CLYDE FENTON
SCHOOL
 
 

 

Dr Clyde Fenton

This school was named to honour a man who was appointed as Medical Officer at Katherine in 1934.

He was a pioneer of aerial medical work in the Northern Territory. Dr. Fenton learnt to fly in the R.A.F. in England and following a refresher course at Essendon, purchased a second-hand De Havilland Gypsy Moth for five hundred pounds and proceeded to the Territory.

For the next six years he provided medical services over an area of approximately 8,000,000 square kilometres in the course of which he flew over 3,000 hours.

The school is sited on the southern end of the grass strip which ran parallel to the river. Only a windsock and a standard, similar to that which stands in our grounds, aided his landing and take off.

He improvised flares for night landing in half petrol drums fitted with handles and filled with cotton waste soaked in crude oil. The flares would burn for up to two hours and could be seen up to thirty kms away. A rotation beacon was installed in 1937 and a base wireless was installed two years later.

Dr Fenton was awarded the coronation Medal in 1937. He left Katherine after the outbreak of World War Two to enlist in the R.A.F.

Dr. Clyde Fenton died in Melbourne in February 1982.

 

 

Top of Page