The skills and bravery of RNAS Culdrose’s search and rescue squadron have been honoured nationally at a ceremony attended by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Corporal Justin Morgan, of 771 Squadron, won the outstanding sailor/marine of the year category at this year’s Sun Military Awards.
Known as The Millies, the awards are organised by The Sun newspaper in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence and honour the professionalism and bravery of the men and women working in the armed forces around the world.
Cpl Justin Morgan, a winchman, beat two other contenders to take his award, which recognised a daring rescue of a yachtsman carried out in August this year.
This was carried out alongside fellow crewmembers Lieutenant Commander A Jones, first pilot, Lieutenant Commander A Knight, 2nd pilot, and Lieutenant Commander M Ford, observer.
Cpl Morgan said: “I am so very pleased to receive this award as recognition of the work that we at 771 Naval Air Squadron provide day in, day out and to my fellow aircrew, engineers and all the support staff.
“It was truly a team effort and we couldn’t have done without them. It has been fantastic to actually meet the yachtsman we rescued, catch up on what happened and provide some closure to the event.”
was joined by In a citation, the crew of the 193 helicopter were said to have “acted commendably as a team” throughout the “testing rescue.”
Award winner Cpl Morgan was praised for being “cool headed and fearless, displaying extreme determination and fitness in heavy seas in order to rescue a desperate sailor.”
The citation added: “This rescue was completed in the most demanding of conditions using the highest standards of crew co-operation, flexibility and determination. An injured mariner in imminent danger was safely recovered from his badly damaged yacht in the most appalling conditions.”
The ceremony at London’s Imperial War Museum will be shown on ITV1 on Friday, December 14 at 9pm, including unique footage of shortlisted individuals and teams at work, plus reconstructions of the acts of heroism for which they were nominated.
The winners were decided by a celebrity panel of judges that included former SAS member Andy McNab, England and Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard, Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson and musician/presenter Myleene Klass, as well as a number of military figures.