Airman to serve the Queen

The Oxford Times: Gp Capt Russell La Forte Gp Capt Russell La Forte

A MAN from Didcot has been made an aide de camp (ADC) to the Queen.

Group Captain Russell La Forte, 47, will represent Her Majesty at parades and ceremonies.

His 80-year-old father, Edward La Forte, of Slade Road, said it had come as a surprise when he heard the news, but he said he was very proud.

He added: "Russell is into absolutely everything and always has been. It's not bad for someone who left school at 18. He always wanted to go to the RAF."

Gp Capt La Forte, who has four children, is one of 11 ADCs from the RAF, and will meet the Queen in the new year to be formally appointed.

Educated at Manor Primary School, in Didcot, and Wallingford Grammar School, Gp Capt La Forte joined the RAF after spending a number of years in the Didcot Air Training Corps.

John Nelson, a former commanding officer of the Didcot ATC, said: "I think it's absolutely wonderful. It's lovely to see the cadets go on and go so far."

Based at RAF Honington, in Suffolk, Gp Capt La Forte has served in a number of countries, including Germany, Russia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Georgia and Northern Iraq.

He was recently awarded an MBE for leading a mountain rescue team which saved three climbers.

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