back to places

Day 5: 17 December: Cobb's Creek to Anthony Lagoon: (32 km)

To their delight the propeller worked well. Take off was at 6 pm and flight took about 15 minutes. (The Google Earth location for ‘Anthony Lagoon’ is 17.983° S 135.533° E). The airmen stayed overnight, with Constables White and Kemp. Overnight there were major thunderstorms, with wild winds and heavy rain; on three occasions everybody had to hang on to the machine to prevent it being blown over.

Meanwhile, the ‘outside’ world was starting to worry: the delays described above caused concern and confusion. Anthony Lagoon was not on the telegraph line and news took a long time to reach the outside world. A search car was sent out from Charleville, about 700 km away! There were several conflicting stories before accurate news was received; a telegram was sent from Camooweal at 11 30 on 17 December. The Adelaide papers reported public jubilation as the news was spread through the city.

Meanwhile, it was announced that the Smith brothers would probably be awarded a knighthood, and that the aircraft would be acquired by the nation to be put on permanent display.

This picture of the Anthony Lagoon police station dates from 1929. No images of the 1919 visit have been found. Picture from NT Library collection.

A more modern ersion of the police station.