Inducted in 2023
Raymond Parer AFC
1894 - 1967
Raymond (Ray) Parer was born in Melbourne in 1894 and was involved in aviation at an early age, serving as a motor engineering apprentice in Melbourne.
Ray enlisted in the Australian Flying Corps in 1916, initially as a mechanic, but then trained as a pilot, with the rank of acting sergeant. He trained on box kites at Point Cook and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1917.
He undertook further flying training in England and was promoted to Lieutenant in early 1918. He served as a test and ferry pilot with the Royal Air Force (RAF) twice recommended for the Air Force Cross (AFC).
After the end of First World War, the Australian government offered a prize of £10,000 for the first flight from England to Australia.
Ray paired with John McIntosh, and although leaving well after the event had already been won, they arrived in Darwin on 2 August 1920.
Their aircraft was an Airco DH-9 , G-EAQM (known as ‘PD’) and theirs was the only other entrant to successfully complete the race.
It was the first single-engine aircraft to fly from England to Australia.
He and McIntosh were awarded the Air Force Cross (AFC) for this feat in 1920, as well as £500 each.
He founded a commercial aviation service in Melbourne in 1920, and also competed in a number of aviation events and competitions.
He attempted to be the first pilot to circumnavigate Australia in October 1921 but ended with an accident on take-off at Boulder, Western Australia in February 1922.
Ray later became a pioneer of aviation in New Guinea, one of the most hostile environments to operate an aircraft. In 1942 as the Japanese threatened New Guinea, Ray served as an RAAF Reserve Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force.
Ray passed away in 1967, having spent the last years of his life as a farmer in Mount Nebo, Queensland.