The first ever Australia in the Great War Australian Flying Corps Bear is ready for take-off.
Lieutenant Thomas Hendy celebrates the early days of Australian military aviation – the precursor to the Royal Australian Air Force and Air Fleet Arm.
Australia was the only dominion of the British Empire to establish its own flying corps for service in the Great War and some 460 officers and 2,234 other ranks served in the Middle East, over the Western Front, and in training schools in England. All pilots of the A.F.C. were officers of the Australian Imperial Force.
Aviation in the Royal Australian Navy began in 1917 when the cruiser HMAS Brisbane embarked a sea plane for operations in the Indian Ocean. Later that year the flagship HMAS Australia and cruisers Sydney and Melbourne were fitted with wooden flying-off platforms over the top of their main deck guns allowing them to launch their flimsy Sopwith fighter aircraft.
Uniform reflects the full-length leather ‘Maternity Pattern’ flying jacket and leather flight helmet worn to provide warmth during flights in open cockpit aeroplanes.
The large angled external pocket on the left-breast provided quick access to maps.
Limit of just 5,000 bears. Hendy comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity