THE Rushworth RSL with support from the Royal Australian Air Force will commemorate two local heroes and the World War I Australian Flying Corps.
Three years of planning will come to fruition when two new memorials will be unveiled to honour the memory of Air Vice-Marshal Frank McNamara VC CBE CB and Air Marshal Sir George Jones KBE CB DFC — both born and educated at Rushworth.
Air Vice-Marshal McNamara was the only Australian airman awarded the Victoria Cross during World War I and he was the only Australian awarded the Victoria Cross during the Middle East (Sinai/Palestine) campaign. He was among the original 21 officers named at the establishment of the Royal Australian Air Force in 1921.
Air Marshal Jones, initially enlisted as a private and volunteering to serve at Gallipoli, then trained as a pilot with the AFC during which time he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his aerial combat skills at the Western Front.
He re-enlisted in the newly established Royal Australian Air Force in 1921 and was appointed Chief of Air Staff in 1942 with the rank of Air Marshal. He led the RAAF for 10 years, the longest continuous tenure in that role, and was knighted for his services in 1953.
Rushworth RSL president Bill Barlow said the project fulfilled a long-held desire of the sub-branch to honour the memory of two distinguished locals.
“We urge everyone to join us and the families of both airmen at this auspicious occasion and would appreciate it if all those attending be seated between 10am and 10.15am,” he said.
The event is at Rushworth War Memorial on High St, Rushworth, on March 20 from 10am.