7 September - 1920 - Captain Snell Goes Stunting

On this day a century ago, Captain Percy William Snell thrilled Brisbane by performing aviation stunts in a biplane right over the centre of the city. After seeing an ad for his 1920 joy flights, I went down the rabbit hole and discovered a man who rose from childhood tragedy to be a Great War fighter ace — but who may also have committed wartime atrocities. After he came back home, Percy Snell introduced thousands of his fellow citizens to aviation, entertained a future King of England and was pilot to a socialist state premier on an aerial election campaign tour that ended in what may have been the first political assassination attempt against an Australian politician in our history.


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