WATM | October 2015
By Russell McKinnon.
“Smithy” — later Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith — temporarily abandoned flying and, with his pilot mate Keith Anderson, set up a woolcarting business in Carnarvon with a 30-hundredweight International truck. But the lure of the skies proved too much and within three years, they returned to flying, which would ultimately kill them both. A third WA pilot, Len Taplin, also a wartime flying ace like Kingsford-Smith, crashed in Port Hedland Harbour and escaped serious injury. He, too, started a trucking business and eventually became a leading figure in the Port Hedland community.
Charles Henry’s Bluebird bus company expanded to take in a 23-seat vehicle built on a Reo commercial chassis. It had folding windows with transparent celluloid panels. However, it still had solid tyres, which caused suffering passengers to nickname the charabanc “jar’n’bang”. For the first time it had a rival in Shark Bay pearler Fred Adams…
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This article is from the October 2015 issue of the WA Transport Magazine. The WA Transport Magazine is available directly from the publisher – Angry Chicken Publishing.