Monday, February 14, 2011

Learning about who Keith Anderson was

We sat next to Keith Anderson's grave and had a picnic while reading Peter Fitzsimons' book and found out so really interesting stuff about Charles Kingsford Smith and of course Keith Anderson. In the 4 hours we were sitting down under the tree what did i learn?

1. Keith Anderson was active in France and England during WW1 and shot down 3 Aircraft and drove several more down to the ground. Not sure on the rules of becoming an "Ace" but sounds like he should be recognised.
2. He met up with Kingsford Smith while flying mail in Westurn Australia.
3. Kingsford Smith was also a WW1 pilot then he returned to Australia after being shot in the foot.
4. Keith Anderson and Kingsford Smith met in WA while flying with various companies where they discussed their vision of flying across the great oceans.
5. Smithy wanted to fly across the Indian Ocean from South Africa to Australia.
6. Keith Anderson wanted to from across the Pacific Ocean to America.
7. Although they were both keen to do the trip nothing really happened until Charles Ulm came along and organised the Pacific Ocean trip.
8. Keith Anderson organised a fair bit of the money to pay for the trip and Ulm arranged for things to happen and for things to come in place.
9. Keith Anderson became good friends with Kingsford Smith's girlfriend Bon Hilliard who in a short itme was Keith Anderson's fience. From this time on there seemed  to be a clash in Keith Anderson and Kingsford Smith's friendship.
10. Anderson, Smithy, and Ulm traveled to America to purchase an aeroplane when Keith Anderson names it The Southern Cross.
11. After several months of getting no where, Keith Anderson returned to Australia to be with Bon Hilliard.
12. Kingsford Smith and Ulm sent a telegram to Keith Anderson informing him that they are ready to go. But Keith Anderson didn't go.
13. Kingsford Smith and Ulm fly across the Pacific but Keith Anderson was given no credit for his part or vision.
14. Kingsford Smith and Ulm needed another record to break and went missing on the coast of WA. This became know as the Coffee Royal incident.
15. Keith Anderson had purchased a second hand widgett monoplane six weeks before the Coffee Royal incident but it wasn't airworthy.
16. Hearing about Smithy being lost while at a pub in Sydney Anderson offered to go fing Smithy but needed funding. The pub owner offered to cover the expences.
17. Anderson and his friend Bobby Hitchcock set off from Richmond and landed in Alice Springs. After making some repairs they set off for WA in the hope of finding Smithy.
18. Normally pilots follow the telegraph lines but Keith Anderson took a shortcut across the Tanimi Desert. Unfortunatly he had engine trouble and had to land in the desert.
19. They had very little water. They couldn't take off because of the thick plants.
20. Anderson and Hitchcock died of dehydration.

Keith Anderson acheived so many great things in his very short life.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

We found Keith Anderson's grave

We downloaded images of Rawson Park, Mossman, loaded the car with a picnic and plugged the GPS in for Mossman. Along the way we drove past 68 Yoe St, where Kingsford Smith grew up. Unfortunaly this address is now Woolworth Supermarket. We parked near the Croquet Club on the north side of Rawson Park and  climbed the stairs in search of Keith Anderson.

We came across the Cricket oval and then Govenour Maquarie's carne and then a big stone cross further to the east. We were excited to find a plaque at the bass of the cross marking Keith Anderson's final resting place. There are no other graves at this location and the surrounding park is amazing. We sat down near the grave under a tree and thought about Keith Anderson's life while reading parts of Peter Fitzsimons' book " Kingsford Smith".

This trip was so worth the effort, made easier by the research we did before going there.

We need to explore more information about K A's life, his fience, and the reasons for him going to rescue Kingsford Smith in an unprepared aircraft.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Our vist to Keith Anderson

Some clues along the way. Google searches of Keith Anderson lead me to discovering the location of his remains. After Keith Anderson was found in the Tanami Desert (18DegS Lat, 137DegE Long) the Gouvernment was forced to recover the bodies of Keith Anderson and his mechanic Henry (Bobby) Hitchcock. Bobby Hitchcock's body was sent to Perth and Keith Anderson's back to Sydney. In my readings of the newspapers from the day Keith Anderson's funeral was amazing with 35,000 people lining the streets to his resting place, Rawson Park, Mossman. This man must have been a real legend in Australian history to atract this much attention in 1929. This is further evidence of  Keith Anderson's hero status. A search on Google Earth located Rawson Park in Mossman which showed a number of possible locations of Keith Anderson's grave. After speacking about it with my family we decided to take a day trip in attemp to find his grave with the addresses we had found.

I also discovered that Charles Kingsford Smith grew up at 68 Yeo St, Mossman which is just around the courner from Rawson Park where Keith Anderson is burried.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

WW1 History search

So today i emailed Peter Fitzsimons yesturday and i am glad to say he replied back to me today. He wrote back with words of encouragment on my journey to discover more about this fantastic man. Sadley he couldn't offer anymore information on the life and death of his fience Bon Hilliard. Unfortunatley i am finding it very difficult to get more information about Keith Andersons WW1 Service. I am hoping that discovering more about his post war life might lead me to his war time experiences.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Looking for information

I had a look at the internet for Keith Andersons WW1 history. He served with 73 sqn Royal Flying Core and managed to shoot down 6 enemy planes making him an Ace before returning to England then Australia. I looked up Peter Fitzsimons video to Mossman Library were he spoke about Keith Anderson and revieled his resting place at Rawson Park in Mossman. We intend to visit his grave this Sunday (the day after tommorow) to discover more about his life. I wrote to Dick Smith as he has visited the "Kookaburra" crash site. I have also written to Peter Fitzsimons to try and find out more about Keith Anderson's fience Bon Hilliard. News Paper articles from 1929 revieled that Keith Anderson's funeral was massive and over 35 000 people lined the streets to his resting place. This alone proves that Lt Keith Anderson was indeed a national hero.