Air Vice Marshal Francis Hubert (Frank) McNamara, (4 April 1894 – 2 November 1961) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for valour in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to a member of the British and Commonwealth forces.
Serving with the Australian Flying Corps, he was honoured for his actions on 20 March 1917, when he rescued a fellow pilot who had been forced down behind enemy lines.
McNamara was the first Australian aviator—and the only one in World War I—to receive the Victoria Cross.
He later became a senior commander in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
Born and educated in Victoria, McNamara was a teacher when he joined the militia prior to World War I.
In 1915, he was selected for pilot training at Central Flying School, Point Cook, and transferred to the Australian Flying Corps the following year.
He was based in the Middle Eastern Theatre with No.
1 Squadron when he earned the Victoria Cross.
In 1921, McNamara enlisted as a flying officer in the newly formed RAAF, rising to the rank of air vice marshal by 1942.
He held senior posts in England and Aden during World War II.
Retiring from the Air Force in 1946, McNamara continued to live in Britain until his death from heart failure in 1961.