Australian Victoria Cross Recipient

Lieutenant Frank Hubert McNamara

Unit No. 1 Squadron Australian Flying Corps
Born 4 April 1894 at Rushworth, Victoria
Date of action 20 March 1917
Place Raid on Tel el Hesi, Palestine (Israel)

The plane of an Australian, Captain D.W. Rutherford, was hit by ground fire and forced to land behind enemy lines. McNamara, wounded in the thigh during the same attack, spotted enemy cavalry galloping towards Rutherford’s plane. An attempt to get airborne failed because McNamara’s wounds prevented him from controlling the aircraft properly; the plane turned over in a gully. The two officers set fire to the machine and headed for Rutherford’s plane, which they succeeded in starting. McNamara, weak from the loss of blood, took off just as the hostile cavalry burst into the clearing. He flew the machine 115 kilometres back to his aerodrome. He later described his action: ‘I simply turned back to meet a situation that had arisen, without at all considering what it might mean to myself.' (Richard Reid, For Valour, Australia Post Philatelic Group, 2000 page 19)

Died 2 November 1961
Buried or Commemorated St Joseph’s Priory, Austin Wood, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, England
Current location of the VC RAF Museum, Hendon, London