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The Red Devil

The story of South Australian aviation pioneer, Captain Harry Butler, AFC

Les Parsons, Samantha Battams

The Red Devil
Captain Harry Butler, AFC, was a national hero in the early 1920s. Hailed as a top aviator, his legacy continues to this day, yet he has been largely forgotten.

Harry Butler returned from war with two aircraft and dreams of starting an industry. With his little crimson monoplane, Red Devil, Captain Butler inspired many thousands as he performed aerial shows in support of Peace Loan efforts. He made the first airmail crossing over a significant body of water in the Southern Hemisphere; established, with the famous engineer Harry Kauper, the first passenger flight business in South Australia; took the first aerial photographs; and set up what became the first Commonwealth Government airport in Adelaide.

From Butler's childhood in the tiny farming community of Minlaton, where he was inspired by stories of early flight experimentation, to his role as a senior flight instructor in the Royal Flying Corps in England and his postwar experiences, The Red Devil tells the story of a pivotal figure in early aviation in Australia and, through his pilot training role, throughout the world.

Raised on a property near Minlaton on the Yorke Peninsula, Les Parsons embarked on a lifelong career at sea when he joined the Royal Australian Navy. As a captain of numerous patrol boats, for various government departments, he has worked and currently works throughout the waters of Australia.

Dr Samantha Battams is an associate professor and has been a university lecturer, researcher, community development worker, advocate, health service administrator and management consultant. She has published academic articles and book chapters in the fields of public health and global health, social policy and sociology. Her first book, The Secret Art of Poisoning, was published in 2019. Samantha lives in Adelaide but has visited Minlaton throughout her life.
Format Paperback
Size 234 x 156 mm
ISBN 9781743056721
Extent 268 pages
Price: AU$29.95 including GST
Quantity Out of stock