100 Years of Hometown Heroes

The Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC, and the Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies AO, CSC, today joined with the Rushworth RSL and community members in Victoria to commemorate local Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force heroes, exactly 100 years since the selfless act that awarded Air Vice-Marshal Frank McNamara the Victoria Cross.

Descendants of Air Vice-Marshal Frank McNamara VC CBE CB and Air Marshal Sir George Jones KBE CB DFC unveiled two new memorials, arranged by the Rushworth RSL to commemorate these two local heroes who both spent their childhood in the town. Rushworth RSL Sub-Branch President Mr Bill Barlow acknowledged the hard work and dedication of the committee in coordinating this event and the support received from the Air Force and ADF.

“The Rushworth RSL committee has dedicated three years to planning this event, from researching history to tracking down family members and we are extremely proud to be honouring these two early aviators and the Australian Flying Corps.” said Rushworth RSL Sub-Branch President, Mr Bill Barlow.

“I am grateful for the support received by the Air Force, ADF and local community, and we are pleased to be commemorating the Centenary of ANZAC,” Mr Barlow said.

The Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies thanked the Rushworth RSL for their efforts to acknowledge the roles of Air Vice-Marshal Frank McNamara and Air Marshal Sir George Jones in shaping the Air Force.

“It is important to reflect on our history and remember our forefathers,” Air Marshal Davies said.

“Air Vice-Marshal Frank McNamara and Air Marshal Sir George Jones have a special place in both Air Force and Rushworth history. Both of these men are still an inspiration to our personnel today. The Rushworth RSL and community have been outstanding in their commitment to recognising the part these airmen played in shaping our modern Air Force,” Air Marshal Davies said.

The event included a flypast by one of Air Force’s newest aircraft the P-8A Poseidon.

Air Vice-Marshal Frank McNamara was the first and only Australian airman to be decorated with the Victoria Cross during the First World War. Air Marshal Sir George Jones was pivotal in transforming the training of Air Force pilots and instrumental in recruitment during the onset of WWII. He received a knighthood for his service in 1953.

Today’s event is recognised as a Centenary of ANZAC 2014-2018 event, which represents 100 years since our nation’s first involvement in WWI, and a tribute of the sacrifice and courage of our servicemen and woman. The memorials can be viewed at the Soldiers War Memorial in Rushworth, Victoria on High Street.

For more information about the Centenary of ANZAC 2014-2018 please visit The Anzac Centenary national program