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National Museum of Australia

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4

Charles Ulm's RAAF dress uniform cane

2014.0017.0001

Object information

What

Type

Collection

Dimensions

H 890mm x Dia 36mm

Material

Description

The cane was used as part of Charles Ulm's RAAF dress uniform, received after he and Charles Kingsford Smith were awarded honorary commissions with the Royal Australian Air Force following their trans-Pacific flight in June 1928.

Physical Description

A dark wooden cane with a round silver knob. The tip of the cane is in a separate light-coloured piece of wood. There is a stamp on the silver knob which reads: '925 S'.

Statement of Significance

The collection consists of a cane that was used as part of Charles Ulm's RAAF dress uniform, and a photograph showing Charles Kingsford Smith, Charles Ulm and Garnet Malley in their RAAF dress uniforms, following the investiture ceremony at Admiralty House, Sydney, 3 June 1929, where they received Air Force Crosses from the Governor-General, Lord Stonehaven.

Kingsford Smith and Ulm became the first aviators to cross the Pacific Ocean by air in their Fokker tri-motor aircraft 'Southern Cross'. With American crewmembers Harry Lyon and James Warner, they took off from San Francisco, California, on 31 May 1928 and flew via Hawaii and Fiji to Brisbane, completing the 11,585 kilometre crossing in 83 hours, 38 minutes of flying time, landing at Eagle Farm aerodrome on 9 June 1928. Becoming instant celebrities, the aviators were honoured at many luncheons, dinners and other special events during the following weeks and months. Kingsford Smith and Ulm were awarded honorary commissions in the RAAF and granted the Air Force Cross in recognition of their trans-Pacific flight. The aviators continued to wear their RAAF uniforms during their subsequent flights and tours.

When

Date of Event

Who

People / Organisations

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