The year was 1919. The war was finally over. Prime Minister Billy Hughes offered £10 000 for the first Australian airmen to fly home from England in 30 days. Six crews took up the challenge in planes that were as rudimentary as they were unreliable. And who won? South Australian brothers Ross and Keith Smith, backed by mechanics Wally Shiers (SA) and Jim Bennett (Vic). Their magnificent Vickers Vimy bomber can still be seen at Adelaide airport.
In 2019 we celebrate the men, the plane, and the centenary of a journey every bit as awe-inspiring as the moon landing. The History Trust of South Australia is preparing a series of programs and events to mark the 100th anniversary of this successful flight. Sign up to our newsletter if you’d like to stay tuned for updates and a dedicated website for the commemoration later in 2018.
The History Trust of South Australia will be coordinating a series of community based projects supporting the anniversary and if you would like to donate to a project fund that will help realise this initiative then please donate here.
For more on the history of this historic achievement visit the SA History Hub.