Sir Hudson Fysh
Sir Hudson Fysh was born and raised in Launceston. He served with distinction in World War 1 and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in August 1918. Fysh was one of the founders of QANTAS and was appointed Manager in 1923 and remained a regular pilot until 1930. He served in various roles within the company until his retirement in 1966.
[Born: 07 Jan 1895, Died: 06 Apr 1974]
Harold Gatty was born in Campbell Town in 1903. In 1927 he moved to California and was instrumental in developing a ground speed and drift indicator which became the basis for what became known as the Automatic Pilot and became standard equipment in most aircraft..
In 1931, he flew as the navigator with pilot Wiley Post in the first round the world flight, taking 8 days.
In 1951 he founded Fiji Airways.
[Born:05 Jan 1903, Died: 30 Aug 1957]
Victor entered the family shipping business and went to sea at the age of 16. During World War I he was a pilot in the Royal Naval Air Service. After the war he returned to sea, being the Master of a number of W. Holyman and Sons Shipping Line vessels.
In 1932, with his brother Ivan, he formed Holyman Brothers Pty Ltd, and purchased “Miss Currie”, a DH83 Fox Moth biplane and started commercial flights to Flinders Island.
The company merged with L Johnson, who also operated on the same route with “Miss Flinders” Desoutter monoplane, and formed Tasmanian Aerial Services. The Company subsequently became Holyman’s Airways.
Victor, together with the crew and passengers of the “Miss Hobart” were lost when the plane crashed in October 1934.
[Born: 27 Aug 1894, Died 19 Oct 1934]
Sir Ivan Holyman
With his brother Victor they formed an airline under their own name in 1932, which subsequently became Tasmanian Aerial Services and then renamed as Holyman’s Airways.
Following the death of Victor, Ivan focused on operating the airline and merged with Adelaide Airways in 1936 to form Australian National Airways, ANA.
He continued as Managing Director of ANA until his death in 1957.
[Born: 9 July 1986, Died: 18 Jan 1957]
Arthur Long was the first person to fly an aircraft across Bass Strait on 16 December 1919.
When, in December 1919 in Launceston, Arthur heard that a Victorian pilot was planning an attempt to fly across Bass Strait to Tasmania he instantly decided that he would make the flight first, but the other way around! He took off from “Highfield”, Stanley on the morning of 16th December and headed towards King Island and from there continued north to mainland Australia. A landing was required to be made at Torquay to replenish the oil in the engine and he needed to do this while the engine was still running! Successfully completing the task he took off again and landed at Port Melbourne 4 hours and 10 minutes after leaving Stanley.
[1896 – 06 Nov 1954].
Tasmanian Born Air Aces of World War 1
Calling pilots and gunners “aces” who had five confirmed “Victories” or “kills”.
Six Tasmanian born aviators became “aces” during the Great War, five pilots and one air gunner.