John Ronald Shafto Adair

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John Adair
Lieutenant John Ronald Shafto Adair.jpg
Born John Ronald Shafto Adair
22 May 1893
Maryborough, Queensland, Australia
Died 27 June 1960 (aged 67)
Ascot, Queensland
Cause of death Coronary occlusion
Nationality Australian
Other names Ron Adair
Citizenship Australian
Education Maryborough Grammar School
Occupation Aviator
army officer
Spouse(s) Rose Ethel Ellis (m. 10 February 1919-d. unspecified date)
Bertha Ella (m. 16 January 1937-w. 27 June 1960)
Children 2

John Ronald Shafto "Ron" Adair[1] OBE (22 May 1893 – 27 June 1960) was an Australian aviator, army officer and businessman.[2] In recognition for his service to aviation, Adair was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1955.[3]

Early life[edit]

John Ronald Shafto Adair was born 22 May 1893 at Maryborough, Queensland, to a Victorian-born couple, John Hamilton Adair, a surveyor and Constance Ada (née Smith), a homemaker.[4] He was educated at Maryborough Grammar School.[5]


Ron Adair (right) with Edgar Johnston, circa 1926

After completing an engineering apprenticeship, Adair volunteered for World War I and joined the Australian Military Forces, attaining the rank of sergeant.[6] On 21 February 1916, Adair enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and served as a machinist in No. 1 Squadron Australian Flying Corps.[1][7] Reaching Egypt in April 1916, he was reclassified as an air mechanic seven months later, in November 1916. After the completion of his pilot training in February 1918, Adair rejoined his original squadron members and was subsequently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant[5] a month later. On 29 September of the same year, his AIF contract terminated.

Adair displayed exceptional airmanship during his career as a commercial pilot; in 1928, he safely landed an Avro Avian aeroplane even after its engine had fallen out.[8] On 28 March 1928, he founded his first commercial airline, Aircrafts [sic] Proprietary Limited.[8] Adair also founded Queensland Airlines (later part of Ansett-ANA), a freight and passenger airline.[9]

Personal life[edit]

On 10 February 1919, while still in the military, Adair married Rose Ethle Ellis at the British Consulate in Cairo. They had one son (Isodore Ronald Adair). Ellis filed for divorced some time later.[10] On 16 January 1937, he married a divorcee Bertha Ella, (née Savery, late Kither), at Saint Andrew's Presbyterian Church.


On 27 June 1960, Adair died of a coronary occlusion-caused heart attack at Ascot, Queensland.[11] He was cremated with Anglican rites.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Edgar Johnston & Ron Adair – c.1926". Airways Museum. Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Adair Family Crest and History". Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  3. ^ It's an Honour
  4. ^ Hector Holthouse (1978). Illustrated History of Queensland. Rigby. 
  5. ^ a b "Maryborough Central Boys' School Role of Honour 1914–1918". The Maryborough Central State School. Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  6. ^ H. Fysh (1968). Qantas at War. Sydney. 
  7. ^ F. M. Cutlack (1923). The Australian Flying Corps. Sydney. 
  8. ^ a b Douglas Pike; John Ritchie (1993). Australian dictionary of biography. 13. Melbourne University Press. p. 7. ISBN 9780522845129. 
  9. ^ "Achievers". Our Fraser Coast. Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  10. ^ "PIlot ordered to pay £70 (Digitised version)". The Courier-Mail. 18 June 1938. p. 10. Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "none". The Courier-Mail. 28 June 1960. 
  12. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography. 9. Melbourne University Press. 1983. 

External links[edit]