Air Vice Marshal Frank McNamara V.C.Print Page Print this page

Air Vice-Marshal Frank McNamara : 20-September-2012
Air Vice-Marshal Frank McNamara : 20-September-2012
Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The plaque on the War Memorial commemorates Frank McNamara, born and educated in Rushworth who was awarded the Victoria Cross in World War One whilst a member of the Australian Flying Corps.

On 20 March 1917, McNamara, flying on one such operation, saw a fellow squadron member, Captain D. W. Rutherford, shot down. Although having just suffered a serious leg wound, McNamara landed near the stricken Rutherford who climbed aboard, but his wound prevented McNamara from taking off and his aircraft crashed. The two men made it back to Rutherford's plane which they succeeded in starting and, with McNamara at the controls, they took off just as enemy cavalry reached the scene. For this action McNamara was awarded the Victoria Cross. 

In 1921, McNamara enlisted as a flying officer in the newly formed Royal Australian Air Force rising to the rank of Air Vice-Marshal by 1942.



Address:High Street, War Memorial, Median Strip, Rushworth, 3612
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.587081
Long: 145.015953
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

In Memory of
Air Vice-Marshal
Frank McNamara V.C., C.B., C.B.E. 

Frank McNamara was born and educated in Rushworth.  He was the only Australian Airman to be awarded the Victoria Cross in World War 1.  It was awarded for saving a comrade following a bombing in Turkey on March 20, 1917.

The award citation stated "For most conspicuous bravey and devotion to duty during an aerial bomb attack upon a hostile construction train, when on of the pilots was forced to land behind the enemy`s lies. Lieutenant McNamara, observing the pilot`s predicament and the fact that hostile cavlary were approaching, descended to his rescue. He did this under heavy rifle fire and in spite of the fact he himself had been severly wounded in the thigh.  He landed about 200 yards from the damaged machine, the pilot of which climbed on to Lieutenant McNamara`s machine, and an attempt was made to rise. Owing, however, to his disable leg, Lieutenant McNamara was unable to keep his machine straight, and it turned over. The two officers, having extricated themselves, immediately set fire to the damaged machine, which they succeeded in starting.  Finally, Lieutenant McNamara, although weak from loss of blood, flew his machine back to the aerodrome, a distance of seventy miles, and thus completed his comrade`s rescue."

Frank McNamara`s Victoria Cross is at the
Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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