ON THIS DAY ……. 30th March 1929

With an eye to launch a domestic air service, aviator Charles Kingsford Smith departed for England with Charles Ulm and two crewmen on March 30, 1929. A day later they were forced to make an emergency landing on the flats of the Glenelg River estuary. While they were found in good health 13 days later, having survived on a diet of coffee, whiskey and tinned baby food, two of their would-be rescuers, Keith Anderson and Robert Hitchcock, perished after a forced landing in the Tanami Desert. Local media dubbed the incident the “Coffee Royal Affair”, and after an official enquiry, Kingsford Smith and Ulm were exonerated from the charge of having staged the incident for publicity.