Ross Smith’s War

Ross smith

In 1919 the Australian government offered a handsome prize for the first Australians to fly from Great Britain to Australia. The winners were pilot Ross Smith, his brother Keith Smith as co-pilot, and mechanics James Bennett and Wally Shiers, in a modified Vickers Vimy bomber.

Michael Molkentin, author of the recently published biography of Sir Ross Smith, Anzac and Aviator, explores Ross Smith’s life, from early days in outback South Australia to his diverse and distinguished war service. To read this article, purchase Wartime here.

Peter Burness’s excellent account of the England to Australia air race can be found here.


The Australian War Memorial has its own link to the air race, an Airco DH9 bomber on display in Anzac Hall. Read about the Memorial’s Airco DH9 here.