Lancashire TelegraphMedal for Darwen RAF chef (From Lancashire Telegraph)

When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.

Medal for Darwen RAF chef

A DARWEN chef who kept a squadron of top gun pilots and RAF personnel 'fuelled' during the Libyan conflict has received a top military medal.

Senior aircraftman Daniel McKnight, was based at Gioia del Colle, in southern Italy, supporting Operation Ellamy, which was a coalition mission to enforce a no-fly zone during the Libyan civil war to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi.

Daniel, 31, cooked meals for hundreds of deployed personnel from the Armed Forces during the military intervention operation in 2011.

His most enduring memory was the intense heat of the kitchen and, three or four times a week, he would run the 7km perimeter of the air base.

After leaving Darwen Vale High School, Daniel studied IT at college before working for a company making conservatories.

At the weekends he used to help his dad Robert McKnight working at his Blackburn cafe.

He said: "It was completely different to what I'm doing now. I couldn't cook at all, I even used to burn the toast."

In 2008, he joined the air force and now works in the sergeants’ mess at RAF Benson, Oxfordshire, where he is regarded as one of the RAF's 'rising stars' of catering.

And his culinary skills were rewarded when he received a NATO medal from the Air Vice-Marshal Stuart Atha in front of proud family, friends and colleagues during a special ceremony in the Officers’ Mess.

Dan said he was following in the footsteps of his grandfather Jack Pickup and said: "I'm really pleased to have been awarded my first medal.

“My granddad served in the Army as a Tank Commander during the Second World War and I'm really proud to wear my RAF uniform as it is in his honour too."

Apart from Italy, Daniel has also completed a successful deployment to the Falkland Islands.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:48am Mon 1 Apr 13

2 for 5p says...

Do you get a medal for getting out of bed in the morning.
They seem to get one for everything else.
Do you get a medal for getting out of bed in the morning. They seem to get one for everything else. 2 for 5p
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree