The Man Who Saved Smithy, by Rick Searle coming 1st August 2015

Here is a little ‘turn up for the books’ * (unintended pun 🙂 ) . . .

*(definition for my non-English-native speaking followers, according to Cambridge online: a surprising or unexpected event).

I know many of my followers are avid followers of all things to do with flying machines and those intrepid pioneers of the air . . .

While browsing the web for any feedback on how the release of I Belong to No One is progressing, I stumbled across another imminent new work which is sure to pique your interest:

The Man Who Saved Smithy by Rick Searle
Fighter Pilot, Pioneer Aviator, Hero – the Life of Sir Gordon Taylor MC, GC

Many of you will recall that I gave Sir Gordon Taylor a passing mention in my post on The “Black Cats” of the Double Sunrise Service, and to save you re-reading all of that post, here is what I wrote then. 

* In an aside from the Catalina story – Sir P.G. Taylor was big in Australian history. Among many things was his feat when flying with Smithy (Sir Charles Kingsford Smith). To save crashing into the ocean on their way back in the Southern Cross from New Zealand, he climbed out under the wing in flight on a number of occasions to transfer engine oil from a failed engine to one that was running on the other wing but about to run out of oil.

Here is the synopsis for Rick Searle’s book:
Patrick Gordon ‘Bill’ Taylor was a pioneer of Australian aviation. As a fighter pilot during the First World War, he was awarded the Military Cross and discovered a life-long passion for flight and air navigation. Returning to Australia after the war, he became a close friend of Charles Kingsford Smith; they went on to form an incredible flying partnership, setting records around the globe.

It was on a flight across the Tasman in Smithy’s famous Southern Cross that Taylor earned the Empire’s highest award for civilian bravery, the George Cross. With one engine out of action and another fast running out of oil, Taylor repeatedly climbed out of the cockpit to transfer oil to the stricken engine and keep the Southern Cross flying – all this while suspended over the sea in a howling slipstream.

After the deaths of his friends Charles Ulm and Kingsford Smith in separate accidents, Taylor became Australia’s greatest surviving aviator, pioneering vital new trans-oceanic air routes during the Second World War and receiving a knighthood in honour of his services to flight. The Man Who Saved Smithy is the enthralling account of his remarkable life and achievements.

Further details:

ISBN: 9781760113407
Available: 1st August 2015
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication: AU

Well, that’s another on my “must read” list  . . . and maybe yours too?

And might be time to give HARS (Historical Aircraft Restoration Society) another mention, as they are in the progress of re-building a replica of the Southern Cross. Just as soon as I have time to get back into blogging regularly, I have several photos of their progress to put up for your enjoyment.







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