22 Oct RAF Shawbury commemorates the ARIES round-the-world flight with a gala awards’ evening
On Thursday 21st October 2021, The Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner, was delighted to attend the Officers’ Mess at RAF Shawbury for a special Gala evening to celebrate the achievements of personnel at RAF Shawbury. This was one of the few events she has been able to attend three years running.
The evening formally recognised the military personnel, Civil Servants and contractors who, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, had made a significant contribution to the base and the surrounding community during a difficult and challenging year.
The evening also paid tribute to the aircrew who flew the ARIES first round-the-world flight. In 1944, RAF navigation training was centred at the Empire Air Navigation School at RAF Shawbury. A Lancaster bomber PD 328 was offered to the School for research flying and was named ARIES. In October 1944, ARIES undertook the first RAF circumnavigation of the world, under the command of Wing Commander McKinley. The trip was successful, and ARIES returned after 53 days having flown over 200 hours, setting new world records.
At the event, Group Captain Phil Wadlow, the Station Commander, was delighted to welcome 2 special guests, Mrs Anna Turner the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, and Mr Tom Hodgkinson the Team GB Paralympic Cycling Coach who presented the following awards.
Most Outstanding Contribution to RAF Shawbury (Military) – Corporal Damian Powell
Most Outstanding Contribution to RAF Shawbury (Civilian) – Mr Dan Haycocks
Sporting Achievement Award – Corporal Victoria Needham
Unsung Hero Award – Ms Harriet Evanson
Community Spirit Award – Sergeant Scott Hill
Most Outstanding Team Award – COVID/Physical Education and Training Development Flight teams
Most Outstanding Individual Award – Flying Officer Aidan Rae
The Lifetime Achievement Award – Mr Paul Gresty
The Wing Commander McKinley Memorial Award – Sergeant Jake Cowan