1926

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The First RAF Cape Flight

Wing Commander C. W. H. Pulford (commanding the flight), with Flt-Lt P.H. Mackworth, Flt-Lt E.J. Linton Hope, F/O W. L.Payne, Flight-Lieut. L.E.M. Gillman (navigator), Flying Officer A.A. Jones (technical), Sgt Hartley (fitter), and Sgt Gardener (rigger).

"They have carried out a flight which is unique in many ways and useful in many ways, and they have done credit to the Royal Air Force and to the British Empire.... there has been no other instance on record of a formation of four aeroplanes flying over 14,000 miles, across two continents, from the northern temperate zone to the southern  temperate zone and back without change of personnel, of aircraft, or of engines."

 

Conway Waller Heath Pulford, O.B.E., A.F.C., Croix de Guerre, was born in India on January 26, 1892, and joined the Navy as a midshipman in January 1910. He transferred to the R.N.A.S. as a  Flight Lieutenant and then to the RAF in August 1, 1919 as a Squadron Leader. Later promoted to Air Vice Marshal.

He was killed in WWII; 10 Mar 1942 when he and his naval counterpart, Rear Admiral Spooner, were amongst the last to leave Indonesia when the Japanese overran it. Their motor boat was hit and forced to run aground on an uninhabited, malaria-infested island called Chibia. The survivors managed to hold out for two months before being forced to  surrender to the Japanese, but Pulford and Spooner had both died of  exhaustion and malaria.

 

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