- Amy Johnson
name = Amy Johnson
image_size = 200px
caption = Amy Johnson c. 1930
birth_date = birth date|1903|7|1|df=y
Kingston upon Hull, England
death_date = death date and age|1941|1|5|1903|7|1|df=y
Thames Estuary, London, England(drowning)
Bachelor of Artsin economics
occupation = aviatrix
First Officer ATS
parents = John William Johnson and Amy Johnson
website = Amy Johnson CBE, (
1 July 1903– 5 January 1941) was a pioneering English aviatrix. Flying solo or with her husband, Jim Mollison, Johnson set numerous long-distance records during the 1930s. Johnson flew in the Second World War as a part of the Air Transport Auxiliarywhere she died during a ferry flight.
Johnson was born in
Kingston upon Hulland attended Boulevard Municipal Secondary School (later Kingston High School). [http://www.hullcc.gov.uk/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/HOME/LEISURE%20AND%20CULTURE/LOCAL%20HISTORY%20AND%20HERITAGE/AMYJOHNSON.PDF "Amy Johnson pioneering aviator."] Hull Local Studies Library, Hull City Council. Retrieved: 26 October 2007.] From there she went to the University of Sheffield, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Artsin economics. She then worked in Londonas secretary to the solicitor William Charles Crocker. She was introduced to flying as a hobby, gaining a pilot's A Licence No. 1979 on 6 July 1929at the London Aeroplane Club. In that same year, she became the first British woman to gain a ground engineer's C License.Aitken 1991, p. 440.]
Her father, always one of her strongest supporters, offered to help her buy an aircraft. With funds from her father and Lord Wakefield she purchased G-AAAH, a second-hand
De HavillandGipsy Moth she named "Jason", not after the voyager of Greek legend, but after her father's trade mark (he was a partner in the Andrew Johnson Knuditzon Fish Merchants).
Johnson achieved worldwide recognition when, in 1930, she became the first woman to fly solo from Britain, to
Australia. Flying her "Jason" Gipsy Moth, she left Croydon, south of London, on 5 Mayof that year and landed in Darwin, Australia on 24 Mayafter flying 11,000 miles. Her aircraft for this flight can still be seen in the Science Museum in London. She received the Harmon Trophyas well as a CBE in recognition of this achievement, and was also honoured with the No. 1 civil pilot's licence under Australia's 1921 Air Navigation Regulations. [http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au/treasures/brearley/index.htm "Brearley Pilot's Licences, Treasures of the Battye Library."] " State Library of Western Australia". Retrieved: 15 July 2007.]
In July 1931, Johnson and her co-pilot
Jack Humphreysbecame the first pilots to fly from London to Moscowin one day, completing the 1,760-mile journey in approximately 21 hours. From there, they continued across Siberiaand on to Tokyo, setting a record time for flying from England to Japan. The flight was completed in a De Havilland Puss Moth.
In 1932, she married famous Scottish pilot
Jim Mollison, who had, during a flight together, proposed to her only eight hours after they had met.
In July 1932, she set a solo record for the flight from London to
Cape Town, South Africain a Puss Moth, breaking her new husband's record. Her next flights were as a duo, flying with Mollison, she flew G-ACCV "Seafarer," a De Havilland Dragon Rapidenonstop from Pendine Sands, South Wales, to the United Statesin 1933. However, their aircraft ran out of fuel and crash-landed in Bridgeport, Connecticut; both were injured. After recuperating, the pair were feted by New York society and received a ticker tape parade down Wall Street.
The Mollisons also flew in record time from Britain to
Indiain 1934 in a de Havilland DH.88 Comet as part of the Britain to Australia MacRobertson Air Race. They were forced to retire from the race at Allahabaddue to engine trouble.
In 1938, Johnson divorced Mollison. Soon after, she reverted to her maiden name.
econd World War
In 1940, during the Second World War, Johnson joined the newly formed ATA - (Air Transport Auxiliary), whose job was to transport
Royal Air Forceplanes around the country and rose to First Officer. (Her ex-husband Jim Mollison also flew for the ATA throughout the war period.)
5 January 1941, while flying an Airspeed Oxfordfrom Blackpool to RAF Kidlingtonnear Oxford, Johnson went off course in poor weather. She drowned after bailing out into the Thamesestuary. Although she was seen alive in the water, a rescue attempt failed and her body was never recovered. The incident also led to the death of her would-be rescuer, Lt Cmdr Walter Fletcher of " HMS Hazlemere". There is still some mystery about the accident, as the exact reason for the flight is still a government secret and there is some evidence that besides Johnson and Fletcher a third person (possibly someone she was supposed to ferry somewhere) was also seen in the water and also drowned. Who the third party was is still unknown. [McKee 1982, pp. 139-152, 293.] Johnson was the first member of the Air Transport Auxiliaryto die in service. Her death in an Oxford was ironic as she had been one of the original subscribers to the share offer for Airspeed.
Honours and tributes
* In June 1930, Johnson's flight to Australia was the subject of a contemporary popular song composed by Horatio Nicholls and recorded by Harry Bidgood, Jack Hylton, Arthur Lally, Arthur Rosebery and Debroy Somers.
* She was the guest of honour at the opening of the first
Butlinsholiday camp, in Skegnessin 1936.
* In 1942 a film of Johnson's life, "
They Flew Alone", was made by director-producer Herbert Wilcox, starring his wife Anna Neagleas Johnson, and Robert Newtonas Mollison. The movie is known in the United States as "Wings and the Woman".
* In 1958, a collection of Amy Johnson souvenirs and mementos was donated by her father to
Sewerby Hall. The hall now houses a room dedicated to Amy Johnson in its museum.
* In 1974, Harry Ibbetson's statue of Amy Johnson was unveiled in Prospect Street, Kingston-upon-Hull.
* Scots singer-songwriter
Al Stewartsings about her in his song "Flying Sorcery" from his 1976 album, " Year of the Cat". [ Stewart, Al. [http://www.alstewart.com/lyrics/flyingsorcery.htm "Flying Sorcery."] Retrieved: 15 May 2008.]
* A girls' school in Kingston-Upon-Hull was named after her, but closed in 2004.
* The building housing the department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering at The University of Sheffield is named after her.
* She was the subject of a £500,000 question on the UK version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?", in which the contestant failed by answering that the plane she flew solo from Britain to Australia was called "Pegasus" (correct answer is "Jason").
* A primary school on Rounshaw Residential Estate (formerly Croydon Airport) is named after her.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines McDonnell-Douglas MD-11is named in her honour.
* The Wetherspoons bar at Doncaster Airport is called "The Amy Johnson."
* "Amy Johnson Avenue" is a major arterial road in
Darwin, Australiaconnecting the Stuart Highway to Old McMillan's Road.
* "Amy Johnson Way", close to
Blackpool Airport, in Blackpool, Lancashire, in the UKis named in her honour.
* "Amy Johnson Way" in the Rawcliffe area of
York, is named in her honour.
* "Mollison Way" in Queensbury, London is also named in her honour.
* "Queen of the Air" by Peter Aveyard is a musical tribute to Johnson. [ [http://www.queenoftheair.co.uk Queen of the Air: Peter Aveyard's tribute to Amy Johnson] ]
List of famous deaths by aircraft misadventure
* Aitken, Kenneth."Amy Johnson (The Speed Seekers)." "Aeroplane Monthly", Vol. 19, n0. 7, Issue no. 219, July 1991.
* Moolman, Valerie. "Women Aloft" (The Epic of Flight). Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1981. ISBN 0-8094-3287-0.
* McKee, Alexander "Great Mysteries of Aviation". New York: Stein & Day, 1981, 1982. ISBN 0-8128-2840-2.
* Nesbitt, Roy. "What did Happen to Amy Johnson?" "Aeroplane Monthly" (Part 1) Vol. 16, no. 1, January 1988, (Part 2) Vol. 16, no. 2, February 1988.
* Turner, Mary. "The Women's Century: A Celebration of Changing Roles 1900-2000". Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK: The National Archives, 2003. ISBN 1-903365-51-1.
* [http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/onlinestuff/stories/amy_johnson.aspx?keywords=amy+johnson Science Museum exhibit on Amy Johnson]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/humber/content/articles/2005/10/18/amy_johnson_feature.shtml BBC Humber article on Johnson]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/yorkslincs/series1/amy-johnson.shtml BBC page on Amy Johnson's death]
* [http://www.eastriding.gov.uk/sewerby/ Sewerby Hall, Bridlington, includes a display of Johnson memorabilia]
* [http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/ The RAF Museum, Hendon, includes another Johnson display]
* [http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/amyjohnson.html RAF History page on Amy Johnson]
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=9732313 Amy Johnson on Find-A-Grave]
* [http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=1802112 CWGC record]
* [http://www.historynet.com/magazines/british_heritage/3026906.html Amy Johnson: Pioneer Aviator, Article by LaRue Scott]
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Pioneering English aviatrix
DATE OF BIRTH=
1 July 1903
PLACE OF BIRTH=
Kingston upon Hull, England
DATE OF DEATH=
5 January 1941
PLACE OF DEATH=
Thamesestuary, London, England
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