[2015] lana nelson-shine: Charles Kingsford Smith

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[2015] lana nelson-shine: Charles Kingsford Smith

One epic flight, above all his many others, established “Smithy” as one of the greatest pioneering pilots of all time. On 31 May 1928 he took off from California with Charles Ulm and two American crewmen in a three-engined Fokker, the Southern Cross. For aircraft of this era it was an immense distance, over water all the way. They flew via Hawaii and Suva to Brisbane, fighting storms and near exhaustion, completing the journey in under 84 flying hours.

Charles Kingsford Smith

Kingsford Smith was in the army cadets until 1915; when he turned 18, he enlisted in the AIF. He became a signaller and despatch-rider and saw war service on Gallipoli and in Egypt and France before transferring to the Royal Flying CorpsThe young pilot joined No. 23 Squadron RFC on the Western Front in July 1917. He soon destroyed four enemy aircraft in combat, but in August he was wounded and

About him

shot down, resulting in the loss of some of his toes. He was awarded the Military Cross.After the war flying became his passion and he piloted joy-flights overseas before returning home in 1921. In the following years he tried to establish viable aviation companies. It was an expensive business and he regularly sought publicity and sponsorship for record-breaking flights.


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