Sidney Cotton was a superb pilot, a talented inventor, a businessman who was decidely shady - and a spy.
Born in Queensland, Sidney Cotton served as a pilot in World War I and over the next twenty years did everything from delivering mail in Newfoundland to entering the world of aerial reconnaissandce on behalf of M16, making numerous spy flights over Germany and Italy.
For a time he had the direct support of Churchill but fell out with the authorities because of his unorthodox style (which included accepting money to fly people out of Paris as it fell).
He ran guns in India after partition and led the high life - but in the end was left bankrupt after oil exploration in Saudi Arabia went wrong.
A remarkable Australian who combined the elements of Biggles, James Bond and Oscar Schindler - SUNDAY LIFE