Honours for Rushworth's war-time heroes

Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies
Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies

THREE years of planning will culminate on Monday with the unveiling of memorials commemorating the wartime service of two Royal Australian Air Force servicemen.

The Rushworth RSL, with support from the RAAF, is honouring Air Vice-Marshal Frank McNamara and Air Marshal Sir George Jones, who were both born and educated in the town.

Air Vice-Marshal McNamara holds the distinction of being the first and only Australian airman to be awarded the Victoria Cross during WWI. He was among the original 21 officers named at the establishment of the RAAF in 1921.

Air Marshal Jones was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his aerial combat skills with the Australian Flying Corps during the Western Front campaign.

He was appointed Chief of Air Staff in 1942 and led the RAAF for 10 years, the longest continuous tenure in that role in the RAAF’s history. In 1953, Air Marshal Jones received a knighthood.

Rushworth RSL president Bill Barlow said the service was officially recognised as a Centenary of ANZAC 2014-18 event.

“This project fulfils a long-held desire of the Rushworth RSL to honour the memory of two former local residents,” he said. “We urge everyone to join us and the families of both airmen at this auspicious occasion.”

A P-8A Poseidon will fly past about 11am and the Roulettes will perform an aerial display about 12.05pm. Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, will attend.

The service will be held at the Soldiers War Memorial, High Street, Rushworth from 10.15am.