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Hudson Fysh

Hudson Fysh horse
Hudson Fysh Photo: Australian War Memorial P00342.009
Hudson Fysh aircraft
Hudson Fysh with an aeroplane from World War One. Photo: Australian War Memorial P00342.001
Hudson Fysh desert
Hudson Fysh Photo Australian War Memorial P00342.008

The Spirit of Australia

Experience in aviation gained in World War One helped make Hudson Fysh an aviation visionary.

Aviation was a fledging field in World War One, but it gave Hudson Fysh - an ANZAC veteran who served at Gallipoli in 1915 - the opportunity to spread his wings.

Hudson Fysh was born in Launceston, Tasmania, on 7 January 1895. The 19-year-old wool classer from St Leonards enlisted with the 3rd Light Horse Regiment and embarked from Hobart on the HMAT Geelong A2 on 20 October 1914.

Lieutenant Fysh gained his early flying experience in the Australian Flying Corps as an observer in the Palestine campaign.  In 1918, he was heavily involved in actions against German and Turkish aircraft, airfields and ground troops.  He shot or forced down a number of enemy aircraft and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

In 1919, Fysh gained his pilot’s wings in Egypt before returning to Australia.  Hudson Fysh and his partners used mainly war disposal aircraft to form the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited (Qantas) in 1920.

During World War Two, Hudson Fysh’s air force and aviation experience played an important role.   Under the guidance of Fysh, who was an RAAF Squadron leader, Qantas assisted the war effort by flying long routes, overseeing the use of QEA equipment and expertise against the Japanese, taking troops and equipment to New Guinea, and evacuating casualties.

Hudson Fysh was knighted in 1953.

Sir Hudson Fysh died on the 6 April 1974 in Sydney.

  • Photos of Hudson Fysh from the Australian War Memorial.  Image numbers P00342.009 and P00342.001