neisi I love you so very very much. Sleep tight

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/17/1-2
Date Range 12 February 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/17/1-2
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/18/1-2

Aerogramme dated 17 February 1967 and transcription

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11 AM FRI 17 FEB

My Darling Girls,

Just back from 3 days in QUANG DIEN again. Our old friends 810 Bn were getting restless again. I've just had a shower and cleaned up. I was very very dirty, as the place is a sea of mud holes. I dived into one once when they opened up on us and was covered in mud. They had a photo of me at the end of the op. I'll send it down when we get it back. My rifle went into the mud with me, so there I was in the middle of the pitch black night sitting in the river taking my rifle apart and washing the mud out of every part of it. Got a slight dose of the flu so I'll spend today in the sack unless something drastic comes up as I'm pretty tired anyway. Found a nice letter (5 FEB) waiting for me when I got back. Poor Niesi you always seem to be sewing those seats in the car. As for Weenie sending things I'm honestly pretty well off - the only thing I'd like is some AUST style PICKLES. The yanks just don't have that sort and I'm gastric so often a few more pops just wouldn't be heard. The plastic on the books must have been a stinker of a job little sweetie. I'm glad you did so well in the facts of life stuff with Kerry, but you have always been good at explaining things to the sweeties. You're new dress sounds nice little sweetie. I'm looking forward very much to seeing them and you haven't been ? I think you've bought very little and what you have bought sounds jolly nice. I doubt if they'll send me home early because of Ho CHI MIHNS revenge sweetie - I'd love to come but I don't want to raise any false hopes. We lost one M113 out at QUANG DIEN. Took a river too fast - swamped and sunk. The driver drowned unfortunately. We are planning another operation out into PHU THU. The natives are getting restless out there again. Col TRIPP is up on the 23rd for his first trip (NO PUN). Is it Weenie or John who is discussing moving to Camie I presume laughing Weenie? I'll believe it when I see it. What a mess the Weaver girls seem to be in. Thank heavens I've got my lovely organized competent Neisi. The letter flow both ways seems to have sorted itself out little sweetie - thank heavens. I still haven't written the notes on these slides and sent them off - Sorry! I'll do it tonight. Must close now and go and see the quack and get some medicine, have lunch and then about 4 hours sleep. Take care of yourself and those little sweeties my darling. I miss you and love you more that I could ever tell you.

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/18/1-2
Date Range 17 February 1967
Quantity 2 1 aerogramme, 1 transcription
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/18/1-2
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/19/1-3

Aerogramme dated 21 February 1967 and transcriptions

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7.00 TUE 21

FEB

My Darling Girls

Got back last night but I was too tired to write. We went out on Friday night to HUONG DIEN to chase a reported VC Bn 808 we walked all day Saturday and Sunday over those damned sandhills I took some photos of them. Rolling sand dunes 150' height with not a scrap of vegetation and damned hard walking We only got one VC and we walked 45000 metres and I've got a lovely blister to prove it. Then on Sunday afternoon the Rangers in QUANG DIEN got into big trouble

They ran into VC and found they've got a tiger by the tail - The VC surrounded them and started chopping them up, so they sent choppers for us and came in one side while the HUC BAO in M113s came up from HUE on the other. It was interesting for a while. The chopper I was in came in weaving hard from side to side and as I dived out the door there was the muzzle flash of a M6 winking at me from about 100 yds away. I now hold the "50' horizontal dive while firing a full magazine" record. Anyway we had a brisk discussion with them and they decided to call quits and pulled out during the night. We had 2 advisers seriously wounded with the Rangers and lost 10 dead 17 wounded - also in the rangers - My kids only had 3 wounded which was pretty good - proves they are getting smart

Found a nice letter waiting for me when I got home (8 FEB) Glad you bought another swimmer as you'll definitely need two for our holiday little sweetie. I'm sure Teddy is very trustworthy on the bike to school and if K.A says she obeys orders I can't see anything wrong with it. She's a big girl now

I didn't know Mick Weaner ? was one of those wounded. I'd heard of the incident but no names. Bad day yesterday apparently I hear we lost 3 officers down in the Task Force and we lost one WO2 HANLEY down at DANANG

Your cake was also waiting for me- delicious and the packet soups will be most useful to take on patrol little sweetie. The mess hall was closed when we got back so se feasted on Neisi's cake and had chocolate (ration pack type) - excellent timing by Neisi.

Another packet of slides was also waiting for me- the ones from SIA, so I'll have to write up the notes on both lots and get them off. Some good was amongst them That little PEN EE camera does a good job - Must close now my pretty darling and get off to work. I wanted to get a letter off this morning though as we've been away a long while. Take care of yourself my lovely young wife and don't worry about a Petie. I've got good troops and I'm being very very careful. I love you my wonderful darling.

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/19/1-3
Date Range 21 February 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/19/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/20/1-2

Aerogramme dated 25 February 1967 and transcription

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7.15 SAT MORNING

25 FEB

My Darling Girls

I got back late last night. We've been in a heavy action out in PHU THU for the last 3 days. Ran into 2 VC Main Force comps of 804 BN and we had a slugging match we killed a lot of them and captured 4 M6s but we lost 7 dead and 13 wounded we also lost Greg Clements the adviser for PHU THU who was one of my closest friends up here. He's a West Point Capt about 28 and a really good lad. We were on opposite sides attacking the village. I had my Reaction Force and he had 2 RF coys this first attack was halted about 50 yds short of the treeline and they had to pull back leaving 2 wounded. Greg went out with his Sgt and his interpreter to try and get them. The VC let them get into 50 metres and then opened up from a M6 launcher in the treeline. Greg was badly wounded in the chest his Sgt and interpreter were hit in the legs. They then shot him up as he was lying there and he was killed. The Sgt and the interpreter made it back to the radio and called me. I went around and got the body out. I've put him in for a posthumous DIST SERVICE CROSS and its been recommended by Col Graeser and by division.

I've been burnt black by the sun we were stuck in the sandhills for 48 hours and it was absolutely scorching heat. Milne and Tripp came while I was out there so I missed seeing them. They were listening on the radio at one stage apparently when my Armalite jammed, so I grabbed Clements carbine and was fighting with that then it jammed with the sand so I got a VC submachine gun from one of the VC dead around us and then that jammed so I finished up with my rusty trusty old .45. Col Milner's only comment apparently was "I'll send up an AUSTRALIAN rifle by the first plane after I get back to SAIGOIN!".

On to money. The post office returned my $70 I sent in JAN apparently I can't use that system any more. I've saved up $100 in FEB so I've now got $170. I won't draw any pay and I'll send it home through the paybook Darling. I hope to save $100 min a month now that Christmas and TET are over. I'll do my very best anyway. Must close now and go to work but I waited to get a letter off as I've been out so long. I love you more than you'll ever know my lovely wife.

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/20/1-2
Date Range 25 February 1967
Quantity 2 1 aerogramme, 1 transcription
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/20/1-2
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/21/1-3

Aerogramme dated 26 February 1967 and transcriptions

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SUN NI

26 FEB

My Darling Girls,

Pouring with rain again- we're back to that. I took off to go to a conf in DANANG at 5.00PM but we had to turn back as the ceiling was about 50' and the chopper pilot said he couldn't make it. I'm glad you liked the plates. The only inscription I remember is just one saying it was from Col KHOA - was there another? As for the calendars of course do as you wish with them my darling I threw a couple extra for give aways I'm glad Mac was pleased with his cigarettes. There are two more cartons in a second package - I guess you've got that by now anyway. I'll send some more down later as they are no trouble and only cost $1.20 a carton which is about $1.05 AUST I'll send a couple of cartons every month. I'm not very happy to hear you've been so sick little sweetie. I wish I was there to help my poor little darling. Please don't worry about me - I'm perfectly OK you've got enough worries down there with those three little sweeties to look after. I'd heard there were a couple of officers killed in 6 RAR but didn't hear any names. I'm please that you're happy with you're watch little sweetie - my SEIKO keeps excellent time - better than the ROLEX did, and it gets terrible treatment - its been dunked in the sea - covered in sand - it just keeps going - a good $20 buy.

I was paraded to full Col Kelly - the senior adviser - Graesers boss and told that the previous recommendation for a Bronze Star for the AN LO business was to be cancelled and that I'd been written up for a U.S. Silver Star to cover the AN LO action and the business with Greg Clements at PHU THU

The Silver Star is their third highest so I'll be pleased if it ever eventuates- mainly because It might be a help in getting us the UK staff college - you know the old "he did a good job in Vietnam we'll give him an Overseas trip" jazz like BUTCH BURROWS got. I'd like to get the trip for you my sweetie you are the only one who has earned a good holiday out of this year. This is a lousy pen I hope you can read this little sweetie'

Just finished cleaning all my muskets. I slept 13 hours last night I was really beat after PHU TAN those sand hills are murder.

Big op starting tomorrow with USMC and 1 ARVN div to clear out Co. BI - THAN TAN. We're not in this one. I doubt if they'll get much - too many troops - too cumbersome and slow.

Glad you are getting out to tennis little darling. You'll soon be the one saying- my husband is the next one due home. March this week - that's another big step forward. Take care of yourself my wonderful darling. I love you and miss you and those little sweeties more than I can ever tell you. We'll have a wonderful time when I get home. I love you

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/21/1-3
Date Range 26 February 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/21/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/22/1-3

Aerogramme dated 1 March 1967 and transcriptions

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WED 1 MAR

My Darling Girls,

Just back from an operation down in PHU LOC- abortive no contact - but awfully cold. Found a nice letter waiting for me (19 FEB) and am delighted that you have the bookings confirmed for the holidays Now we can really plan our lovely holiday little sweetie. I am looking forward to it so very very much. Its not that long now It's MARCH already and my replacement has been named - some bloke called GILL so its starting to get closer my pet. I'm glad you've ensured the watches I'm surprised at the girls valuation as Kerry's did cost more than Kims!

I've liberated four good sleeping bags nice feather one so I'll send them down. They might come in handy for our holiday trip - and to fill in that gap in the beds at Balinga, as I DON'T want single beds my darling, I've also got some greens to send down plus some things that Ba EM my maid bought for you for TET. A bit gaudy be she meant well - anyway you'll see! John is a stoopid nit - that is a considered opinion and you may quote me. Teddy's new coat sounds nice - isn't Suzy getting to be a funny little sweetie deciding that you can't tear the old ones. I'm pleased that Teddy wants a watch. That will make the present all the better. I've finished marking the slides so I'll send those off with this letter and hope you can read the notes. I've cleaned up the AK automatic rifle I got out in PHU THU and put a rubber shock pad - 'NO SHOCK' you'll be pleased to hear on it to lengthen the unit as it was a bit short. It's almost brand new - still had packing grease in it, so I'll carry that from now on and they are accurate and RELIABLE not like that stinker of an Armalite. I HAVE been paying the electricity bills honey. I just didn't bother mentioning it

I would like Mac to send me up Time if its not too much bother and I'll be sure to make a fuss about PAT's cake - as you say they manage to make any job difficult I had hysterics at the thought of Neddie in striped trousers and top hats - if he ever does you MUST get a photo for posterity - he'll never live it down. General Hans Anderson is coming up here next Monday and I've got TWO Major Gen AUST Chaplains coming in on Saturday - yetch! I feel we are really on the downhill run now little sweetie. The holiday in Queensland will be just what we need and I'm looking forward to it tremendously Hans Anderson is the Adjutant General now and Tripp is coming up with him so I'll put in my bid for overseas staff college when they come up - its worth a try. Take care of yourself my wonderful darling. I am looking forward so very very much to coming home to my four lively girls again. You are all so very precious to me and I'm so very very proud of you all.

I love you

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/22/1-3
Date Range 1 March 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/22/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/23/1-3

Aerogramme dated 3 March 1967 and transcriptions

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diagram

HUN INST SUN.

FRI. 3. MAR

My Darling Girls.

Well we got paid yesterday so some cheary news for a start. I'd saved $70 in JAN and $100 in FEB and I'm sure I can save $100 in MAR so I sent off (AUST) $270 through the pay book It will doubtless take a few weeks for the cheque to come through. If I've overestimated and can't live on what I've got left in MAR I can always get cash from a float fund I hold (Its back to TORCHY again!) so I won't be financially embarrassed my darling. I just like to get it off to you and then I feel that its REALLY saved The amount of time we are spending on ops I'm sure I can keep up a steady saving rate of $100 a month, so if I can that will be $400 for APR - JUN and to add to what we've got and we might even crack that magic $1000 figure little darling. Went down to PHU LOC today to investigate the starting up if a bus there early this morning. Someone? We can't find who bombed a village in QUANG TRI last night 60 dead 180 wounded. We were up most of the night carting in wounded from the choppers to HUE hospital. All civilians. The marines and US Air Force bull ? deny it at the moment but we checked the bomb fragments and they are definitely US. - although it could be a sneak raid from LAOS its only 30 miles away. Anyway they are checking. New Major arrived for PHU THU - went out there today - back in tonight - said he didn't consider it secure enough to stay at night - and its an Infantry major! He won't last long with Col Graeser. We got a prisoner yesterday. Captured by PHU THU PF. He said there was ALL of 804 bn in that village when Greg Clements was killed and that they were about to attack us when we threw in the counter attack with my kids and they decided that we must be Airborne troops to attack them and also from my red beret, and they pulled back in front of our attack. It's the dd "attack is the best defence" jazzy - almost as true as 'watch for the flare in the sun!. I'm not complaining darling but I've got the worst case of sunburned eyeballs you've ever seen are you SURE that its right - please check closely with MAC!!

Just reading a good book'‘The Source' by James Michner 1024 pages. Very interesting about Archaeology in Israel. I sent it home in the next package - its not nearly as long as it sounds. I've sent Mac 2 cartons of CAMELS - you know the only cigarettes with a picture of the tobacco producer on the packet. I'm trying to talk Col KHOA in letting us go back into PHU THU - but this time with a US Marine Bn to clear up 804 as they are becoming a nuisance. Must close now little darling. Just remember I adore you and those little girls and I'm looking forward so very much to coming home to my lovely Neisi and that wonderful holiday all 5 of us are going to love. I love you

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/23/1-3
Date Range 3 March 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/23/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/24/1-2

Aerogramme dated 8 March 1967 and transcription

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WED 8 MAR

My Darling Girls.

My poor little Neisi what a time you've had with Kerry. I'm just so sorry I couldn't be there to help you my little sweetie. As always you did marvellously well to cope as you did. Poor little Neisi everything happens to you. I hope poor old Kedgn? is completely recovered by now. I'm just back tonight from SIA in QUANG DIEN - again we've had four days of hard fighting Poor SIA it used to be a lovely town. Once again 810 Bn hit it we were out in PHU THU on a 1 day operation and we've swung up to QUANG DIEN. This time the VC already had the market place and we had a damed hard fight to hold the bridge into town and the District HQ. Pouring rain - no aircraft could fly to support us it was just 3 days of close, dirty house to house fighting and today was just mopping up and clearing up. I lost Capt LEHMAN my assistant ops officer killed and Sgt Thomas the radio operator (and the one in the last action at PHU THU) was wounded in the arm. CAPT AHN the Quang Dien district chief was killed in the fighting - he'd submitted his resignation the day before!

We also lost a Company Commander 17 dead and 40 wounded. I was sorry to lose [deleted] he was a good lad with a nice dry sense of humour. It was just one of those things that happen we were crossing a padi and they hit us with a 57 mm recoilless. We dived for cover behind the paddy bund as ? he hit the ground he's accidentally fired his carbine and shot himself through the head - at least it was instantaneous.

We pulled back in for rest tonight and we haven't any op planned for tomorrow

Gen Anderson never made it up to here due to the torrential rain for the past few days. No aircraft have been able to get off the ground at all. What a nut Joan Donaldson is. [deleted] Had a nice letter from MAC waiting when I got back. I'll answer it tomorrow night as I'm pretty beat now and I'll head straight off to bed but I wanted to write to you straight away my little sweetie as I want you to get some mail. Poor Neisi you've got the hard end of this year my darling, with all the troubles you've had.

We are really winning now that - half way through march by the time you get his.

Not long now until Petie comes home to give you a million cuddles and we go off to our lovely holiday with the most wonderful wife and little sweeties that ever lived. I hope the news of the savings from here helped a bit on the budget as I realize that Kerrys crash didn't help down here. Don't worry my little sweetie you are doing a wonderful job and I know only too well how lucky I am. I love you my darling. Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/24/1-2
Date Range 8 March 1967
Quantity 2 1 aerogramme, 1 transcription
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/24/1-2
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/25/1-2

Aerogramme dated 10 March 1967 and transcriptions

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11 PM FRI 10 MAR

My Darling Girls

Just back from HUONG DIEN. Left at 4.30 this morning and went out to an outpost at DIEN HUONG that had been hit. They lost 11 dead and 33 wounded, their machine guns mortars and radio - Not good. I took two new advisers with me the MAJ and CAPT for HUONG DIEN. They got mildly shot at - nothing serious so it was good indoctrination for them. Still bitterly cold and drizzling with rain. I don't think the rainy season is EVER going to stop. [deleted] was up yesterday for a short visit. He's off to HK and TAIWAN for 7 days leave next week. Apparently has taken over completely from [deleted] with that female of theirs - so she'll probably finish up with his Aust babies. I'm afraid I'm not terribly hospitable to [deleted] I don't like him or the way he acts, so I let him sleep down in the WO's hut. WO2 Holmes leaves us at the end of next week which is a pity he's a good lad. [deleted] the WO1 who replaced McCartney is NOT good. I may have to get rid of him I think. Gen Daly C.G.S. and Gen Vincent the Comd AFV are due up on 20/21 for a 1 day visit.

Lot of mail hold ups in the AUST system pet. Some of the letters are taking 20 days to reach the chaps.

Didn't have breakfast or lunch today, so I've just had a meal of TOM SOUP, GHERKINS and a tin of Sardines - washed down by Coke - doesn't mix all that well actually! I feel very old tonight. I wonder if I was ever as young and keen - and green as these two I took out today I seem to have been here a lifetime. I've had four real friends up here. Col Graeser - and he leaves in few weeks. Greg Clements and Nills Lehman - both dead and young Custer and I don't want to take him out with me any more. He's too big and too slow and I'd hate to lose another one, the last two hurt quite a bit. I'll finish this in the morning my darling. I'm a bit tired now - a good nights sleep might help Just remember I adore you little Neisi - sleep tight.

2.30 AM

So much for sleep PHU THU under heavy attack - we've lost radio communication with the advisers We are moving out in 5 minutes. I'll throw this in the box ? in case we don't get back by post clearing time at 12.30 tomorrow. I love you my wonderful Neisi - more than I could ever tell you.

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/25/1-2
Date Range 10 March 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/25/1-2
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/26/1-3

Aerogramme dated 12 March 1967 and transcriptions

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PHU THU

2.30 AM

SUN 12 MARCH

My Darling Girls

What a 24 hours. PHU THU fell last night. The VC hit at 2.25 with a mortar attack followed by waves of assault troops over the walls with explosive charges. They reduced every building and every bunker to rubble. There were 4 advisors and 34 troops in the compound. We lost 3 advisors killed 30 PF killed 2 PF wounded 2 PF captured. Sgt Adams had a miraculous escape. He fired at one VC, killed him. The next one threw a satchel charge into his weapon pit - he launched it out behind him and shot the VC, as he did so the charge went off behind him knocking him unconscious and blowing him forward over the embankment and down into the edge of the minefield. When he woke up 30 minutes later the whole compound was on fire and there were VC everywhere, so he had enough sense to lie quietly and the VC didn't see him. We got in with reaction force at 4 and pushed the VC out. The whole place was razed to the ground practically. It was important that we reestablished the team here immediately so that the VC couldn't say they had driven the adviser's out so I am now the PHU THU adviser - only for about 7 days while they sort out who is coming in here permanently. I've got Capt Garcy and Sgt Alverado with me both good types. I'm living in the ruins of the main office we've built a barricade of bags of cement and unfilled sandbags all around us and we've got 2 radio a machine gun and a M79 and we're in good shape. We've also got 60 troops in and in ambush positions around the remains of the compound. The VC won't attack here again for a while as they achieved their objective and there is nothing here now worth attacking but it was important to keep a team here and also to boost the morale of the local people and troops and to calm them down as they were pretty shook up. I'm on radio watch now I had from 12 - 4 - by choice the others needed some sleep. Garcy was pretty nervous about coming out but now we've got a defensive position all organised and I've explained how we'd fight and where everybody would go and what their jobs are he's quite happy. Poor old Maj HEYDY who was killed last night was Greg Clements replacement - he'd been 6 days at PHU THU not here long enough to learn how to stay alive. Keep sending your mail to the ordinary address my darling. They bring it out by chopper. Don't worry about this PHU THU dead I really believe the VC won't attack again and I'm really safer here that I am running around with reaction force. Time is running by now my darling. I was sitting here on radio watch thinking about our wonderful holiday together. Just my lovely Neisi and those three little sweeties. I'm looking forward to it so very very much - and to being home with my lovely wife and the three loveliest little sweeties any man could wish for. I miss you and I love you so very very much my darling. Take care

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/26/1-3
Date Range 12 March 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/26/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/27/1-3

Aerogramme dated 13 March 1967

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12.30 PM MON

13 MAR 67

My Darling Girls,

I'm on radio watch again. I think today is the most physically tiring day I have ever spent. We got up at 6 and started building ourselves a home. The three of us dug two weapon pits, then we filled 600 sand bags and built a blast wall across the front of the room a fighting bay [diagram] I've completed the sandbagging on down in the [drawing] sections, tomorrow we go on to the [drawing] to reinforce the two walls still standing and they have big blast cracks in them so I'll reinforce with two layers of sand bags to head height. I've sent the other two to bed we worked until 10 PM and I'll stand radio watch until 3. The day after tomorrow I have timber and steel planking coming and we'll get a mortar proof roof on - fortunately its been fine and it's a lovely night tonight. Its been a hard day my back aches like hell and my hands are a mass of blisters but its been satisfying we've got a decent place to fight from now - even if they come tonight we are in great shape and could hold out. My chaps feel the same way and are beat but now confident. The team that we've killed didn't have a weapon pit or a single sandbag - they just lived in a three room building I've got 3 claymores out from our building to cover the inside of the compound and I've set up a switchboard so I can riffle fire them if need be The village is still pretty shook up 80% of the men were killed here (from the village) (30) and the 2 who were taken from the compound were found killed today. They also took 6 civilian men from the village and killed them. A lot of the villagers came down today to watch us work and practically all of them said "COVAN KHONE DE?" "Advisers will no leave?" so I think our presence is doing some good to give them a sense of security They sent the kids down at lunch and dinner with rice and fish and bananas for us as we worked and the kids were fetching the empty sand bags for us to the filling part and some of the women were tying the mouths of the sandbags. They are wonderful people. They have so terribly little yet they share willingly everything they do have.

I had USAID send in roofing iron today to start on the repair of the civilian shacks that were damaged and to start repairing the first aid/hospital building down in the village. I also got on the radio to old VAN SICKLE down at Special Forces and he choppered us in 2 - 60 mm mortars and 6 Thompson submachine guns. The PF have got M2 carbines and they won't work in the sand here - the Thompson will, and at night have terrific short range stopping power. The APC squadron caught up with one company yesterday of 804 Bn that hit here. They had 3 M113's knocked out but killed 10 VC and captured 6 including 4 armed females. If they give us another 48 hours I hope they attack again. This time we are ready and we'll lick them. Its tremendously satisfying to create some thing out of the ruins and I've never seen people work so hard, with such determination. This time we'll hold! I'm sorry darling. I've run off on so much but at the moment all my mind is concentrated on the work here, to get this place on its feet again to hand over to the new team. I'm tired and filthy but I'm happy and I love my beautiful wife and little girls more than anything else in the whole world. Soon this will be over and I'll be coming home to the most wonderful family that ever were. That I want so very very much. I love you my darling Neisi. Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/27/1-3
Date Range 13 March 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/27/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/28/1-3

Aerogramme dated 14 March 1967 and transcriptions

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1 AM TUE

14 MAR

My Darling Girls

Its getting harder and harder to stay awake these nights. Another beautiful night with a lovely star filled sky. We were supposed to get our adm run by chopper late yesterday afternoon but it never materialised so I haven't had any mail in. Worked on sand bagging the rear wall yesterday morning and it's pretty well finalized now. Went on a patrol yesterday afternoon to the three halmets nearest to district (about 1000 metre NORTH, 1000 EAST and 2000 SOUTH) No VC and the people say they haven't seen any since the attack. The Junk fleet had a fight with 6 VC boats at 10 PM tonight about 4 miles SOUTH WEST of here. We could hear it and see all the tracers and we were talking to them on the radio. They think they sank 2 boats. We've got the inside of the room pretty well organized now. Its crowded but as comfortable as we can make it. We've got an extra B.A.R. (Browning Automatic Rifle now) and 3 (grease gun) submachine guns so that we've each got a long range weapon 2 BARs 1 M79 and 3 burp guns to use if they get inside the compound. The replacement for Col Graeser came out yesterday morning in a chopper that was a surprise so soon. I'll be sorry to see Col Graeser go. He and I have got to be very close friends but I'm glad he's getting out. He's taken this succession of losses terribly hard personally and blames himself for them. He's been pulling Capt WAUFORD in from QUANG DIEN. The wiping out of the team here at PHU THU was the last straw for him and he's got a genuine case of combat fatigue. He's had a bad 6 months so he'll go to a job a division for his second half. Got a new fire support plan for arty all tied in with the Marines yesterday. I didn't like the one they had before and today we start laying new wire and mines they didn't know where the old mines were laid and they date back to the French days. Capt CAO the past commander had to go into HUE for an investigation yesterday. He may be court martialed for NOT being in the compound at the time of the attack.

The villages are starting to recover their spirits again. I went down this evening about 7 and talked to a lot of them. I gave them Clements pig to share amongst the widows of the P.F. They needed it NOW. We can get another one if we ever decide to go on with Clements agricultural ideas. Halfway through march now little pet. By the time you get this it should be 23/24 So exactly 4 months to go. 2/3 finished. I'm looking forward so very very much to coming home to you my darling I'm missing you more and more every day, both you my lovely Neisi and those three little sweeties. To be home with you again and to snuggle a lovely Neisi in my arms. I think our holiday together will be just to wonderful to be true. You are another world and sometimes you seem like a dream. I love you so very much little Neisi and miss you so very much, but we ARE winning now. I'll be home soon. I love you. Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/28/1-3
Date Range 14 March 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/28/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/29/1-2

Aerogramme dated 15 March 1967 and transcription

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10.30 AM

WED 15

MAR.

My darling girls

Just a hurried note to tell you we came out of PHU THU we were hit last night at 11.30PM.

We held - it got a bit messy a couple of times but they were pushed out of the camp and, my sgt was wounded - not badly. Anyway at first light Col Graeser flew in with Col KHOA and ordered the outpost to be evacuated until it could be properly rebuilt and they are pulling in a battalion to defend their Engineer company that will rebuild it so they don't need advisers until it is finished and they have the advisory team with the bn. Also there is a ton of work to do back here and I have to write a defence plan and a reinforcement plan for every district HQ in THUA THIEN by the 21st. I've also got GEN DALY due in on FRI 17 - live never gets dull. Looking back on it the attack had its funny moments. I had CAPT GARCY with me and Sgt ALVERADO - Garcy is a new lad but a good steady kid. and at one stage he was firing his M79 from the front window while I was working from the back window with the AK and he yelled out "Sir didn't you say these grenades don't explode at less than 30 yds - well they are only at 15 what will I do?" To which he got the answer "It doesn't matter if they don't explode just knock bloody big holes through them which he did - he's a good lad. Alverado did well until his BAR got a round through the shoulder - nothing drastic. We had 4 dead 4 wounded from the 25 vietnamese we had in the compound, so we did a little better than last time. Any way I'm back to polishing a chair for a while. Found a nice letter waiting for me. I'm terribly pleased that Kedgy? is on the mend again poor old pet. Jan Donaldson sounds ghastly I do hope they don't come to SC with us. Your sewing sounds good. I don't know how you get the time little pet with all the other things you have going. You're doing a wonderful job my darling and I'm very very proud of you. Graeser is serious about coming out - as a civvie in 3 years when his 30 years is up. The Herald did arrive and was much appreciated. Trust Susy to be suspicious of the little fury? You don't put anything over on our Susie. It's a pity Brownies was mucked up but its one less chore for you and you seem to have enough. Must go back to work now my darling as there is a devil of a lot to do.

Just take care of yourselves and remember that a Petie loves you and the little sweeties more than I could ever tell you. Time is running by now 2/3 over. I love you my Niesi

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/29/1-2
Date Range 15 March 1967
Quantity 2 1 aerogramme, 1 transcription
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/29/1-2
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/30/1-3

Aerogramme dated 16 March 1967 and transcriptions

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16 MAR 67

My Darling Girls,

Lousy day today 97,000 jobs to do and no time to do them. Got a nice letter tonight, that's the best thing that's happened today (1 MAR) 15 days - the postal system going to pot again. I must tell you funny story. When we left PHU THU two days ago the radio operators apparently didn't notice - came dark and they said "Where are the advisers" on being told we'd left the Sgt and the two pte radio operators took off - running - for HUE

They collected them for their houses about 9 PM and took them out in a truck with DAO. DAO had a carbine pointing at them and told them if the VC ambushed them he'd shoot them straight away as it was their fault. They are now in the radio shack at PHU THU - all HANDCUFFED by one wrist to their radios! Its great to have good morale. Had an ambush today down at PHU LOC lost a RF LT and 3 soldiers and they mortared PHU LOC district. They are definitely trying to knock out all the district HQ. We captured a plan of attack on PHONG DIEN - no date but it helps to know how they are thinking.

I'm glad old Kerry is feeling a bit better and is off to school little sweetie poor little pet it must have taken a lot out of her - and you my darling. Tell her I am very very proud of my big girl being class captain. Don't rely on me to give Kerry a had with her maths you know I'm lousy at it sweetie. Mick Weaver sounds a bit of a mess - ghastly to have all that done by your own aunty I don't know what colours to suggest for negligee my darling. You always look lovely - maybe red, or blue - or pink - not much help am I. I'm glad you got along to see "Sweet Charity" We'll certainly take the little pets to a live show if there is one on in our holidays. Gen Daly due up tomorrow - a waste of an afternoon with old lemon face - yetch. Col Graeser's replacement settling in, seems all right. He was here in 56 - 57 as an adviser - bit different then. Lehman's replacement arrived today - terribly young and much too large I only hope we can keep him alive long enough for him to learn the art of survival

Must close now my darling 11.30 and I'm beat.

Panic button just went from the TAC OPS CENTRE I'll be back. Back again 12.15. Phu Loc got nervous and wanted a flare ship and naval gunfire - we've soothed them down and put them to bed - just like the kids. Sleep tight my wonderful young wife. Remember I love you and those little princesses more than I can ever hope to tell you. Take care of yourselves - for me. I love you

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/30/1-3
Date Range 16 March 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/30/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/31/1-3

Aerogramme dated 19 March 1967 and transcriptions

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SUN 19 MAR

My Darling Girls.

Nice quiet day today and received a lovely letter tonight. I've made a tape today and I'll send it off with this it will be interesting to see how long it takes to get there. I'm glad you've gone back to Sigis? to get your hair done. We CAN afford it and I know what it does for your morale. I think the Edwards are a scream - my heart bleeds for them! I can't think of anything for Ba Em except maybe a jumper - it gets pretty cold up here and I know wool things are terribly expensive - Im sure she could use the dresses the girls have finished with as she has a couple of little girls. I'm SURE that [deleted] must have been playing the Black Market (he had a name as a confidence artist) to save that much I know we won't save that much - but I'm not prepared to risk my job to make a few dollars extra - its just not worth it! I'm sure you're doing well in the savings my darling and PLEASE get your hair done and give yourself a few breaks - we CAN afford them and you certainly deserve them. I'm glad Susies reading is going so well. Another little mouse tucked away in a corner reading soon I guess Please believe me darling that the two nicks I got a PHU THU - (there in the tape) were JUST that. I got out two bits of schrap a bit bigger than a larger pinhead with a nail file, put on some antiseptic and a bandaid and they are almost healed completely already - I didn't report them because I didn't want all this garbage of people coming around to the house and upsetting you for stoopid little scratches like that. I hope you understand little sweetie and they are truly healed up 90% already - you know how I heal.

That inscription reads

GIVEN TO MAJOR P.J. B (TANG) (THIEU-TA

TRUNG TA PHAN VAN KHOA (LT - COL

PROVINCE CHIEF THUA THIEN (TINH - TROUNG)

THI TRUANG HUE (COMMANDER OF)

I'll try and get Phillip a Beret in D'ANANG when I go down this week. I'll also try and get weenie her "HO DAI" ? girl briro - what else was it she wanted? a transistor like the girls? Getting stinking hot up here again now. The new Major for PHU THU has arrived - refuses to go out until the place is completely rebuilt and has at least 100 men. These people amaze me at times. ? you say I don't envy the [deleted] at all. They've got a loused up marriage and have to put up with each other - yetch! I think you should buy your outfit for the wedding you've got quite enough chores to do now my darling without taking on that one. I'm trying to arrange for Susy to get a telegram on the 26th. I hope I have better luck this time. Must close now little sweeties and get to bed. Remember I love you so very very much. I've got the most wonderful wife and sweeties any man could hope for. I love you. Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/31/1-3
Date Range 19 March 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/31/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/32/1-3

Aerogramme dated 22 March 1967 and transcriptions

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7.00 AM WED 22

My Darling Girls

Well off to Danang today. We were out again last night to PHU VANG. VC Coy came in and attacked a RD village. The night before we were out to PHONG DIEN. VC came in to a ? refugee village and burned every house to the ground. 115 of them. They didn't kill any of the people just drove them out and then burned everything I'm in my tired cycle again. The weather is just changing from wet to hot and its terribly humid and uncomfortable and I'm a bit beat. The General and the D INF come into DANANG tomorrow so Im going down this afternoon and I'm going to be at 5.30 and I'm going to sleep for 13 hours. That's the most desirable thing I can think of (in this country. I have a few other ideas about 861 BRIDGES AVE)

My Silver Star papers have all gone in. I've got a copy of the citation and I'll send it down. It usually takes 3 - 4 months to get through the system and one of two things will happen. Either they will approve it for me to wear the US Silver Star or they may convert it at Aust HQ AFV to an "equivalent Aust award" which would be the Military Cross. Me I don't know, but either way I should get a ribbon to wear out of it and more important another lever to use to try and get an overseas trip for us. I'm getting rid of [deleted] - my replacement for Lehman - he's hopeless. I'm sending him out to QUANG DIEN as assistant. I'm shifting GARCY the Capt I had out at PHU THU in as my assistant and MAJ MYERS who has arrived as PHU THU adviser will replace GARCY as RF/PF officer (report writer basically) as they are not going to put a team back out into PHU THU until it is completely rebuilt. Big fight going on up in QUANG TRI the last few days VC are using lots of these 140 mm rockets. They hit GIO LINH with 700 rounds of mortar and rockets the night before last. I've got a dose of the sneezers right now - and it isn't the sun touching my nose. Got conference this morning with the USMC (They like my title of uncontrollable Sex Maniac Corps for them) as they may shoot me! To discuss reading plans - if I stay awake that long. Must close my little darling. I would love to be up at Surfers now to make love to my beautiful wife and then snuggle down in her lovely cuddly arms and just close my eyes and relax - no alarms no weapons and grenades laid out alongside the bed - they just must still be a place like that left in the world. I love you my darling Neisi so very very much. Take care of yourself - for me

I love you Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/32/1-3
Date Range 22 March 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/32/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/33/1-3

Aerogramme dated 24 March 1967 and transcriptions

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FRI 24 MAR

My Darling Girls

Just back from DANANG where I was with Pallard and Col Moran the D INF

I told him I'd very much like overseas staff college. He said he thought I'd earned some reward but couldn't promise that as it was done by a Mil Sec committee - however he'd put it up and see how it went. He said if you DON'T get that you'll go to AUST Staff College in 68 and when you come back in July I'll post you to one of the bns at Holsworthy so that your family aren't mucked up and you can pass on your experience to one of the new bns earmarked for Vietnam in 68. That will be domestically convenient anyway my darling. He asked me if I was sorry I'd converted to Inf. I assured him I wasn't and he said well you've crammed more into the 20 months you've been with us than some do in 10 years, so we're glad you came. So that promises well. Danang was pouring with rain the whole time he was there - we are back in a wet cycle again - most irregular. Got a new WO2 in yesterday [deleted]. don't like it on first impression looks like a drunk. He replaces Clarence ? at NAM HOA. Found a nice letter waiting for me - 12 MAR saying you'd heard about PHU THU on the radio - also the pickles from weenie. In good condition I had bread roll and pickle for dinner tonight. Thanks had better keep the jam on all night Popping pete will strike again! I didn't get a chance to go to DANANG PX when I was down but I'll get down in a week or two and chase the Transistor, the two pens and the beret - I've got a little shopping list in my drawer sweetie. I don't mind doing them at all so please let me know what you want and as I get the chance I'll go down and get it. HUE has nothing unfortunately so it's a matter of waiting until I go to DANANG. I don't want any money sent up here - and I certainly don't want Mac paying for any of the cigarettes They are just a very small gift to thank him for helping you so much. Tell him I'll be very crossing if he tried to pay. I do hope that parcel has made it by now I'm getting worried as it was worth quite a bit of dough. You must get a photo of Johnny in the top hat for posterity. His children would never believe it without a photo. The picnic at Parsley bay sounds good. I'm very pleased that you went Lucky Neisi in the prizes - you'd better take that lottery ticket I think Max Carrol was first cause OCS - I'm not sure pet. I think Ross comes back about 2 weeks before me. I'm not sure. Must close now my wonderful darling One problem! When its raining my glasses get all fogged up watching for the Hun in the sun - what should I do? I love you my lovely young wife and I love those beautiful girls of ours. Take very good care of yourselves for my sake. I love you pretty Neisi

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/33/1-3
Date Range 24 March 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/33/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/34/1-4

Aerogramme dated 26 March 1967 and transcriptions

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SUN 26 MAR

My Darling Girls,

Went on an op to Quang Dien today. The natives got restless and burnt another refugee village so we loaded up on APCs and off we went Sporadic contact all day snipers and 60mm mortars but no really good hard contact - back in at 7 PM. Did I tell you they are pulling Besserman in to do a staff job at DIV I'm delighted he's used up his luck and I'm sure he needs a break. He's a good lad. There are a handful here that I'm really close to and he's one of the old firm of Badcoe, Turner Clements Lehman Besserman and Scales He's got the most drauling Southern accent you ever heard - he never needs to say who it is on the radio - although he alleges for some reason he has no trouble identifying me on the radio! and wears his sailing hat in the APCs. Despite that he's one of the bravest most dedicated young sods I've ever known. Hard to think that its Easter Sunday today and that the girls will be going to special services at Sunday School in their pretty dresses. when Daddy stinks like a pig and spent all afternoon putting in napalm strikes on suspected mortar positions. It just seems sometimes like another world my darling A lovely dream world that I once knew with a very beautiful Neisi and those adorable little princesses but its real and its not that long now until it will be real for me again and Vietnam will seem like a dream and 804 and 810 will be just numbers and PHU THU and QUANG DIEN places I once knew - not the driving obsession they are now. The kids are doing well We've got a smooth professional team now. They don't need many orders - a wave of the hand or a hand signal and they just fall into place. They are good people and we've slowly developed absolute trust in each other. I've sacked [deleted] the replacement to LEHMAN. He's off to be an assistant in a subsection and I'm taking Garcy a good steady lad - big enough to carry the radio - and me!

My Vietnamese has improved a lot lately The kids tell me I now have a good HUE accent

I'll be taking a holiday soon. I Don't think I'll go on R R - too much dough for just living. I might take a few days off and go and live out on the island with the Junk Fleet base. Its pacified out there and I could just lie in the sand and listen to the waves. Col Kelly's been on back again about taking a leave but there is just so much to be done and with Lehman dead, Alverado wounded and a new Colonel I'm the only one with any background that knows what's going on. Anyway that's enough moaning for one night Sorry this is such a miserable letter my darling but my Neisi is the only person I can let it all out to. Like Neisi at home I've got to keep unruffled outwardly as all the kids watch me and depend on me. I love you my gorgeous wife did I ever tell you? I do love you so very much my darling Neisi. Not long now

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/34/1-4
Date Range 26 March 1967
Quantity 4 1 aerogramme, 3 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/34/1-4
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/35/1-3

Aerogramme dated 28 March 1967 and transcriptions

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TUE 28

MAR

My Darling Girls,

I'm glad you've received the parcel at last. I was getting worried. There is one more on the way and I sent off a VERY dull one today with a sleeping bag and 2 cartons of cigarettes. The one on the way has a couple of minor goodies in it but not much. I'm glad you like the material. It's a locally made very heavy silk made by the hill people who are of basically THAI origin so this is a variant of THAI silk really. I liked it and I thought you might. I also hope Susanne got her telegram on her birthday. To the best of my knowledge all the coins are genuine sweetie. I'm glad the girls liked them. I'm glad the girls are doing so well with their reading and poems I'm looking forward to hearing them when I get home I'm glad I don't have to keep watching for the Red Baron any more my eyeballs were sunburnt like crazy and I do think 6 officers is a lot for SRAR to lose. As for chubby and the cigarettes If he really wants to pay and insists let him pay the $1.20 a carton and buy yourself or the sweeties some little treat with it. Its no bother to throw in 2 cartons each package and now that I know he enjoys them I'm delighted to do so. I sent off today a copy of a very good article in National Geographic on HUE, also the US paperwork on my award of the Silver Star. I'd prefer that to be restricted to yourself weenie and Mac at the moment little pet - I told Bag? you liked his little screen and he was very pleased. Capt DAO also gave me some special HANOI rice cake today as a big treat. I should send you some of that but you've been good so I won't - terribly sticky and sweet. Premier Ky was in town today and they had a big sports meeting and para drop at the stadium - been very quiet the last couple of nights but its full moon and the VC don't like it then. They will hit again from the 1 - 10 APR when there is very little moon. I hope you and the sweeties had a good little break over Easter my darling. Pity the new people next door are a bit rough but as you say OR's are often like that and can't make the jump up. Must close now I'm tired - just from the paper war ? - all the end of the month reports and Leo L Lackie is off in HANOI on R&R which doesn't help. Take very very good care of yourself my precious Neisi. You and those little Princesses mean more to me than I could ever hope to tell you. I love you so very much and we are really running now

I love you Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/35/1-3
Date Range 28 March 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/35/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/36/1-3

Aerogramme dated 31 March 1967 and transcriptions

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FRI 31 Mar

My Darling Girls

Just back in from a two day picnic in QUANG DIEN - we got 810 Bn Comd CAPT THANH-AN which was very pleasing

Stinking hot - temp up in the 85-90 mark - dust - haze - guess the wet season is really over I'm burnt black already. We've got another opn starting Sunday with 3 Vietnamese airborne battalions up in the street without Joy. area - It should have started tomorrow April Fools day would have been appropriate

I've got a couple of packages ready to send off but they are very dull my darling. Just spare greens and American jungle boots - and a nice hammock for the girls. I'm stripped down to my green underpants (no scratching!) and have the fan going flat out and the sweats still pouring out of me. My "AIR MEDAL" has come through and I'll send it down with my Viet wound medal - both of them are just souvenirs - I'll never be able to wear them but the girls might like them. Ross rang me up tonight to say he'd seen my citation for the Silver Star and that it had gone on to SAIGON. I'm sure they'll convert it so I'll get an AUST decoration in lieu of the Silver Star - which I prefer anyway as no one would know what the heck the Silver Star was anyway. Sharly Clarence got away yesterday - with aemobic dysentry - what a thing to get with 3 days left in Vietnam

No sign of my bag yet. I'm going down to Danang for two days next weekend to search all the lost property store-houses myself. It's the only way I'll ever get the sod back.

April tomorrow my darling. That's another big milestone over. We are definitely on the home run now I'm looking forward tremendously to our lovely holiday together. Just us and those three lovely little Princesses. It will be just perfect. I miss you little sweeties so very much but the days are flowing by now and the worst of it is over. It's easier for me than you I know as I have lots of variety but poor little Neisi just has a hell of a lot of jobs and they are all the same dreary ones over and over again. You've done marvellously well my wonderful wife and I know how lucky I am. I hope for your sake we do get an overseas trip you certainly deserve it. That's why I'm happy about this gong - its an other lever for a course overseas. Take care of yourself my lovely young Neisi. You mean far more to me than I could ever tell you so I'll have to try and show you in July. I love you my darling girls Petie.

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/36/1-3
Date Range 31 March 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/36/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/37/1-3

Aerogramme dated 2 April 1967 and transcriptions

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11.00 SUN 2 APR.

My Darling Girls.

Another nice letter (19 MAR) last night. We had to go out at 7.30 P.M. The VC hit the RD team of HUONG TRA again They lost 4 dead 5 wounded we got back about 8.30 this morning we stayed with them all night as they were a bit shook up. I've cleaned up had breakfast now I'll write to my lovely wife and then do my monthly report to TRIPP and get all the paper work up to date - and Charles permitting this afternoon I'll lie on my bed and read and sleep - sounds wonderful. I can think of things I'd much rather be doing - but you're back there so they'll have to wait until July my pet. What a lovely gesture for the little girls to get the sponge for you and fill it. They are such wonderful little sweeties - just like their mamma-san. I'm glad your friends like the material. I did or I wouldn't have bought it. Our airborne op has been deferred until tomorrow - we were due to kick off today By a coincidence you wrote about seeing War and Peace and I'm halfway through reading it - heavy but interesting. I do hope old Susy had a good birthday. I'm sure she did with Neisi the party Queen running it. If you send a tape I can listen to it privately as the tape recorders have earphones that you can put on and they cut out the loudspeaker part and you are the only one to hear. So I would like you to send back the little tape very much my darlings. Stinking hot up here reached 102° yesterday and I believe it. Talk in the Army papers that Australia will be an R & R centre from JUNE on, the stinkers they wouldn't make it one before this so that I could have come home for a leave. Did I tell you Col Graeser has been reposted to HAWAII so we've got an invitation to go there on leave. Just depends on how well you think you can paddle a canoe. You're the old Quaro expert my darling so start practicing in the swimming pool. One of the compound chaps drowned yesterday while sailing in the little sail boat they have here in the HUE river what a way to go in the middle of a war. I've got two rolls of slides finished but I've had them for 3 weeks - I can't get the special envelopes you buy that also cover the cost of developing - very frustrating I've got another dull package of books to send off - The cigarettes in this one are gift CAMELS - and are so marked. They are from the US equiv of the RSL so don't let Mac pay for them. I'm off to HUONG DIEN tomorrow to get the op under way. I don't think we'll stay for long - probably just one or two days then come back. I'm with the HQ on this one to train my new CAPT & SGT so it will be a milk run I'll be sitting on my bottom in HUONG DIEN compound That's about all the news my darling except that I happen to adore you and I'm looking forward so very very much to coming home to my lovely young wife and those three little sweeties. Our holiday will be just perfect my darling and every day is one closer to 23 JULY. Take very good care of yourself - for my sake. I love you little Neisi - don't ever forget that my wonderful wife

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/37/1-3
Date Range 2 April 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/37/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/38/1-3

Aerogramme dated 4 April 1967 and transcriptions

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11.30 TUE NI 4

APR

My Darling Neisi
And little princesses Just back from S W/OUT J. We've been up there for two days - very little contact. Came back by Junk fleet that wooden deck gets harder every time - must be getting old.

Nice letter waiting for me (22 MAR) Glad your hair came out so nicely - you know I'm all in favour of you getting it done my darling - and of getting yourself a few cosmetics etc - you don't exactly squander money on yourself my pet - get out and buy yourself a few little treats - that's a Petie order. Isn't Kim a funny little sweetie with her insects. K.As dress for the wedding sounds jolly nice I bet she looks lovely in it. When did you start this 2 CAMP HOSP visiting I'll bring home some V.C. plastic explosive for the mower and we'll send it off in style! I think its time we gave the old beast away - particularly after the battles you've had with it my poor little darling. Some of the Camel have been gift ones and are already marked as such - we've got a carton a month roughly from the U.S. RSL. I'm going down to DANANG on FRI to pick up a new pistol - when my radio operator was killed at PHU THU on the 11th he was carrying my .45 pistol - and the grenade blast and frags damaged the pistol so the adm officer is sending one up a replacement Browning with the courier on FRI also I want to chase the phantom kitbag We weren't really surprised to see them back at PHU THU. They said they were coming back to drive out the Govt troops and the adv. They told the villagers the US Maj and his team who were due to go out there Are NOT going. They went out and had a look and refused to occupy it which gave the VC a complete psychological victory. I don't like the new Colonel nearly as much as old Graeser. Bit of a bull at the gate job and not terribly bright but we'll cope with him. I think I'll close now little sweetie I'm pretty beat. I'll finish this in the morning to catch the 12.30 mail. Sleep tight my lovely wife I adore you.
7 am

Another busy night VC hit both sides of HUE at 0200. They hit LONG THO centre where WO2 SIZELAND works so we took out the reaction force. We didn't take any cas but Long Tho lost 7 dead 11 wounded including 2 officers dead 3 offr wounded.
[Piece missing] The first
Mortar rounds fell on a hut where the officers were sleeping

They also hit 1st Bn 3 Regt on the other side of 1 am We had Puff the Magic dragon up and he broke up the attack. We got back in at 6 and I've cleaned up and eaten - now off for another day at the office. I'll be very glad to see 23 JULY my darling. Amongst many other things I want to snuggle down with a lovely Neisi tucked into my shoulder late and go to sleep with no telephone NO alarm bells just a lovely young wife cuddled next to me - I like Better close now and get to work. Take care of yourselves my darlings I love you so very very much.

Petie

  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/38/1-3
Date Range 4 April 1967
Quantity 3 1 aerogramme, 2 transcriptions
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/38/1-3
Series SAMA 1129/1

SAMA 1129/1/39/1

Transcription dated 7 April 1967, no original aerogramme

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  Creator Major Peter John Badcoe
Control SAMA 1129/1/39/1
Date Range 7 April 1967
Quantity 1 1 transcription
Inventory Identifier SAMA 1129/1/39/1
Series SAMA 1129/1