The Grand Master's Medal

Awarded to an individual under the age of 30 for outstanding achievement and endeavour in any field of aviation.

2021 Awarded to: Flight Lieutenant Ryan Stowe RAF

Flt Lt Ryan Stowe - Grand Masters MredalFlight Lieutenant Ryan Stowe is an exceptional young pilot currently serving on 18 (Bomber) Squadron at RAF Odiham. His extraordinary contribution to Chinook Force operations in a relatively short space of time is highly impressive.  Stowe’s contribution to combat operations sets him apart from his peers. With multiple ‘OP Shader’ and ‘OP Newcombe’ deployments to his name, Stowe has dedicated a significant proportion of his career to date to overseas duties.

At 28, he was one of just two aircraft captains trusted with the initial UK-French integration. Sent forward from Niger to Mali, he set about integrating Chinook heavy lift into the French Groupement Tactique Desert - Aerocombat (GTD-A). His efforts were so effective across the domains of tactics, air safety and command and control that the Chinooks were ready for operational tasking within just 48 hours after arrival at Gao. These first missions included transporting a new lorry axle to a beleaguered French convoy - a task personally briefed by the then PM Theresa May to the President of France during talks about the early success of the deployment.

On his last tour of Mali in early 2020 he was the Deputy Officer Commanding 1310 Flight, displaying outstanding managerial and leadership skills to deliver record operational output in support of the French. His humility, affability and compassion were also key components in helping to keep 94 UK personnel focused during a demanding and uncertain period following the initial outbreak of Covid-19.

Stowe has led multiple exercises at home and abroad. An outstanding example was his delivery and execution of ‘Ex Wessex Storm’ in December 2020. His mission was extremely challenging – to put an entire Battle Group from 16 Air Assault Brigade into multiple assault positions in one single wave of helicopters, something that had not been rehearsed for many years. This 21-ship Air Assault mission, comprising of multiple types of aircraft from the RAF and Army was the pinnacle of the training year. Despite Stowe’s relatively junior status and age, he was appointed as the Mission Commander and as such showed extraordinary levels of capacity and leadership. It is hard to overstate the immaculate attention to detail and coordination he demonstrated throughout. As a result, the largest single Rotary Wing lift of the British Army was executed immaculately by this impressive young officer.

This year, in addition to preparing A Flight for another tour of Mali, he is co-ordinating a multi-ship flypast for the Chinook 40th Anniversary. He is also raising several hundreds of pounds for charity through a prostate cancer charity bike ride. A young officer whose devotion to others and drive for excellence is insatiable, and richly deserving of recognition by the award of the Grand Master’s Medal.

Previous Winners:

1962/63  M P Glegg Esq

1963/64  D A Martin Esq

196465  T A Henderson Esq

1965/66  P G Hadgett Esq

196667  J W D Robertson Esq

196768  R J Barbour Esq

1968/69  A J E Tiley Esq

1969/70  C Redrupp Esq

1970/71  R G P Taylor Esq

1971/72  D Smethurst Esq

1972/73  G G Leask Esq

1973/74  J F Rothwell Esq

1974/75  G J Bressey Esq

1975/76  J F Nash Esq

1976/77  M J Thrower Esq


1992/93  M D W Bowker Esq

1993/94  R Ka Fuk Cheung Esq

1994/95  W S Gilmour Esq

1995/96  Jamal Jamal Mohammed Jamal

1996/97  Matthew J Clatworthy Esq

1997/98  Emma Joanne Phelps

1998/99  Captain W I E Anderson

1999/2000  Pilot Ofiicer J S Clayton

2000/01  Nicholas Chan

2001/02  Flt Lt Nicola Thomas

2002/03  Daniel Fonseca MEng (Hons) GradRAeS

2003/04  Philip Gareth Donovan

2004/05  Peter Charles Edward Nye

2006 - 2010  not awarded

2010/11  awarded twice:
       Isabelle de Montet-Guerin
       Capt Robert Shoenberg USAF

2012 - 2014  not awarded

2014/15  Flt Lt Christopher Gonzalez RAF 

2016  Flt Lt Colin Bostrom MSc RAF

2017  Captain Matthew A Shipp USAF

2018  Captain Alexander Horrell USAF

2019  Aaron Keith Pearce

2020  TSgt Zane Romick USAF

2021  Flt Lt Ryan Stowe RAF