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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Charles Kingsford Smith and crew of the Southern Cross before the east-west crossing of the Atlantic, June 1930

International News Photos Inc. (publisher)

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 20.3 cm x 25.5 cm, image: 20.0 cm x 24.5 cm)

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith MC AFC (1897- last seen 1935) and Captain Charles Ulm (1898-last seen 1934) together founded Australian National Airlines. Kingsford Smith was a member of the Australian Flying Corps and the Royal Flying Corps during World War I, during which he was awarded the Military Cross. He worked in England, America and Australia as a stunt flyer and joy-flight pilot, and for West Australian Airways, before forming his own aviation company in 1924. He then embarked on a series of record flights with Ulm. The pair flew in record time around Australia, from America to Australia, from Point Cook near Melbourne to Perth, and from Sydney to Christchurch. Ulm disappeared on a flight from America to Australia, intending to demonstrate the feasibility of a commercial trans-pacific air service. Smith disappeared over the Bay of Bengal on an attempt at the Britain-Australia record.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2019

Subject professions

Business, trades and industry

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On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm

The Wonder Years

Magazine article by Sarah Hill, 2001

Sarah Hill introduces the portrait busts of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm by Enid Fleming.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency