The story of the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) is a testimony to the drive and resourcefulness of a young nation, showcasing its talent to the world. Officers of the AFC are depicted on this 50c Uncirculated Coin, along with an early combat aircraft in commemoration of the industrious pilots and their invaluable support to Australia’s First World War allies.
The AFC was established in 1911, allowing Australia the distinction of being the only British dominion to have a flying corps in the First World War. From modest beginnings, it formed the foundation of the Royal Australian Air Force, ensuring the role of aircraft in future military operations.
During the Mesopotamian campaign in 1915, the AFC answered the call for resources, supplying four officers and 41 men in support of the Anglo-Indian forces who were battling a Turkish threat around the Persian Gulf.
The brave men of the AFC were from many backgrounds and left a diverse legacy. Former school teacher Frank McNamara became the AFC’s only Victoria Cross recipient and Sir Lawrence James Wackatt, ’Father of the Australian aircraft industry,’ was knighted for his services. Two officers, Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness, purchased an Avro aircraft laying the foundations for the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service, better known today as Qantas.