Qantas - Remembrance Day has a special significance for Qantas, dating back to our co-founders Sir H
Remembrance Day has a special significance for Qantas, dating back to our co-founders Sir Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness who both fought in the First World War. Our first ever pilot to join Qantas as an employee, Fred Huxley, was also involved in WW1.It was exactly 100 years ago this month in November 1922 that Huxley arrived at Longreach to replace co-founder McGinness, who decided to leave after the first passenger and air mail service to seek new adventures in Western Australia.Born on King Island in Bass Strait, Huxley served at Gallipoli before transferring to the Australian Flying Corps in 1916. After completing flying training in the UK, he joined No. 2 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps in France flying DH5 fighters. On 22 November 1917 he shot down a German Albatros D.V fighter, becoming the first Australian pilot flying with an Australian squadron to destroy an enemy aircraft in combat on the Western Front. He survived the War with three more air victories and in February 1918 received the Military Cross for bravery in action, described as "a very keen and daring pilot.” On returning to Australia, Huxley was the first pilot to fly passengers across Bass Strait alongside his two-year-old daughter and pregnant wife in 1921.Huxley regularly flew the World War One surplus Armstrong Whitworth FK8 biplane between Longreach and Cloncurry after the departure of McGinness. Co-founder Fysh later wrote in his memoirs that Huxley became very attached to the somewhat cantankerous FK8 and preferred it to the newer DH4. Huxley left Qantas in June 1923 but continued to work in aviation for the rest of his life.Today on #RemembranceDay we acknowledge all of those who served and those who died to protect our nation. We will remember them. Lest we forget.
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