Suffolk airman awarded MC

A SUFFOLK-based gunner who demonstrated “bravery of the very highest order” has become the first airman in the RAF's history to receive the Military Cross.

A SUFFOLK-based gunner who demonstrated “bravery of the very highest order” has become the first airman in the RAF's history to receive the Military Cross.

Corporal David Hayden, of RAF Honington's 1 Squadron RAF Regiment, was part of a patrol that came under a hail of gunfire in an ambush at Al-Waki, north of the Basra Air Station in Iraq last year.

During the incident on August 7, Leading Aircraftman Martin Beard was shot. He died later of his injuries.

Cpl Hayden ran out into the open to retrieve LAC Beard and bring him under cover before carrying his fallen colleague a further 200m to safety. He then returned to recover LAC Beard's kit.

Yesterday Cpl Hayden received his MC from The Queen at Buckingham Palace and dedicated the bravery medal to members of his squadron.

He said: “I'm no hero, I'm hardly a hero, I was just doing my job and got recognition.

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“There wasn't just me on the ground that day, there were another 40 blokes who seemingly did as much as I did.

“There is no I in team, we are one big team and I dedicate this to all the lads in 1 Squadron RAF Regiment.”