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Tracking down the identity of an Australian Officer


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On Ebay there exists an auction for a Lieutenant Colonel's Battledress tunic #370045507713

It got me thinking - how would one go about finding out who this belonged to?

Having read through this forum thread, it is obvious that there are people here who know a thing or two about how to go about this. So here's a challenge!!

Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Australian Regiment with an Military Cross and an honour in the Order of Australia (Military Division) - probably a Order of Australia Medal or Member of the Order of Australia. Possible that he had a higher award but uncommon but he could have later been awarded a higher level. Australian Service Medal 1945-1975, National Medal, the United Nations force in Cyprus Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Tunic is dated 1973 (Post War), and Trousers are dated 1968.

I have tried the Australia Honours website search and it gives me 136,000 entries. How can I narrow it down a bit more?

Greg.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A quick look through 'Vietnam Veterans Honours & Awards - Army by Alexander M Palmer, which doesn't really turn much up, certainly not a direct match. I will have a look through it for you and put some names here to research. You can then search for an additional award of an OAM.

The first thing that strikes me as odd is the lack of the long service ribbon, the National Medal being the only one present.

Regards,

Johnsy

Edited by Tiger-pie
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RAR Paratrooper with no long service medal. Hmmm.... could he be a Chaplain or other professional officer therefore higher rank with shorter service time?

I'm not sure. The National Medal indicated 15 years of diligent service by members of the Australian Defence Force, Australian police forces, and fire and ambulance services. That changed in 1982, I have seen many older members and ex-members of the military wearing both the NM and the DFSM.

In any case most of the senior officers in Vietnam ended up with DSO's and MBE's and the like, so I suspect that this bloke got promoted to Lieutenant Colonel post Vietnam War, but again I could be wrong. I will have a browse through Vietnam Veterans Honours & Awards - Army and see if anything jumps off the page.

Regards,

Johnsy

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Johnsy

Any luck with tracking who our Lt Col might be ? You were going to look up Vietnam Veterans Honours & Awards - Army. Have you had time yet.

Another thing - there is an Australian Admiral (Rear Admiral, I believe) who has an homour in the Military division of the Order of Australia AND one in the General Division as well. I have been trying to find out who he is but have mislaid the picture I had... Any ideas ???

Many thanks,

Greg.

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Hi Johnsy

Any luck with tracking who our Lt Col might be ? You were going to look up Vietnam Veterans Honours & Awards - Army. Have you had time yet.

Another thing - there is an Australian Admiral (Rear Admiral, I believe) who has an homour in the Military division of the Order of Australia AND one in the General Division as well. I have been trying to find out who he is but have mislaid the picture I had... Any ideas ???

Many thanks,

Greg.

Had a look and really couldn't see anyone who fitted. The para wings sort of confuse the issue. 3 RAR weren't a para unit until 1982 when they started training for para ops.

Was Shalders your Rear Admiral?

Regards,

Johnsy

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No, I don't think so. Vice Admiral Russ Shalders, AO, CSC, RAN Chief of Navy only has the AO (Mil) where the Rear-Admiral (I think) wears both the ribbon bar of the Order of Australia military division and civil division. The two ribbon bars were separated by another ribbon so I expect he was AO (mil) and CVO (or something) and AM (Civil). It would be within the last 10 years at most.

ARRGH !!! It is really bugging me that I can't find out who it is !!!

Thanks, Johnsy. Any other information you can dig up would be appreciated.

Greg.

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Ahhh found him !!! Rear Admiral I McL Crawford, AO, AM (Mil), RAN (Rtd). A Korean veteran, he served in the Royal Australian Navy from 1949 to 1987. A Korean veteran, he is Chairman of the Australian Veterans and Defence Services Council, Member of the Council of the Australian War Memorial and a Director of the Company since 2003.

It was in the context of the War Memorial Council that I came across him. Now I have to find a photo of him in uniform with his medals.

Greg.

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Ahhh found him !!! Rear Admiral I McL Crawford, AO, AM (Mil), RAN (Rtd). A Korean veteran, he served in the Royal Australian Navy from 1949 to 1987. A Korean veteran, he is Chairman of the Australian Veterans and Defence Services Council, Member of the Council of the Australian War Memorial and a Director of the Company since 2003.

It was in the context of the War Memorial Council that I came across him. Now I have to find a photo of him in uniform with his medals.

Greg.

The Admiral works 18 floors above me.

Johnsy

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Wow !! Says Greg trying hard to think of an un-obvious pun or humourous comment !

If you come across a photo of him in uniform, I'd really like a copy.

The uniform jacket could belong to

Lieutenant Colonel P J Badcock (Retd). A Vietnam veteran, he served in Australian Army from 1967 to 1992. After leaving the Army he was Director of Logistics for the NSW Department of Corrective Services.

But once again, one would expect him to have a long service medal unless of course, this jacket was after he was promoted Lt Col but before he qualified for the long service award and was replaced by a new jacket ...

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Wow !! Says Greg trying hard to think of an un-obvious pun or humourous comment ! WTF?

The uniform jacket could belong to

Lieutenant Colonel P J Badcock (Retd). A Vietnam veteran, he served in Australian Army from 1967 to 1992. After leaving the Army he was Director of Logistics for the NSW Department of Corrective Services.

But once again, one would expect him to have a long service medal unless of course, this jacket was after he was promoted Lt Col but before he qualified for the long service award and was replaced by a new jacket ...

Well that makes it a bit easier on me, I can at least check that name for you to see if the details fit.

I wouldn't rely on what ribbons are worn too much, it isn't uncommon for personnel to not wear their full entitlement on their work uniforms. Usually because they don't want to spend money on getting an additional ribbon, or just can't be arsed. He already has the NM, the long service gong would just be doubling up.

Johnsy

Edit: Badcock isn't mentioned in the Vietnam tome, the only thing close is P J Badcoe, and he got a VC not an MC, plus he got retired by a Viet Cong MG.

Edited by Tiger-pie
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Just as an aside, Badcoe actually changed his name from Badcock, for the obvious reasons. You'll find him listed in the Malaya nominal roll as P. Badcock.

But, to the work at hand!

Commonsense suggests the uniform and ribbons would correspond with an officer who was awarded a Military Cross for Vietnam. So let's work backwards from there.

There were fifty four recipients of the military cross in Vietnam. Fourteen of these men were awarded an order of Australia and also additionally qualified for the National Medal.

They were:

Brian Florence

Military Cross (MC), National Medal, (NM) National Medal Clasp (NMCl) and Member of the Order of Australia(MOA). I have no record of him serving in Cyprus.

Ewart O'Donnell

MC, NM, NMCl and MOA. Again, I have no record of him serving in Cyprus.

Peter Phillips

MC, NM, NMCl, Officer of the Order of Australia, (OOA) and Centenary Medal. I have no record of him serving in Cyprus.

Brian Howard

MC, NM, NMCl, OOA, and Emergency Services Medal. I have no record of him serving in Cyprus.

John Keldie

MC, NM, NMCl and OOA. I have no record of him serving in Cyprus.

John Deighton

MC, NM, NMCl, and MOA. He had previously served in Malaya and no 1918 GSM means you can scratch him

Ian Campbell

MC, NM, NMCl, and MOA. Nil by Cyprus service, to my knowledge

Edward Chitham

MC, NMl and MOA. No known service in Cyprus

Ray De Vere

MC, NMl and MOA.

Again nothing known with regard to service in Cyprus

Adrian D'Hage

MC, NM and MOA. Nothing known with respect to Cyprus.

Murray Blake

MC, NM, NMCl, MOA and OOA. Cyprus unknown.

Jerry Taylor

MC, NM, MOA.

Taylor had previous active service with the British Army in Cyprus. However he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel (McKay 'The Riflemen') That makes him the closest fit with the gongs, but the rest of the uniform doesn't tally

Not at all easy and still a mystery to me.

Cheers

Mick

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<FONT face=Verdana><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Thank you, Mick. It seems quite sure that the uniform belonged to Lt Col Jeremy (Jerry) Taylor, AM, MC. He is author of a book about 4RAR in the Vietnam War :

<SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial">"Last Out - 4RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Battalion's second tour in

Edited by Greg
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Thank you, Mick. It seems quite sure that the uniform belonged to Lt Col Jeremy (Jerry) Taylor, AM, MC. He is author of a book about 4RAR in the Vietnam War :

"Last Out - 4RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Battalion's second tour in Vietnam" by Jerry Taylor. 2001 H/C D/J 270pg. History of 4RAR/NZ in South Vietnam.

Thank you everyone for helping to track this down. I can see now how interesting and satisfying it is to track down the owner of a set of medals too.

Thanks,

Greg.

Edited by Greg
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