|Vickers FB27 A Vimy IV
(ex-F8630), with the civil registration G-EAOU
(known by the crew as God 'elp All Of Us)was
flown by Ross and Keith Smith along with J.M.
Bennett and W.H.Shiers to victory in the 1919
England to Australia Air Race.
This was the first aircraft
ever to fly from England to Australia and a prize
of 10,000 pounds was paid to the crew who divided
the winnings equally.
After arriving in
Australia in 1919, the crew flew Vickers Vimy IV
G-EAOU to Point Cook, Victoria.
On 19 March 1920 it
was formally handed over from Vickers to Billy
Hughes, Prime Minister of Australia, on behalf of
the Commonwealth. The handover caused something
of a stir as the Prime Minister in typical style
turned out to be the only member of the
Government who was aware of the arrangement.
The Prime Minister
immediately gave the crew permission to fly the
aircraft to their home town of Adelaide, and they
duly departed on 23 March, arriving at 1.55 pm to
great excitement and a cheering crowd of 20,000.
In 1921 the
aircraft was entered on the RAAF Register as A5-1
and was the only Vimy to officially serve with
the RAAF. The RAAF it seems dd not find a use for
the unexpected Vimy and the aircraft was not
used. The A5 serial range was reused for the
Westland Wapiti when it came into service in
In the years that
followed it was successively, stored, transferred
to the War Museum, returned to the RAAF,
dismantled, re-assembled, partially burnt, and
With the opening of
the new Adelaide/West Beach Airport in 1954, the
opportunity arose to create a fitting permanent
home for G-EAOU. Although the aircraft was
partially burnt during transfer, and had to be
rebuilt, in 1958 it was installed in a
purpose-built, fully enclosed shelter located
adjacent to the airport Passenger Terminal.