• Notepaper from Lennon’s Hotel, Brisbane, signed by Sir Charles Kingsford Smith

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    State Library Qld
Signature of Charles Kingsford Smith on Lennon's Hotel notepaper

A pioneer in world aviation, Charles Kingsford-Smith was born in Brisbane in 1897. After enlisting in World War I he saw action at Gallipoli, but later transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. Following combat experience on the Western Front, Kingsford-Smith became a flying instructor, and he commenced his post-war aviation career barnstorming the countryside until briefly joining Western Australian Airways. With Charles Ulm, Kingsford-Smith was later to found his own airline, but his reputation largely rests on a series of record-breaking flights. Among his most notable endeavours was the first aerial circumnavigation of Australia (1927), the first flight across the Pacific (1928), the first crossing of the Tasman Sea (1928), the first England to Australia flight (1929), and the first east-west crossing of the Atlantic (1930). That same year he also made a record-breaking solo flight from England to Australia. In 1935 Kingsford-Smith embarked on yet another attempt at the England-Australia record with J.T. Pethybridge as co-pilot, with the flight ending in disaster when their aircraft disappeared over the Bay of Bengal.


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