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djetz
04-22-2007, 09:36 AM
From today's paper, from a piece on ANZACs (25th April is ANZAC day).

Frank McNamara, a teacher at North Koo-wee-rup State School before he enlisted, became the only Australian airman in World War I to win the highest award for bravery, the Victoria Cross.

Being good at maths and sciences, he was sent to Point Cook to become a military pilot - a role with an incredibly high death-rate. He served in Britain and the Middle East, was wounded several times during missions, "patched up" and sent back to the front.

Mr McNamara was on a bombing mission in the Middle East when another pilot was forced to land his damaged plane behind enemy lines. Soon enemy cavalry was closing in. Mr McNamara, who had been severely wounded in the thigh, landed about 200 metres from his colleague. This allowed the other pilot to climb aboard for the escape. But because of his injured leg, Mr McNamara was unable to keep the plane straight on take off and it turned over. Both men then dashed to the other plane, which they managed to start. All the while they were under rifle fire.

The official citation takes up the story: "Finally, Lieutenant McNamara, although weak from loss of blood, flew his machine back to the aerodrome, a distance of 70 miles, thus completing his comrade's rescue." The citation spoke of his conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.

*****

I'm impressed. He deserved his VC.

djetz
04-22-2007, 09:36 AM
From today's paper, from a piece on ANZACs (25th April is ANZAC day).

Frank McNamara, a teacher at North Koo-wee-rup State School before he enlisted, became the only Australian airman in World War I to win the highest award for bravery, the Victoria Cross.

Being good at maths and sciences, he was sent to Point Cook to become a military pilot - a role with an incredibly high death-rate. He served in Britain and the Middle East, was wounded several times during missions, "patched up" and sent back to the front.

Mr McNamara was on a bombing mission in the Middle East when another pilot was forced to land his damaged plane behind enemy lines. Soon enemy cavalry was closing in. Mr McNamara, who had been severely wounded in the thigh, landed about 200 metres from his colleague. This allowed the other pilot to climb aboard for the escape. But because of his injured leg, Mr McNamara was unable to keep the plane straight on take off and it turned over. Both men then dashed to the other plane, which they managed to start. All the while they were under rifle fire.

The official citation takes up the story: "Finally, Lieutenant McNamara, although weak from loss of blood, flew his machine back to the aerodrome, a distance of 70 miles, thus completing his comrade's rescue." The citation spoke of his conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.

*****

I'm impressed. He deserved his VC.

Morteiin
04-22-2007, 10:14 AM
Wow, I used to live near Koo-wee-rup. Reclaimed swamp-land, with some of the blackest, richest soil I've ever seen out there.

Sounds like an amazing incident, could easily have gone horribly wrong. Reminds me of a similar attempt up near Cooktown during WW2 when the rescuer flipped his plane on the beach and drowned.

I guess you've just gotta do what you've gotta do. Good on him.

Les.