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Joseph Joel Hammond

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Joseph Joel Hammond (1886-1918), the accredited pilot of the British and Colonial Aeroplane Co and New Zealand aviation pioneer.

1886 Born in Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand, the son of Joseph Penny Hammond

1910 Gained his French aviator's certificate (#258) and then his British one (#32) at Salisbury Plain[1]

1910 "Evidently the British and Colonial Aeroplane Co. is determined to live up to its title, and with a view to securing the Colonial aeroplane trade for the old country the firm have arranged for special missions to visit India, Australia, and New Zealand. The team which will go to Australia and New Zealand will consist of Mr. Sydney E. Smith (the Company's manager), Mr. Joseph Hammond, Mr. L. Macdonald, and a staff of mechanics" [2]

" The succession of successful flights made by Mr. Hammond in the chief cities of the Commonwealth became the sole topic of conversation at the time of their taking place. In reality they were the first and only successful flights witnessed in Australia.

Starting in Perth, West Australia, in December, 1911, to the bewilderment of the inhabitants of that city, Mr. Hammond flew from Belmont Race Course over the city, across King Park and back to the starting place, a distance of 20 miles. He even flew down the Swan River and back again to the city on another occasion, a 35 miles flight.

After several other flights in Perth, the Bristol biplane was then shipped to Melbourne where the success was again repeated. The first flight being to Geelong, 45 miles, returning the next day, a total of 90 miles. The most sensational flight in Victoria was made over the city of Melbourne, where at an altitude of 7,000 ft. Mr. Hammond flew all over the city and suburbs, over the dome of the Exhibition, round Government House tower and across the broad area of Hobson's Bay alighting at Altona Bay, his starting place, after having covered a distance of 35 miles. He made upwards of 20 successful flights whilst in Melbourne, and was the first aviator to carry a passenger in Australia.

The honour of being the first lady passenger falling to the lot of his wife, followed by Mrs. Harvey Patterson, Mrs. Cecil Lebin and Mrs. Edwards, whilst Mr. M. H. Baillie was the first gentleman passenger, subsequent passengers being Messrs. Knox, Bick, H. V. McKay (Sunshine Harvester), Hugh McKay, junior, and Edwards of the Continental 'lyre Co., and the representatives of the leading daily journals.

Mr. Hammond also on one occasion took his two mechanics, Messrs. McDonald and Coles, on a short flight. The machine was then taken to Sydney where the successful Victorian flights were repeated to the astonishment of the inhabitants of the latter city. Amongst the passengers there being Col. Anthill (A.D.C. to General Gordon), whilst a military officer, Capt. Niechy, was carried from Sydney to the military encampment at Liverpool, a distance of 25 miles, landing in the presence of the Governor-General, Lord Dudley and the Officer Commanding, General Gordon, on which occasion Mr. Hammond received an ovation.

Mr. Hammond then resigned charge of the Bristol biplane and his place was filled by Mr. McDonald, who made some very successful flights, but it will be clearly seen that the honour of being the first successful aviator in Australia is due to Mr. Hammond." [3]

1918 Died in Marion, Indianapolis, USA after an aeroplane accident.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Royal Aero Club records
  2. Flight Magazine of 26th November 1910.
  3. Flight magazine of 16th March 1912