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Damascus, Syria

19 November, 1919

Ross Smith flew from Cairo to Damascus on the seventh, 450-mile leg of the epic flight. The Vimy crew was now a quarter of the way to their destination in Darwin, and flew over many of the sites where Ross and his mechanics Wally Shiers and Jim Bennett had served with the Australian Flying Corps’ No. 1 Squadron during WWI. As Ross Smith describes in 14,000 Miles Through The Air, the flight wasn’t all plain sailing. “The torrential rain cut our faces and well-nigh blinded us. We were soaked through and miserably cold. One thing only comforted me, and that was the merry song of the [Rolls Royce Eagle VIII] engines. Whether ‘in breeze or gale or storm,’ they heeded not. On through the rain and wrack they bore us, as in the times of warmth and sunshine, singing their deep-throated song – ‘All goes well!’”

The Suez Canal photographed from the Vimy by Keith Smith. SLSA PRG 18/9/1/11