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Pioneer Australian Aviator
Charles Edward Kingsford Smith was born in Hamilton, Brisbane, Australia, February 9, 1897. He graduated from Sydney Technical College as an Electrical Engineer at age 16.
Enrolling in the Australian Forces in 1915, he served in the Middle East. He entered the Royal Flying Corps and received his wings in 1917, serving in France as a fighter pilot. Achieving six aerial victories, he earned the coveted Military Cross for gallantry in action.
From 1919 to 1927 he performed at aerial circuses and pioneered commercial aviation service throughout Australia. In 1927, he went to the United States to purchase and prepare a Fokker Trimotor aircraft that he named the Southern Cross. On May 31, 1928, Kingsford Smith and his crew took off from Oakland, California, and arrived in Brisbane via Honolulu and Fiji eight days later.
In succeeding months, piloting "Southern Cross" he made the first non-stop flight across the Australian Continent and the first flight across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand. In 1929, he completed a round-the-world flight. In 1934, he made the first west to east crossing of the Pacific.
In November 1935, on a flight from England to Australia, he and his companion disappeared in typhoon weather over the Bay of Bengal.
Invested 1986 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame
The pictures of Kingsford Smith and the Southern Cross where provided to the ALLSTAR website by Mr. Liam Byrne.
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Updated: March 12, 2004