Benalla’s Fourth Famous Son
The event will reveal the history of how a Benalla born and educated lad, became the Chief Engineer and provided the support infrastructure for a small regional airline, that with his technical support over 28 years, would become one of the worlds iconic international airlines.
Arthur served his country with distinction during the First World War, solving many problems associated with British built aircrafts operating in the extreme conditions of the Middle East, for both the Australian and British forces. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his service. It was 1 of only 34 awarded to the 2,694 members of the Australian Flying Corps during WW1. Arthur attained the rank of Flight Sergeant, and spent 40 months in the service.
He was a key member of the QANTAS initial crew of 1921, not only as an engineer, but also as an accomplished pilot in later years. He provided the support structure for the airline’s operations for 28 years, and supervised the construction and operation of airport maintenance facilities in Longreach, Brisbane, Sydney, Singapore, Darwin, and by necessity, along with Capt. Bill Crowther, in Perth during WWII.
He trained over 300 apprentices, including the first female aircraft engineer.
He was An Extraordinary Australian.