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McIntosh inducted into the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame

McIntosh inducted into the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame

We are both excited and proud to be attending the induction of Lieutenant John Cowe McIntosh AFC into the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame on 21 October 2023.

Since its inception in 2011, the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame has honoured 51 Australians who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of aviation and aerospace in this nation. We are delighted that John McIntosh has been inducted and to be able to continue his legacy.

John McIntosh was a British-born Australian aviator, born in Scotland in 1892, and later immigrating to Western Australia. At the outbreak of WWI John enlisted in the Australian Army Medical Corps, serving with the 4th Field Ambulance in Gallipoli and France, where he reached the rank of Corporal. In 1918, John transferred to the Australian Flying Corps and commenced flying training in England. He was promoted to Lieutenant a year later.

After the end of WWI, the Australian government offered a prize of £10,000 for the first flight from England to Australia, with six crews entering. John joined forces with Ray Parer and although leaving well after the event had been won by a twin-engined Vickers Vimy flown by Ross and Keith Smith, arrived in Darwin on 2 August 1920.

Their aircraft was a modified Airco DH-9, G-EAQM (known as ‘PD'), and was the only other entrant to successfully complete the race. John and Ray Parer were both awarded the Air Force Cross (AFC) for this feat on 23 November 1920, receiving £500 prize money each.

The flight took 208 days, with the aircraft in the air for 168 hours. It was the first single engined aircraft to complete the 20,800km flight and you can see the aircraft on display in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Tragically John McIntosh was killed in an aircraft accident in 1921 at Pithara, 240km north of Perth. It was the first fatal aircraft accident in WA.

Following his death, the people of Western Australia rallied together to raise funds to bring his wife and child over from UK. The leftover funds were used to create the McIntosh Memorial Scholarship Trust which was originally held in the Soldiers Children's Scholarship Trust. Following several changes, the Trust was transferred to RAAFA in 1983 to manage. We are proud to have been able to use these funds to help further education.

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