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24 September 2014
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Amy Johnson in 1931
Find out about the woman behind the myth.

1 - Early years

2 - The historic flights

3 - Her mysterious death
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1 - Early years

Amy Johnson was born on July 1st 1903. in the family home on St Georges Road in Hull.

Her father John owned a fish processing factory. Her mother was also called Amy and she had two sisters Irene and Molly.

Amy attended the Boulevard Secondary School in Hull, and had a reputation for being rebellious. She later went to the University of Sheffield and gained a B.A. in Economics.

After she graduatedl Amy got a job as a secretary in an office in Bowlalley Lane in the centre of Hull.

Amy's interest in all things aeronautical led to her gaining her pilot's license in July 1929. Unable to make a living from being a pilot she became the first woman in the UK to become an Air Ministry qualified ground engineer.

But the lure of flying led her to undertake the first of her epic journeys.

She persuaded her father and Lord Wakefield to share the cost of buying an airplane. The £600 De Haviland Moth was named Jason after her family's fish business.

The plan was to break the world record for flying from the UK to Australia, the record was 15 days and was set by Bert Hinker in 1928.

On 5th May 1930 Amy set off from Croydon Aerodrome on her epic endeavour. There was not much interest in the journey with only her father and a few others to see her off.

By the time she had reached her first stop in Karachi she had achieved world wide fame.

A combination of mechanical problems and bad weather meant that she failed to break the record. She took 19 days, landing in Darwin Australia on Saturday 24th May. Although she did not break the record she became the first woman to fly solo to Australia.


   



Images on this page courtesy of the Sewerby Hall Collection, East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

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