|Who is it?||Aviator|
|Birth Day||February 09, 1897|
|Birth Place||Hamilton, Australian|
|Age||122 YEARS OLD|
|Died On||8 November 1935(1935-11-08) (aged 38)\nAndaman Sea|
|Full name||Charles Edward Kingsford Smith|
|Cause of death||Crashed in the sea off Burma|
|Known for||First non-stop crossing of the Australian mainland Trans-Pacific flight England to Australia air race|
|Air force||Australian Flying Corps Royal Flying Corps Royal Air Force|
|Battles||World War I Gallipoli Campaign Western Front|
|Rank||Captain (substantive) Air Commodore (honorary)|
|Awards||Knight Bachelor Military Cross Air Force Cross Segrave Trophy|
Charles Edward Kingsford Smith was born on 9 February 1897 at Riverview Terrace, Hamilton in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, the son of william Charles Smith and his wife Catherine Mary (née Kingsford, daughter of Richard Ash Kingsford, a Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly and mayor in both Brisbane and Cairns municipal councils). His birth was officially registered and announced in the newspapers under the surname Smith, which his family used at that time. The earliest use of the surname Kingsford Smith appears to be by his older brother Richard Harold Kingsford Smith, who used the name at least informally from 1901, although he married in New South Wales under the surname Smith in 1903.
In 1903, his parents moved to Canada where they adopted the surname Kingsford Smith. They returned to Sydney in 1907.
In 1915, he enlisted for duty in the 1st AIF (Australian Army) and served at Gallipoli. Initially, he performed duty as a motorcycle despatch rider, before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps, earning his pilot's wings in 1917.
In August 1917, while serving with No. 23 Squadron, Kingsford Smith was shot down and received injuries which required amputation of a large part of his left foot. He was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry in battle. As his recovery was predicted to be lengthy, Kingsford Smith was permitted to take leave in Australia where he visited his parents. Returning to England, Kingsford Smith was assigned to instructor duties and promoted to Captain.
On 1 April 1918, along with other members of the Royal Flying Corps, Kingsford Smith was transferred to the newly established Royal Air Force. On being demobilised in England, in early 1919, he joined Tasmanian Cyril Maddocks, to form Kingsford Smith, Maddocks Aeros Ltd, flying a joy-riding Service mainly in the North of England, during the summer of 1919, initially using surplus DH.6 trainers, then surplus B.E.2s. Later Kingsford Smith worked as a barnstormer in the United States before returning to Australia in 1921. He did the same in Australia and also flew airmail services, and began to plan his record-breaking FLIGHT across the Pacific. Applying for a commercial pilot's licence on 2 June 1921 (in which he gave his name as 'Charles Edward Kingsford-Smith'), he became one of Australia's first airline pilots when he was chosen by Norman Brearley to fly for the newly formed West Australian Airways.
During the First World War, Ken Richards had been the observer in Kingsford Smith's plane in France. Later Richards moved to Cowra, New South Wales. Kingsford Smith owned an old Avro plane and in 1922 flew to Cowra to see his old comrade. Kingsford Smith and Richards flew under the Cowra traffic bridge. They also attempted to fly under the nearby railway bridge, but Richards fortunately noticed the telephone lines and pulled the aircraft away only seconds from impact.
Australian aviation enthusiast Austin Byrne was part of the large crowd at Sydney's Mascot Aerodrome in June 1928 to welcome the Southern Cross and its crew following their successful trans-Pacific FLIGHT. Witnessing this event inspired Byrne to make a scale model of the Southern Cross to give to Kingsford Smith. After the aviator's disappearance, Bryne continued to expand and enhance his tribute with paintings, photographs, documents, and art works he created, designed or commissioned. Between 1930 and his death in 1993, Byrne devoted his life to creating and touring his Southern Cross Memorial.
The bodies of Anderson and Hitchcock were later recovered from the Tanami Desert. Hitchcock's body was returned to Perth for burial at Karrakatta Cemetery, while Anderson's body was returned to Sydney. Over 6000 mourners attended Keith Anderson's funeral. It was an elaborate affair befitting a national hero. Anderson was buried at Rawson Park, Mosman, on 6 July 1929. A grand memorial was later erected at the gravesite in his honour.
Collecting his 'old bus', Southern Cross, from the Fokker Aircraft Company in the Netherlands where it had been overhauled, in June 1930 he achieved an east-west crossing of the Atlantic from Ireland to Newfoundland in 31½ hours, having taken off from Portmarnock Beach (The Velvet Strand), just north of Dublin. New York gave him a tumultuous welcome. The Southern Cross continued on to Oakland, California, completing a circumnavigation of the world, begun in 1928. In 1930, he competed in an England to Australia air race, and, flying solo, won the event taking 13 days. He arrived in Sydney on 22 October 1930.
In 1934, he purchased a Lockheed Altair, the Lady Southern Cross, with the intention of competing in the MacRobertson Air Race. He was unable to make it to England in time for the start of the race, and so flew the Lady Southern Cross from Australia to the United States instead; the first eastward crossing of the Pacific Ocean by aircraft.
His most famous aircraft, the Southern Cross, is now preserved and displayed in a purpose-built memorial to Sir Charles Kingsford Smith near the International Terminal at Brisbane Airport. Kingsford Smith sold the plane to the Australian Government in 1935 for £3000 so it could be put on permanent display for the public. The plane was carefully stored for many years before the current memorial was built.
Kingsford Smith was survived by his wife, Mary Kingsford Smith, and their three-year-old son Charles Jnr. Kingsford Smith's autobiography, My Flying Life, was published posthumously in 1937 and became a best seller.
He was pictured on the Australian $20 paper note (in circulation from 1966 until 1994, when the $20 polymer note was introduced to replace it), to honour his contribution to aviation and his accomplishments during his life. He was also depicted on the Australian one-dollar coin of 1997, the centenary of his birth.
Lay has worked closely with both the Kingsford Smith and Pethybridge families since 2005. The privately funded project now running in its 8th year has been supported by the government and people of Myanmar.
A young New Zealander named Jean Batten attended a dinner in Australia featuring Kingsford Smith after the trans-Pacific FLIGHT and told him "I'm going to learn to fly." She later convinced him to take her for a FLIGHT in the Southern Cross and went on to become a record-setting aviator, following his Example instead of his advice ("Don't attempt to break men's records – and don't fly at night", he told her in 1928 and remembered wryly later).