- C. W. A. Scott
C.W.A. Scott 1932
Born Charles William Anderson Scott
13 February 1903
Westminster, London, England
Died 15 April 1946(aged 43)
Cause of death Suicide Nationality British Education Westminster School Occupation Aviator Spouse
- Kathleen O'Neill (1929–1935)
- Greta Bremner (1936–1940)
Children Rosemary Scott Parents
- Mary Donaldson
- Charles Kennedy Scott
Aviation career Known for
- Pioneer aviator
- England–Australia record solo flights (1931–32)
- Winning the MacRobertson Air Race (1934)
- Winning the Schlesinger Race (1936)
First flight 1922
Air force Royal Air Force Battles Battle of Dakar Rank Flight Lieutenant Awards Signature
He was the son of Mary Donaldson and Charles Kennedy Scott, who was founder of the Oriana Madrigal Society and the founder and conductor of the Philharmonic Choir. Scott was born in London and was educated at Westminster School. He was a keen musician, poet and Yachtsman. After leaving school he served on a sugar plantation in British Guiana for a short time before returning to England and joining the Royal Air Force in 1922 where he learned to fly.
While serving with the RAF, Scott gained a reputation for his aerobatic skill and was RAF heavyweight boxing champion for two consecutive years. He left the RAF in 1926 and emigrated to Australia, where he took up a post as a commercial pilot for the fledgling airline company QANTAS. In 1929, while on leave from QANTAS following a crash in a DH.50j, Scott met his first wife Kathleen. In 1931, he broke the solo record from Brisbane to Melbourne in a DH.60 Gipsy Moth aeroplane to get to the birth of his daughter Rosemary. Scott became world famous when he broke the England–Australia solo flight record in 1931, flying a DH.60 moth. For this achievement, the King awarded him the Air Force Cross in 1931. Competing against fellow pilots such as Bert Hinkler, Charles Kingsford Smith and Jim Mollison, Scott went on to beat the Australia–England solo flight record in 1932 and then re-took the England–Australia the same year. In 1934, he was picked, along with Tom Campbell Black, to fly one of three purpose-built de Havilland DH.88 Comet Racers to compete in the MacRobertson Air Race, which is still considered the world's greatest air race. Scott and Black won the race, breaking the England–Australia flight record of 162 hours down to 52 hours and 33 minutes. They reached the finish line in Melbourne in 71 hours winning the £10.000 prize money and becoming world famous overnight. Following the race, Scott received several medals and awards and was celebrated wherever he went, including invitations from King Edward VIII.
In 1936, Scott took over Sir Alan Cobham's National Air Displays Ltd and, for one season operated C.W.A. Scott Flying Display Ltd. In September that year, he won another air race—flying a Percival Vega Gull, he and Giles Guthrie won the Schlesinger Air Race from Portsmouth to Johannesburg, South Africa, again winning the £10,000 prize money. Before the race, Scott married his second wife, Greta Bremna, but they divorced in 1940. With the onset of World War II Scott served for a time as an ARP ambulance driver then he joined the RNVR as a lieutenant, and took part in the Dakar landing. He also spent a period as an Atlantic ferry pilot and was stationed with De Havilland Canada as a test pilot, testing newly built de Havilland Mosquitos and training pilots to fly them. Following the war, and after divorcing his third wife, Scott took a post at the UNRRA headquarters in Germany. On 15 April 1946, whilst in a state of depression, he fatally wounded himself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound using his military issue revolver.
Early career and RAF service
Scott was educated at Westminster School. In 1920 he left school and took a 5 year contract with a sugar plantation at a British colony in Demerara, British Guiana. Scott did not enjoy his time at the sugar plantation and after 18 months and a bout of malaria his father arranged for his release of the 5 year contract and for his passage back home to London. He joined the RAF as a pilot in 1922 and on 9 December 1922 he was granted a short service commission as a probationary pilot Officer, and joined No. 2 Flying Training School, Duxford for flight training. He made his first "solo flight" in an Avro 504K and on 9 July 1923 his rank as Pilot Officer was confirmed; on 15 November 1923 he got his "wings" and was appointed Pilot Officer to be stationed with No. 32 Squadron RAF Kenley, where he acquired a reputation for his aerobatic skill flying Sopwith Snipes and Gloster Grebes. Partly because he had passed the navigation exam at flying training school with 100 percent, his C.O sent him on a three month navigation coarse at RAF Calshot; Scott enjoyed his few months by the sea and just passed the final examinations with 60 percent, which was the exact percentage required to pass. On 9 July 1924 he was promoted to the rank of Flying Officer, and on 1 November 1924 he was appointed Flying Officer to be stationed at the Armament and Gunnery School Eastchurch; however, the decision to post him there was changed and he remained with 32 Squadron, Kenley. He left the service on 9 December 1926 and was transferred onto the reserve list as a class C Flying Officer until 9 December 1930. During Scott's time with the RAF he recorded 893 hours of flying time.
Cruiser and heavyweight boxing titles
When Scott first joined Flying training school Duxford, he and the other new pilot officers were divided into squads; in each squad one of the officers was made "Squad commander" though the squad commander was equal in rank to the other officers in his squad. In Scott's case the squad commander named Newbigging was a large fellow of some six foot four and had seen a lot of service with the Scots Guards in World War I. Newbigging soon took offence to Scott's precocious attitude, as Scott was undisciplined and fresh from the sugar plantations, where he was well adept at enforcing discipline, but not too keen on taking orders for himself. This clash of personalities lead to Scott and Newbigging having a bout of fisticuffs (as Scott referred to it), of which Scott was the victor. News of this spread around the camp, and subsequently Scott was sent off as one of a team to box in the group championships; after winning the fight in his weight there, he was then picked to box in the RAF championships at RAF Halton. The RAF championships took place near the end of Scott's first term at Duxford and he won the heavy-weight title there, becoming RAF heavyweight champion for 1923.
On returning to his camp he received a personal commendation from his Wing Commander, who then informed Scott that he had been selected to box for the RAF against the Army, Navy, and Marines. In 1923, 1924 and 1925 The Imperial Services Boxing Association (I.S.B.A) Championships took the form of Inter Service Team Championships between the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and Royal Air Force. The championships took place at Aldershot. Scott met his opponent in the dressing-room before the fight a Lieutenant Capper who in Scott's words - "held out two enormous gloves and asked me if I had any objection to his using those, as the standard gloves would not fit his hands. Had he held out a meat axe I would have acquiesced as meekly, for I knew that nothing could prevent him doing with me just what he liked." Scott lost the fight in round two and Capper went on to win the amateur championship of England.
The following year, then posted at Kenley the RAF annual individual boxing championships took place and Scott successfully defended his title becoming RAF heavyweight champion for his second year running in 1924. This meant that instead of returning immediately to his unit Scott went to RNAS Lee-on-Solent with the rest of the RAF team to train for the I.S.B.A Championships, to be held at HMNB Portsmouth, again he failed to beat his opponent but put up a much better fight than he had done the previous year.
In 1924 Scott and other members of No. 32 Squadron performed six nights a week in a night time air display over the Wembley Exhibition flying Sopwith Snipes which were painted black for the display and fitted with white lights on the wings tail and fuselage of the aircraft. The display involved firing blank ammunition into the stadium crowds and dropping pyrotechnics from the aeroplanes to simulate shrapnel from guns on the ground, Explosions on the ground also produced the effect of bombs being dropped into the stadium by the Aeroplanes. On one evening during these displays one of the pilots had to make a forced landing at the nearby allotted forced landing ground, seconds after the pilot evacuated the crashed aeroplane it went up in flames. Unbeknown to Scott his parents were spectators in the crowd that night and after rumours among the crowd and belief by the pilots that one of them had burnt to death that night, Scott's father made several phone calls to the RAF who would not disclose any information, so he drove all the way to their Mess at Northolt to establish that His son was indeed alive and then relay that information back to Scott's Mother who was very distressed. A similar air display was conducted the following year at the Wembley Exhibition called London Defended and they also did a piece much the same at the Aldershot tattoo.
The following month June 1925, No 32 Squadron did an air display demonstrating Flight-converging bombing at the R.A.F Display, Hendon. Scott was selected to do individual aerobatics in a brand-new Snipe which he was allowed to paint red, this pleased Scott greatly as it meant that he was also allowed to practice his aerobatics at a low altitude, rather than above 2000 feet which was R.A.F regulations at that time. In Scott's book he tells of how for his solo display he was allotted exactly seven minutes during the luncheon break, to complete his show but after just two minutes, a flying wire broke in the near edge of the port side, anxious not to cut his allotted seven minutes down too much he began to fly the aircraft upside down in an effort to reduce the strain on the flying wires, he continued flying in an inverted position for some time until he noticed a worrying quiver in the top plane and promptly landed slightly short of his seven minutes. The following week in the weekly edition of Flight magazine their reporter described the incident in these words- Flight 02, 07, 1925- While there was a certain liveliness in the aerodrome during the early part of the day, it was not until about 1.30 pm that the first really exciting item occurred, when a machine—we think it was one of the good old Sopwith "Snipes"—went up and executed a number of really excellent stunts, including one of the longest sustained upside-down flights we have seen. Incidentally, two months later when No 32 Squadron had received their full complement of new Gloster Grebes, Scott delivered the same Snipe to the newly forming No. 17 Squadron Hawkinge. The senior Flying Commander asked him how good the machine was and Scott who thought it to be the finest Sopwith Snipe he had ever handled told him just that. Then two weeks later while flying at considerable altitude the left wing of the Snipe collapsed and the Flight Commander was killed. His death was announced in Flight magazine on 1 October 1925 under the heading- R.A.F. Flying Accidents:The Air Ministry regrets to announce the following flying accidents:- Resulting from an accident near Folkestone to a Sopwith Snipe of No. 17 Squadron Hawkinge on 24 September, Flight-Lieutenant Arthur Wilfred Cuddon-Davis, the pilot and sole occupant of the aircraft, was killed.
Having qualified for his b' commercial licence he emigrated to Australia in 1927 to seek work with fledgling airline companies. He played a pioneering role in the formation and the early expansion of the airline company Qantas which still operates to this day and is the national airline of Australia. As a commercial pilot in Australia he frequently made long air taxi flights, perhaps the best known being a 4,000-mile trip across Central Australia. Scott became a senior pilot for Qantas and during this time he acquired an intimate knowledge of the northern territory. In 1929 Qantas posted him to Brisbane to take over the duties of flying instructor at Eagle Farm Airport, Brisbane Flying Training School. During Scott's time as a pilot for Qantas he recorded 3179 hours of flying time, covering over 83,000 miles
Scott's DH.50J Hermes, fatal crash
On 4 September 1928 Scott crashed the Qantas DH.50J named "Hermes" registered G-AUHI in bad weather six miles north-east of Parafield Aerodrome, South Australia resulting in the death of his engineer George Nutson. Scott had been the pilot for a long tour of Northern Australia earlier that year for Lord Stonehaven and had then piloted an equally extensive tour of north Australia for the British Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir John Salmond who was in Australia as a guest of the Commonwealth Government to advise on aerial defence. Salmond's tour ended in Adelaide and not long after an early morning take-off, on the return journey to Longreach Scott crashed in hilly country and bad weather. Scott broke his jaw and suffered severe burns as the Hermes burst into flames, Despite his injuries and shock, Scott dragged Nutson, his engineer and the only other person onboard, free from the flames but Nutson died from his injuries later in hospital. The aircraft was destroyed by the fire.
In addition to the tragedy of Nutson's death, the crash came as a heavy financial blow and caused major disruptions to Qantas's operations, especially the planned Brisbane service. On 7 September Hudson Fysh asked the directors "to decide on the questions of Scott's future employment". Scott, he wrote, "has given valuable service and he is a brilliant pilot, is possibly the hardest worker we have yet employed and has the physical qualities to stand up to this. However, said Fysh, despite repeated notifications and personal instructions Scott had not attained "the standard of care and safety we demand". His personal behaviour had been the subject of criticism, though he was popular and a good man to work with. "I find on present evidence that the pilot (Scott) committed a serious error of judgement in leaving Parafield Aerodrome in weather which was unsuitable...and when there was no need for hurry." Scott had also, Fysh reported, placed fourteen tins of petrol in the cabin of the aircraft without proper reason.
After the crash Scott, had swiftly offered his resignation. But angered and offended by this judgement passed on him by Fysh, who had not heard Scott's evidence or that of the Official Air Accident Investigation Committee, Scott withdrew his resignation and in a letter to Fergus McMaster on 12 October explained that he had only offered his resignation "as the right thing to do... in the feeling of good fellowship that can exist between employer and employee". He had, he said expected a fair hearing, adding, "I must mention certain letters that I received from the managing director and their effect on my attitude". Scott did not agree with Fysh's views on the facts concerning the take-off. "I am no novice", he wrote indignantly, "to such flying conditions."
On 16 October, Fysh reported to McMaster that in his interview with Scott he had "gained nothing that would tend to make us take a more lenient view of his general behaviour and the Adelaide crash" in fact, wrote Fysh, Scott had made matters worse by saying that the petrol was placed in the cabin to enable him to return via Broken Hill and Thargomindah right across more or less unknown country, and without even informing us", Fysh admitted, "I could certainly use Scott later on...If he can be got on to safe flying he will make an excellent man for us". Fysh suggested to the board that Scott be suspended for two months without pay, take a salary reduction, in future strictly carry out company rules and that Scott must sign an undertaking to go teetotal both on and off duty.
McMaster considered Both Scott's and Fysh's views on the crash, and on 21 October he explained to Scott that he had fully considered all his points, but reiterated "the fact remains that you were a pilot employed in commercial aviation and you did not put safety first. You took a risk that you should not have taken. I quite realize that for a man such as yourself, with unlimited energy, ambition and skill it must come hard to sit down and not act..." McMaster then soundly reprimanded Scott for his off duty conduct, saying "It was common street talk that only a few days previous to you leaving Longreach for Hughenden to pick up Sir John Salmond you had been drinking heavily. Your conduct was anything but desirable both as regards your own interests and the interests of commercial aviation." McMaster acknowledged that "street talk" was not something ordinarily to be listened to but, he said, "the talk was common at the Hotel, the Club and the Golf Links". He concluded: "I sincerely regret losing your services and am only too willing to place your letter before the board".
The board considered Scott's letter, and after formally interviewing him, decided to allow him to continue flying with Qantas. Scott did not make reference to these disciplinary proceedings in his book in 1934, though does write in detail about the crash and the spin from eighteen hundred feet in cloud to the ground. He wrote: "I returned to flying duties at the end of January 1929". Fysh thought him "a brilliant but over-volatile pilot...too brilliant to be stable". As a result of this crash came a set of "Rules for the Observance of Pilots", which Fysh put into operation in November 1928. 
Early England Australia record flights
Scott broke England-Australia flight records three times in 1931 and 1932, having drawn inspiration, he said from Bert Hinkler and Amy Johnson. It was announced in the London Gazette for 30 June 1931 that "The King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Air Force Cross to Mr. Charles William Anderson Scott in recognition of the distinguished services rendered to aviation by his recent flights between England and Australia."
The London to Melbourne Centenary Air Race
In 1934, Scott and Tom Campbell Black were entered in the London to Melbourne Air Race, officially known as the "MacRobertson Air Race", and also dubbed "The world's Greatest Air race". The Great Air Race is still believed to be the most important air race that has ever taken place, because as well as attracting more publicity, worldwide organization and involvement than any other air race before or since, it stood to encourage the extension of an established air route to the British Empire's furthermost territory. This was not only thought to be highly beneficial as an air mail and passenger route, but would also enable troops and supplies to be quickly and efficiently moved to the area should there be any future military threats from South East Asia. Charles Scott and Campbell Black had met one year previously to the start of the race at a cocktail party at the Royal Aero Club in London. They had both agreed to enter the race, but only as a team and only if a suitable sponsor could be found. In early 1934 Scott was called to Stag lane for a meeting with the business manager of the de Havilland Aircraft Company, where he was introduced to Arthur Edwards, an entrepreneur and speculative property developer. Edwards (Managing director of the Grosvenor House Hotel development) and Scott struck a deal within 20 minutes of meeting and it was in a private capacity that Edwards engaged the services of both Scott and Black, following his order directly off the drawing board of a de Havilland Comet. Scott's team was not the only team to have ordered a De Havilland DH.88 Comet to be designed and built specifically with the intention of being suitable to compete in, and win both the handicap and the speed section of the race. Jim Mollison and his wife Amy Mollison (Amy Johnson) ordered a Comet using their own funds and another team also gained sponsorship to purchase and race the third of the de Havilland Machines, which were to be designed, built and tested in time for the race. The Great Air Race would commence from Mildenhall aerodrome at 6.30 am on 20 October 1934.
It was agreed that Scott would be designated handling pilot for the race and occupy the front seat of the tandem cockpit, piloting the take-off and landing at every enforced checkpoint along the route and any other refuelling, or necessary stops for the entirety of the race. The flying of the plane would be on a fifty-fifty basis involving shifts of 4 hours on four hours off. Just six days before the start of the race Scott flew the newly built scarlet Comet, number 34 named Grosvenor House G-ACSS, which had only logged 83 minutes of flight time, from Hatfield Aerodrome where it had been built to RAF Mildenhall and made a nicely judged landing. He later admitted that he had never handled a twin engine aircraft before this one. With one day to go before the start of the race, amidst frantic last-minute preparations a Royal visit was made by HRH The Prince of Wales whom Scott was photographed with explaining the new variable-pitch propeller system fitted to his Comet. Their Royal Highnesses King George V and Queen Mary also visited that afternoon at very short notice, meeting competitors including Scott.
The race commenced on time in front of an unexpected 60,000-strong crowd with the first plane to take off being the Mollisons' Comet named Black Magic and soon after C.W.A. Scott and Tom Campbell Black were in the air heading for Melbourne. Scott and Black touched down at their first control point in Baghdad 12 hours and 2,500 miles later just a few minutes behind the Mollisons and were in the air again half an hour later on course for Allahabad. When they arrived in Allahabad, another 12 hours and 2,300 miles later they had taken the race lead as the Mollisons' Comet was held up with complications to its undercarriage in Karachi. When they touched down in Singapore observers thought they saw smoke coming from an engine but the fire service found no problem; after shutting down the engines Scott ordered two glasses of beer and jinked about with nervous energy, keen to be on his way. The next part of the journey involved island hopping before the crossing of the Timor Sea
Just two days after leaving RAF Mildenhall Scott and Black touched down on Australian soil in Darwin; Scott was found by race officials lying down under the wing of his aeroplane stretching his right leg. He was suffering badly from cramp in his leg because they feared that the port engine was seizing up so had throttled it down, this meant that Scott was forced to compensate for the uneven port/starboard power levels by constantly applying pressure to the Rudder control pedal with his right foot during flight.
The following is an excerpt from Time magazine, 29 October 1934, Volume XXIV, Number 18.
Third Day. Biggest sensation of the race came just before dawn on the third day, when burly Lieutenant Scott and dapper Captain Black flew their scarlet Comet into Darwin. They had covered the last 300 miles over water on one motor, risked death landing on a field made soggy by the first rain in seven months. Said sandy-haired Lieutenant Scott: "We've had a devil of a trip." But they had flown 9000 miles in two days, had broken the England to Australia record of 162 hr. in the unbelievable time of 52hr. 33 min., were only 2000 miles from their goal at Melbourne.
This England to Australia record of 52 hours 33 mins remains unbeaten today (2010) by any other piston-powered aircraft. On 10 November 1935, Charles Kingsford-Smith and his co-pilot died trying to beat this record.
Both the other Comets were also suffering from overheating engines and the Mollisons had been forced to retire from the race only having reached Allahabad. This gave Scott and Black a good chance of winning. Engineers examined the port engine during the turn around and decided that it was OK to fly if throttled down. After having no real sleep since leaving England, they flew off course in an area that Scott knew very well from all his previous experience flying in the Northern territories but eventually Scott and Black touched down at their final control point in Charleville just 800 miles short of their 11,325 mile journey. Scott was reported as looking haggard, worn and unshaven and could only speak in a whisper; he almost collapsed from the severe cramp which again afflicted his leg. Provision had been made to replace two of the pistons on the weary port engine but it was deemed unnecessary if they made the final 6 hour leg operating on low power. They set off from Charleville only having to return due to a faulty oil pressure gauge, the fault was realized and they once again began the final stretch of their journey. Each pilot flew for half an hour at a time while the other smoked or slept, but this then proved impossible, so by mutual consent the periods were cut down to twenty minutes and then to ten. It was still a strain to keep awake, manipulate the controls and maintain course, but with this regular changing they just about managed it.
Finally nearly 71 hours after the start of the race at Mildenhall of which 65 and a half hours had been spent in the air, Scott and Black were the first to fly across the finish line marked by neon lights and white sheets laid out on the ground at Flemington Racecourse. A crowd of between 50,000 and 100,000 jubilant spectators let out deafening cheers as they circled and flew the finishing line once more at high speed and low level in victorious celebration and to be sure of a proper finish. Using all the strength and ability he had remaining Scott landed the victorious Comet at nearby Laverton Aerodrome and they declared themselves winners of the "Speed Section" of the race eligible for the First Place Prize of 10,000 pounds. The race had been organised into two sections, the "race" section and the "handicap" section with some competitors entering either one of the two sections and some competitors entering both, Scott and Black had entered both and they had also won the "Handicap Section" but the race rules didn't allow them to Claim the prize money for both the "race" and "handicap" sections of the race. Scott and Black were then put through yet another flight as they were ferried in two De Havilland DH.60 Moths back to Flemington Racecourse for an official public reception, where they were greeted by Sir Macpherson Robertson the organizer of the race. Captured on film by Movietone, C.W.A. Scott who was never short of a word, humoured the on-looking public with this speech:
Scott's speech in Melbourne
“ A very short time ago I was sitting in the cockpit of an aeroplane flying towards an almost mythical place called Melbourne. It had seemed to us as we started about 5 centuries ago, and that Melbourne as soon as we caught up one mile, receded two! So that made our journey very much longer than we had previously supposed. Particularly though it seems remarkable that only two hours ago one was in such a mental state, and now one is in a very different mental state, terribly embarrassed by your enthusiasm and yet very gracious to you all indeed for being so kind and welcoming us here this afternoon.
Actually I wouldn't know I was here only somebody gave me a paper, and I see that it has my name on it, and of course as we all know, the press never lies! So, I don't think that I better say any more because I’ve talking too much to Campbell Black the last three days and I've got quite husky, I've been roaring at him ! He hasn't been roaring quite so much so I'm going to get him to talk.
”— Scott's speech Movietone
Black insisted that he had never made a speech in his life that that if he were going to say anything that it would only be "Thank you". Celebrations followed and when all the qualifying back markers had arrived in Melbourne they were all paraded through the streets in open top cars C.W.A. Scott and Tom Campbell Black at the front of the procession with other competitors like the popular young Australian Jimmy Melrose following behind.
Back in England Scott and Black were awarded the gold medal of the Royal Aero Club The gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded annually for outstanding achievement in aviation during the preceding year or over a number of years, principally, but not necessarily, as a pilot. They were also awarded The Britannia Trophy by the Royal Aero Club, England, presented "For the British Aviator or Aviators accomplishing the most meritorious performance in aviation during the previous year." Scott also received the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) Gold Air Medal for 1934 and the Harmon Trophy, the International Award for Best Aviator of 1934.
In February 1935 Scott was installed as a member of G.A.P.A.N Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators of the British Empire. The Guild was and still is responsible for advising the government on air safety and aeronautics.
De Havilland Mosquito
Scott and Blacks skilful and accomplished flying of the DH.88 Comet in The Great Air Race went a long way to prove the De Havilland Aircraft Company's ability to produce a world class military light weight wooden aeroplane. The wooden construction and stressed skin covering not only saved weight and compensated for the low power engines, but simplified production and enabled a fast construction rate. The potential of the construction design could be seen in the design of the DH.88, which heavily influenced the design of the Mosquito.
The Comet was to become the model for the de Havilland Mosquito of which over 7000 were produced. They were to become the most versatile British RAF aeroplane of World War II, lightweight and fast like the Comet, many Mosquitoes were produced as unarmed bombers, as their speed was their defence.
In 1943 during World War II Scott was attached to the "de Havilland of Canada" Test Flight staff where he test flew new Mosquitos, he also trained pilots to fly the Mosquito and served during World War II as an Atlantic ferry pilot at a time when over 1000 newly built Mosquitoes were ferried to Britain from de Havilland Canada.
C.W.A. Scott's Flying Display
In December 1935 Scott bought most of Sir Alan Cobhams company National Aviation Displays Ltd and formed C.W.A. Scott's Flying Display Ltd. An article in The Argus (Melbourne) 19 December 1935, read " A Company entitled "C.W.A. Scott's Flying Display Ltd" has acquired from Sir Alan Cobham the aircraft and other assets of National Aviation Displays Ltd. Mr Scott is chairman and the directors include Mr Campbell Black and Miss Jean Batten. The company aims at making flying popular and in affording novices opportunities of learning to fly under dual control."
An article in Flight magazine April I6, 1936 described the up and coming season as follows; "The season's programme of Mr. C.W.A. Scott's "Flying for All" Display embraces over 150 centres in the United Kingdom and Irish Free State, and aims particularly at familiarising people with some of the cheap, easy-to-fly light aeroplanes available to-day. The ever popular chestnuts popularised at previous displays have been preserved to cater for the purely spectacular tastes of the crowd." The administrators were, Capt. P. Phillips, D.F.C. (Managing Director), Capt. J. R. King (Chief Pilot), Mr. C. W. A. Scott (Chairman) and Mr. D. L. Eskell (General Manager). The outfit consisted of 10-15 staff operating 10-15 aircraft and ran for the 1936 season but due to exceptionally bad weather throughout the season trading was not good. Scott agreed, in conjunction with his codirectors, that C. W. A, Scott's Flying Display, Ltd., should go into voluntary liquidation in November 1936.
The Schlesinger Race 1936
Scott's co-pilot in the MacRobertson Race, Tom Campbell Black died in an accident while taxiing in a Percival Mew Gull G-AEKL preparing for the race. Three Vega Gulls were built for the race, two were entered into the Schlesinger Race from England to Johannesburg, South Africa. The winners of the "Schlesinger Race" were C W.A. Scott and Giles Guthrie flying Vega Gull G-AEKE landing at Rand Airport on 1 October 1936. The aircraft had left Portsmouth 52 hours 56 minutes 48 seconds earlier. Out of the original 14 entries to the race Scott and Guthrie were the only ones to finish, winning the 10,000 pounds prize money. In 1937 Giles Guthrie went on to win the King's Cup Race in the repaired Mew Gull G-AEKL in which Black had suffered his fatal accident.
Charles Scott was married three times, divorced twice, and had one daughter. Scott met his first wife Miss Kathleen O'Neill (daughter of Mr and Mrs J. M. O'Neill, Melbourne) in 1929 whilst on leave from QANTAS after his DH 50 crash. He took a boat trip from Brisbane to Hong Kong via Thursday Island and Manilla down along the South China Sea to Singapore, and back via Java and Celebes. Scott and O'Neill met on this boat trip and fell in love, they were married at Scots' Church, Melbourne, Collins St in April 1929. On 13 February 1930 (his 27th birthday) Scott made a record flight from Brisbane to Melbourne, Scott left Brisbane at 4.10 am in a Gipsy Moth aeroplane and after only 13 hours and 20 minutes of actual flying time landed at Essendon aerodrome at 6.40 that evening, the motivation behind this record breaking flight was the birth of his daughter Rosemary. It was reported that Scott would take his young daughter's toy golliwog on all of his record breaking flights as his lucky mascot. In 1935 it was announced in the Queenslander newspaper that Mrs Scott was seeking a divorce the article read as follows " Mrs. C. W. A. Scott Seeking Divorce LONDON, Wednesday. It is understood that Mrs. C. W. A. Scott is seeking a divorce from her husband, the winner of the Centenary Air Race. The case probably will be heard late in December. It appears on the undefended list. Mrs. Scott is an Australian, and there is one daughter—Rosemary." In December 1935 Mrs K Scott was granted the divorse and it was announced in the Canberra Times in these words " AIRMAN'S DIVORCE LONDON, Thursday. Mrs C W A Scott, wife of the winner of the England to Australia Centenary Air Race was today granted a decree nisi on the grounds of her husband's misconduct with a girl from Australia. The suit was undefended. Evidence showed that Scott, in 1933 confessed that he loved a girl, and later he went away. His wife was granted custody of the child, which. was born in Australia." On 17 September 1936 just twelve days before entering the Schlesinger race Scott married Greta Bremner at Caxton Hall register office,Greta was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. J. L. Bremner of Melbourne, Australia and sister of the well known actress Miss Marie Bremner. It was also reported that His Former wife Kathleen re-married on the same day to Mr. Norman Bower advertising manager of the Philco Radio Corporation. Earlier that year Charles Scott appeared in several newspaper articles as he was best man to his younger brother at his wedding to Miss Margaret Doreen Hollins, elder daughter of Dr. and Mrs. T. J. Hollins. In March 1936 both couples appeared in newspapers being photographed aboard Scott's yacht Chamelion enjoying cruises off Burnham on Crouch where the boat was kept. It was announced in The Advertiser (Adelaide) 10 October 1940 that Mrs Greta Scott had been granted a divorce from Charles on 8 October 1940 in the following article; Mrs. C. W. A. Scott Granted Divorce LONDON. 8 October. Mrs. Greta Scott, of Melbourne, today was granted a decree on the grounds of misconduct against Mr. C. W. A. Scott, the airman. The suit was not defended. Mrs. Scott, who was the aviator's second wife, alleged that her husbands drinking habits became obnoxious after 1938. When the war started she took up nursing, and Scott became friendly with another woman.
Races and record flights
Year Flight Start date End date Flight duration Distance Aircraft type-reg-name co-pilot Achievement Prize 1931 Lympne, England-Port Darwin, Australia 1 April 10 April 9 day 4 hrs 11 mins 10,500 miles DH.60 Moth (Gipsy II)-G-ABHY "Kathleen" written in Chinese characters Solo England-Australia Solo Record - 1931 Wyndham, Australia-Lympne, England 26 May 5 June 10 days 23 hours 10,660 miles DH.60 Moth (Gipsy II) VH-UQA. "Kathleen" written in Chinese characters Solo Australia-England Solo Record - 1932 Lympne, England-Port Darwin, Australia 19 April 28 April 8 days 20 hrs 47 mins 10,000 miles DH.60 Moth (Gipsy II) VH-UQA. "Kathleen" written in Chinese characters Solo England-Australia Solo Record - 1934 Mildenhall, England-Melbourn, Australia 20 October 23 October 2 days 23 hours 11,325 miles DH.88 Comet G-ACSS. "Grosvenor House" Campbell Black 1st place MacRobertson Air race-England-Australia Record £10,000 1936 Portsmouth, England-Johannesburg, South Africa 29 September 1 October 52 hrs 56 mins 6,154 miles Percival Vega Gull G-AEKE Giles Guthrie 1st place Schlesinger Race £10,000
Aircraft registered to C.W.A. Scott and/or C.W.A. Scott's Flying Display Ltd
- G-AUJN DH.60G Gipsy I 21.5.29 by CWA Scott. Australia. Reregistered VH-UJN Impressed RAAF 19.8.40. A7-116
- G-ABHY DH.60M Moth CWA Scott. Sold in Australia. Reregistered VH-UQH.
- VH-UQA DH.60M [Gipsy II] 16.5.31 CWA Scott. Reregistered in UK G-ACOA
- G-ABSI Airspeed AS.4 Ferry CWA Scott's Flying DIsplay Ltd. Impressed RAF 18.4.40 Reregistered AV968.
- G-ACCF DH.83 Fox Moth CWA Scott. Impressed RAF 31.8.41
- G-ACFB Airspeed AS.4 Ferry CWA Scott's Flying Display Ltd. Impressed RAF 18.2.41 Reregistered DJ715.
- G-ACLU Avro 640 Cadet CWA Scott's Flying Display Ltd. Sold abroad.
- G-ACOZ Avro 640 Cadet CWA Scott's Flying Display Ltd. Scrapped 1941.
- G-ACPB Avro 640 Cadet CWA Scott's Flying Display Ltd.
- G-ACUT Cierva C.30A (Avro 671) CWA Scott's Flying Display Ltd.
- G-ADWG DH.82A Tiger Moth CWA Scott's Flying Display Ltd. Sold India. Reregistered VT-AMA.
- G-AEEO B.A.C. Drone CWA Scott's Flying Display Ltd. Reported written off 23.9.39.
- G-AEFK Mignet HM.14 Pou-Du-Ciel (Flying Flea) CWA Scott's Flying Display Ltd.
On April 15, 1946 whilst posted at the UNRRA headquarters in Germany, Scott committed suicide by fatally shooting himself with his army issue revolver. Scott was buried in Mengeringhausen a few miles from where he had died.
Below is an excerpt from "The Great Air Race" by Arthur Swinson, first published 1968. It should be noted that this representation of Scott's frame of mind prior to his suicide is only the opinion of the author and cannot be taken as fact.
“ The death of Scott was not only hideous but squalid. During the years following his great victory he bathed in the constant light of praise, flattery and adulation. His memoirs were serialized in one London newspaper and he joined the staff of another. Night after night he was invited to dinners and celebrations; everyone wanted to meet him and fawn on him. In 1936, when he won the Rand Race with Guthrie in a Percival Vega Gull, flying from Portsmouth to Johannesburg in fifty-two hours and fifty-six minutes, the fever broke out afresh. King Edward VIII congratulated him and a few days later the Lord Mayor of London received him at the Mansion House. He could do no wrong. Journalists composed long eulogies, pointing out that he was not only a superb airman but a fine boxer who had held both the heavyweight and cruiserweight titles of the RAF. Also he was an excellent yachtsman, a member of the West Mersea club. Such sustained and feverish adulation would have been hard for anyone to take; and though Scott remained unaffected in the company of air-men, it was noticed that he had begun drinking rather heavily. Then, with the Munich crisis, the adulation stopped, and there were no more articles, no more contracts to be picked up from the Press.
During the war, Scott served for a time as an ARP ambulance driver; then he joined the RNVR as a lieutenant, and took part in the Dakar landing. He also spent a period as an Atlantic ferry pilot. But he found obscurity hard to accept; he realized that his world had gone for ever. In 1945 the race to Melbourne was as remote in most people's minds as Waterloo or the sinking of the Armada, six years of war having erected a great barrier of experience and feeling and loss. However he tried, Scott could not succeed in making a place for himself, could not find a job where his great experience and flair had any place. He was divorced, married a second wife, and was divorced again, and any stable relationship now seemed beyond him. Only alcohol brought any relief, and that was temporary. In 1946 he obtained a post with UNRRA, the United Nations agency, and went out to the headquarters in Germany. And it was here on 15 April that he shot himself. He was forty-two years old.
”— Arthur Swinson "The Great Air Race"
The following rather more touching news paper article was published in the News Chronicle the week following his death. It was written by his friend and former college from the News Chronicle, Ronald Walker.
“ FLYING was his life.
IMPULSIVE, impatient, intolerant of things and people he disagreed with, Charles Scott (whose death was announced on Saturday) will ever be remembered as a leading figure in the now sadly depleted gallery of flying men and women who made the helter-skelter aviation history of the twenties and thirties.
He was a great airman.
It will be realised now, perhaps that Charles Scott belonged to that select band of post 1914-18 war airmen for whom flying was the first and most important thing in life. Looking back it may seem strange that such distinguished careers were bound up in such funny little aeroplanes which flew at 100 m.p.h. and less.
By comparison with resent air progress they seem to belong to another world; yet they were machines in which the Scotts, Llewellyns and Amy Johnson, the Mollisons, Roses and Jean Battens used to fly about the world smashing records.
For Charles Scott, flying was life. It proved all the stimulus he wanted : the excitement and the adventure when flying ended, with the passing of the gay pre-war years and changed circumstances, something had gone which could not be replaced.
Nearly 12 long years ago Scott and Tom Campbell Black took off from Mildenhall in a de Havilland Comet, and reached Melbourne 2 days and 23 hours later. It was the biggest air race ever held. From the collection of pilots attracted by the £10,000 prize, many of them internationally famous, the News Chronicle backed Scott and Black to win.
It was Scott's greatest flight. He sent his story to the News Chronicle as he flew, and by telephone from Melbourne. The record still stands.
In the Dawn of that morning at Mildenhall he was strung taut after the excitement of the weeks preparations. He came back to England, laughing and triumphant. They were the golden years.
That is how I shall remember him : intent, living only for the flight he was planning ; and when it was all over, playing hard with all the zest of a schoolboy.
Ronald Walker, News Chronicle, April 1946.
- IMDB. The 1990 film, The Great Air Race, directed by Marcus Cole.
- How to fly a Tiger Moth 1934 with C.W.A. Scott. Youtube video
- Movietone Newsreels, 1934 The Great Air Race Youtube video.
- British Pathe footage 1934 ENGLAND TO AUSTRALIA AIR RACE
- British Pathe footage 1934 FATIGUED BUT TRIUMPHANT
- British Pathe footage 1934 GREAT SCOTT
- British Pathe footage 1934 WIZARDS OF THE AIR reel 1
- British Pathe footage 1934 WIZARDS OF THE AIR reel 2
- British Pathe footage 1934 WIZARDS OF THE AIR reel 3
- British Pathe footage 1934 WIZARDS OF THE AIR reel 4
- British Pathe footage 1934 RECORD HOLDERS HOME
- British Pathe footage 1934 TOM CAMPBELL BLACK ARRIVES BY TRAIN
- British Pathe footage 1934 SCOTT AND BLACK'S PLANE IN GLASGOW
- British Pathe footage 1936 PORTSMOUTH - JOHANNESBURG AIR RACE
- British Pathe footage 1936 PORTSMOUTH - JOHANNESBURG AIR RACE WELCOMED HOME
- Wooden construction of the de Havilland Mosquito in Australia
- Arthur Swinson The Great Air Race. Cassell & Company Ltd, first printed, 1968. SBN 304-93151-9.
- Bowman, Martin. de Havilland Mosquito (Crowood Aviation series). Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK: The Crowwood Press, 2005. ISBN 1-86126-736-3.
- McCullough, Bruce. Tom Campbell Black: Pioneer Aviator. Auckland. Tom Campbell Black
- Stuart McKay MBE. Mildenhall to Melbourne, The World's Greatest Air Race.The Tiger House Press 2009 ISBN 978-0-9563981-0-9.
- C.W.A. Scott. Scott's Book,the life and Mildenhall-Melbourne flight of C.W.A. Scott, London : Hodder & Stoughton, 1934., Bib ID 2361252
- Gunn, John The defeat of distance Qantas 1919-1939, 1985, ISBN 0-7022-1707-7.
- Holliday, Joe. Mosquito! The Wooden Wonder Aircraft of World War II. Toronto: Doubleday, 1970. ISBN 0-77010-138-0.
- Hotson, Fred. The De Havilland Canada Story. Toronto: CANAV Books, 1983. ISBN 0-9690703-2-2.
- Howe, Stuart. Mosquito Portfolio. London: Ian Allan Ltd., 1984. ISBN 0-7110-1406-X.
- C.W.A. Scott website by Bruce McCullough
- Scott's DH 50, Hermes Crash 1928 Qantas
- The MacRobertson Air Race, 1934
- To Australia
- Tom Campbell Black
- The FAI Gold Air Medal Records
- 75th anniversary Campbell Black
- British Pathe Newsreels REVIEW OF 1934
- The Straits Times, Singapore, Scotts article pre-race, 1 October 1934
- The Argus Australian newspaper, Record Broken, Enland to Australia, 11 April 1931
- The Canberra times,Australian newspaper, Scott leaves Mascot aerodrome heading for England 21 May 1931
- The Argus Australian newspaper, Scotts Great Win In Air Race. 24 October 1934
- The Canberra Times, Australian newspaper, Knighthood for Scott? 25 October 1934
- Flight magazine 1922 Royal air force probation pilot officer
- Flight magazine 1923 Royal air force rank confirmed pilot officer
- Flight magazine 1923 Royal air force post pilot officer
- Flight magazine 1924 Royal Air Force Intelligence posts
- Flight magazine 1924 Royal air force post remain at 32 Sqrn
- The Argus 1931 April , 6. Record flights and Scott's Australian Career
- The Argus 1931 April, 14. Flying Officer Scott at Longreach, also record Brisbane Melbourne Flight in Aprill 1929 when daughter was born
- The Queenslander 1931 April 23. SCOTT'S FLIGHT. Ambition Fulfilled, full interview.
- Flight magazine 1931 Scott breaks Eng-Aus record PDF
- Flight magazine 1931 Scott Eng-Aus 9 and a half days
- Flight magazine 1931 Scott flies home Aus-Eng record
- Flight magazine 1931 Scott awarded Air Force Cross
- London Gazette 1931, 30 June, Scott awarded Air Force Cross
- The Sydney Morning Herald 1931 Tuesday 21 April Scott's speech at Millions club and flying hours
- Flight magazine 1932 Scott breaks Eng-Aus record
- Flight magazine 1933 kingsford smith takes scotts record pdf
- Flight magazine 1933 Record solo flights from England to Australia 1928 to 1933
- Flight magazine 1934 Victory to C.W.A. Scott
- Flight magazine 1934 Makers of history
- The Queenslander 1934 Nov, 1. Scott's Own Story of World's Greatest Flight
- The Queenslander 1934 October, 25. Why Scott and Black were a Formidable Combination
- The Argus Dec 1935 C.W.A. Scott forms flying display
- The Queenslander 1935 November, 7. Mrs C.W.A. Scott seeks divorce.
- The Canberra Times 1935 Mrs Scott granted Divorse
- Flight magazine 1936 C.W.A. Scott's Flying Display Ltd
- Flight magazine 1936 Scott wins Johannesburg Race
- Flight magazine 1942 the de Havilland Mosquito
- Flight magazine 1943 Scott testing Mosqiutos
- The Canberra Times 1946 C.W.A. SCOTT SUICIDES IN BERLIN
- Flight magazine 1946 The late C.W.A. Scott, his death at UNNRA headquarters anounced last week.
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- ^ "Viewing Page 8004 of Issue 33227". The London Gazette. 7 December 1926. http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/33227/pages/8004. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
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- ^ Scott's book pages 20-21
- ^ Scott's book page 23
- ^ "Combined Services Senior Boxing Championships". UK: Ministry of Defense. 19 May 2010. http://www2.armynet.mod.uk/sports/army_boxing_associat/combined_services/cs_senior_boxing/index.htm. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- ^ a b Scott's book page 24
- ^ Scott's book page 33-34
- ^ "air vice-marshal | air commodore | vice-marshal sir | 1925 | 0406 | Flight Archive". Flightglobal.com. 2 July 1925. http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1925/1925%20-%200406.html. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- ^ Scott's Book chapter 3 Aerobatics, page 41-48
- ^ Scott's book page's 54-55
- ^ "iraq | flying officer | air mail | 1925 | 0645 | Flight Archive". Flightglobal.com. http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1925/1925%20-%200645.html. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- ^ Stuart McKay MBE. page 50 2009
- ^ "Flight magazine 1934 Makers of history". Flightglobal.com. 25 October 1934. http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1934/1934%20-%201107.html. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
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- ^ Scott's book page 138
- ^ Scott's book page 131
- ^ Gunn, John The defeat of distance Qantas 1919-1939 page 104
- ^ Gunn, John The defeat of distance Qantas 1919-1939, page 104- 106
- ^ "Flight magazine". Flightglobal.com. 12 June 1931. http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1931/1931%20-%200560.html. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
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- ^ Stuart McKay MBE. Mildenhall to Melbourne, The Worlds Greatest Air Race page 50 2009
- ^ "Viewing Page 4250 of Issue 33731". The London Gazette. 30 June 1931. http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/33731/pages/4250. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
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- ^ Stuart McKay MBE. Mildenhall to Melbourne, The Worlds Greatest Air Race page 51 2009
- ^ Stuart McKay MBE. Mildenhall to Melbourne, The Worlds Greatest Air Race page 63 2009
- ^ Scott's book page 261
- ^ Stuart McKay MBE. Mildenhall to Melbourne, The Worlds Greatest Air Race page 81 2009
- ^ Stuart McKay MBE. Mildenhall to Melbourne,2009 page 126
- ^ Stuart McKay MBE. Mildenhall to Melbourne page 126
- ^ Stuart McKay MBE. Mildenhall to Melbourne, The Worlds Greatest Air Race page 130 2009
- ^ Stuart McKay MBE. Mildenhall to Melbourne, The Worlds Greatest Air Race page 132 2009
- ^ a b c http://www.tomcampbellblack.150m.com Tom Campbell Black
- ^ Stuart McKay MBE. Mildenhall to Melbourne,2009 page 136
- ^ The Argus Australian newspaper, Scotts Great Win In Air Race. 24 October 1934
- ^ a b http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlVlRlCoBJ0 The Great Air Race Video.
- ^ "The FAI Gold Air Medal | Fédération Aéronautique Internationale". FAI. http://www.fai.org/awards/award.asp?id=6. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- ^ Harmon Air Prize is Won by Scott; Briton Gets the International Award for Best Aviator -- Capt. Lehmann Honored, New York Times 11 March 1935
- ^ "warwick | 1935 | 0404 | Flight Archive". Flightglobal.com. http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1935/1935%20-%200404.html. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- ^ a b c http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7cVvYdLeek Wooden construction of the de Havilland Mosquito in Australia
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- ^ a b Arthur Swinson 1968, p. 189.
- ^ Bowman 2005, p. 163.
- ^ "scott | 1936 | 0150 | Flight Archive". Flightglobal.com. 16 January 1936. http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1936/1936%20-%200150.html. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- ^ "Newspaper Article". Trove.nla.gov.au. 19 December 1935. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/11866282. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- ^ NOVEMBER 5, I936- FLIGHT magazine. 469
- ^ Scott's book page 132
- ^ "Newspaper Article". Trove.nla.gov.au. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/4398510?searchTerm=flying+officer+scott. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
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- ^ "Newspaper Article". Trove.nla.gov.au. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/23340491?searchTerm=c.w.a.+scott. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- ^ The Queenslander 1935 November, 7. Mrs C.W.A. Scott seeks divorce
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- ^ "Newspaper Article". Trove.nla.gov.au. 19 September 1936. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/30112076?searchTerm=Scott+greta+bremner. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- ^ "Newspaper Article". Trove.nla.gov.au. 17 September 1936. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/17279030?searchTerm=Scott+greta+bremner. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- ^ "Newspaper Article". Trove.nla.gov.au. 18 September 1936. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/17279616?searchTerm=Scott+greta+bremner. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- ^ "Newspaper Article". Trove.nla.gov.au. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/30590330?searchTerm=C.+W.+A.+Scott+greta+divorce. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- ^ http://www.goldenyears.ukf.net/Historic%20G-A.txt
- ^ a b http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/dh60.pdf
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