AFC Observer's brevet : Lieutenant W H Fysh, 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps

Accession Number REL/12793
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Badge
Physical description Embroidery cotton thread, Wool felt
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Australian Flying Corps embroidered observer's qualification brevet. The brevet has cream cotton embroidered wings and the letter 'O' within a cream embroidered laurel wreath on a dark blue wool background.

History / Summary

Worn by Lieutenant Wilmot Hudson Fysh while serving as an observer in the Australian Flying Corps. Fysh was born in Launceston, Tasmania in 1895 and enlisted as Trooper 415 in the 3rd Australian Light Horse Regiment on 21 August 1914. After service at Gallipoli and Palestine, he was commissioned in 1916 in the 1st Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron. He later transferred to the Australian Flying Corps, serving as an observer with 1 Squadron. 1 Squadron operated across the Sinai desert in search of Turkish forces and across Egypt's western desert to monitor activity by the rebellious Senussi. The squadron also supported the British and Dominion advance into Palestine. Fysh was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in August 1918 for 'gallantry in air combats and in attacking ground objectives'. His application for pilot training was accepted, but the war ended before his graduation at Heliopolis, Egypt, in February 1919. After returning to Australia in March 1919, Fysh was employed to survey the Longreach to Darwin leg of the proposed air route from England to Australia. This knowledge assisted him when, in 1920, he helped found the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd (QANTAS). By 1923 he was both managing director and chief pilot of the airline, which he led until his retirement in 1955. Hudson Fysh was knighted (KBE) in 1953, and died in Sydney in 1974.