Adventurer Completes Circumnavigation Re-enactment


After taking off from Point Cook at RAAF Base Williams 44 days earlier, adventurer Michael Smith returned on May 19, having successfully completed the same journey around Australia that Squadron Leader Stanley Goble and Flight Lieutenant Ivor did 100 years ago.

After flying the 15,000km journey with 43 runway and water landings in his amphibious plane, the Southern Sun, Mr Smith was elated to be making the final landing at the exact same time as Goble and McIntyre had a century beforehand.

“It was nice to not just land on the same day but the exact time as a century ago,” Mr Smith said.

“I am proud to have retraced this incredible mission and so pleased to have successfully followed the original 44-day schedule.

“I have now seen every inch of this coast and the scenery is spectacular, and has made feel very connected to the communities along the way.”

As well as family and friends, Mr Smith was met by members of resident units, 21 Squadron, 100 Squadron and the RAAF Museum.

The Air Force Band also made a special appearance for the return, just as the Air Force Band had been in attendance for Goble and McIntyre’s return in 1924.

Wing Commander Rob Gill, Senior ADF Officer of RAAF Base Williams, welcomed Mr Smith back after seeing him off on April 6.

“It was fantastic to see Michael complete his journey exactly 100 years after the first – a fitting tribute to one of Air Force’s great pioneering achievements,” Wing Commander Gill said.

“As the birthplace of the RAAF, the base is steeped in history such as this. Along with 100 Squadron and the RAAF Museum, we are committed to remembering and sharing Air Force’s history and heritage.

“It is great to be part of Michael’s journey that has highlighted one of Air Force’s great achievements.”

Mr Smith returned the RAAF ensign which had been presented by Wing Commander Gill on his departure and had accompanied him on his journey – just as Goble and McIntyre had taken a RAAF Ensign on their flight.

The Ensign will be added to the existing Goble and McIntyre display at the RAAF Museum, along with artifacts including an original piece of the aircraft and a painting generously donated by Goble’s grandson David Goble, who was also at the arrival.

Mr Smith’s flight – along with 6 Squadron’s Exercise Centenarie Redimus flight last month – marked a significant Air Force achievement in 1924, that contributed to Australian aviation through the identification of multiple sites suitable for building airfields around Australia’s coast.

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