- /kɪŋzfəd ˈsmɪθ/ (say kingzfuhd 'smith)
Sir Charles Edward (`Smithy'), 1897–1935, Australian pioneer aviator; record-breaking flights include the first trans-Pacific flight from the US to Australia (in 1928 with Charles Ulm), the first aerial circumnavigation of the world flying within both hemispheres (1929) and the first east-west crossing of the Atlantic (1930).
Charles Kingsford Smith was born in Brisbane. In 1915 he enlisted in the AIF and served at Gallipoli and then in Egypt and France as a dispatch rider before, in October 1916, transferring to the Australian Flying Corps. In July 1917, having been promoted to flying officer, he was posted to a fighter squadron in France where, in his first month of operations, he shot down four German aircraft, for which he was awarded the Military Cross, before being shot down and wounded himself, resulting in him being declared unfit for further combat flying. After the war Kingsford Smith worked in England, the US and Australia as a stunt flyer and joy-flight pilot; however, he was barred from entering the 1919 England–Australia air race because it was thought that neither he nor his crew had the necessary navigational skills. He went on to join WA Airways, and in 1924 formed his own aviation company. Kingsford Smith then embarked on a series of record-making flights with Charles Ulm: around Australia in ten days five hours in June 1927; from America to Australia in May–June 1928; non-stop from Point Cook, near Melbourne, to Perth in August 1928; and from Sydney to Christchurch, NZ, in September–October 1928. Other records followed. In 1929 he was lost with Ulm for 12 days after the Southern Cross went down in north-west Australia. They were subsequently accused of staging the disappearance as a publicity stunt but were cleared of malpractice at an inquiry. Kingsford Smith was knighted in 1932. On 6 November 1935 he left England on another attempt at the Britain–Australia record, but his plane disappeared over the Bay of Bengal.
Australian English dictionary. 2014.
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