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Papers of Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, 1917-1935 [manuscript]
Bib ID 730280
Format ManuscriptManuscript, OnlineOnline
Kingsford-Smith, Charles, 1897-1935
Online Versions
Related Online
Access Conditions Available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [1917-1935] 
1.25 m. (1 box) + 1 fol. item + 1 shared security binder. 

The papers in MS 209 include: log of the Southern Cross kept by Charles Ulm on the flight across the Pacific from Oakland, California, to Brisbane, Queensland, 31 May-9 June 1928; log of the Southern Cross from Australia to New Zealand and back, 1928; log of the Southern Cross covering flights from 3 April 1931-7 January 1934; log for the Southern Cross VH.USU port engine from 3 April 1931-13 May 1935; part of the log of the Australia-England flight, September-October 1931 (5 loose pages); pilots flying log books 27 March-13 July 1917 kept by Kingsford-Smith while he was in No. 8 Reserve Squadron Royal Flying Corps. Other material includes photographs, radio messages from the Southern Cross 1928, registration certificate no. 210 for aircraft Foffer F7 VH.USU dated 20 September 1934 and leaflets asking for information on the disappearance of Kingsford-Smith in 1935 (1 box, 1 fol. item).


Sir Charles Edward Kingsford-Smith (1897-1935), aviator, was born in Brisbane. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force and served at Gallipoli and in Egypt and France. He served in the Australian Flying Corps and was serving in the Royal Flying Corps when he was wounded and shot down in France for which he was awarded the Military Cross. After the war, he and Frank Anderson formed an aviation partnership and with Charles Ulm circumnavigated Australia in 1927 with minimal navigational aids. In 1928, he completed an historic flight from California to Brisbane in the Southern Cross. In 1929, he set out to fly the Southern Cross to England. Following a forced landing resulting in the death of two crew members, Kingsford-Smith and Ulm resumed the flight setting another record. His Australian National Airlines began operating in 1930, but his thirst for challenges resulted in an east-west Atlantic crossing in 31 and a half hours and England to Darwin inside ten days.

In 1933, Kingsford-Smith flew solo in Miss Southern Cross from London to Wyndham, Western Australia, in just over seven days. His flight in Lady Southern Cross in 1934, from Brisbane to San Francisco, was another first. The inaugural flight of the trans-Tasman airmail service on 15 May 1935 was a failure marked by courage. Engine failure obliged his co-pilot Taylor to climb on the wing to transfer oil from the dead engine to the other. Jettisoning cargo, Kingsford-Smith safely flew the 800 km back to Sydney. On 6 September 1935, he left England on another attempted record-breaking flight. However, in November 1935, he and Captain J.T. Pethybridge were lost with their aircraft, presumably near Burma. Belief in the potential of air travel and his aviation initiatives made Kingsford-Smith an outstanding pioneer.


Manuscript reference no.: MS 209.

The transcription of MS 209/1 published in The great trans-Pacific flight: the story of the Southern Cross (Hutchinson, 1928) includes some log entries not appearing in the original manuscript.

Also available online

Related Material Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith Southern Cross medal, and compass; Located at; National Library of Australia Pictures collection. 
Cited In

Guide to collections of manuscripts relating to Australia, B523 (Rev. 1).

Index/Finding Aid Note Finding aid available online. 
Subjects Kingsford-Smith, Charles, 1897-1935 -- Archives.  |  Southern Cross (Airplane)  |  Air pilots -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Aeronautics -- Australia -- Flights.  |  Transpacific flights.
Time Coverage 1917-1935 
Occupation Aviators.
Other authors/contributors Ulm, C. T. P. (Charles Thomas Phillippe), 1897-1934
Exhibited Exhibited: "Treasures Gallery", National Library of Australia, 7 October 2011 - 15 December 2012. 

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