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MAKING THE MODERN WORLD
Stories about the lives we've made
people:Amy Johnston
Born: 1 July 1903, Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, England
Died: 5 January 1941, over the Thames estuary, England

Pioneering female aviator.

Johnson grew up in Yorkshire. On graduating from Sheffield University she moved to London and started taking flying lessons in 1928. Her hobby soon became an all-consuming passion.

One of Johnson's early achievements was to qualify as the first female ground engineer. She achieved fame in 1930 when she became the first woman to fly the 11,000 miles from Britain to Australia solo.

Johnson married the legendary British pilot Jim Mollison, who proposed to her only eight hours after they met, in 1932. The couple made fastest-ever flights from England to India and Australia together but were divorced in 1938.

Johnson's greatest success was possibly her record-breaking solo flight from Britain to South Africa and back.

In 1939 the outbreak of the Second World War put an end to Johnson's exploits. She joined the Air Transport Auxiliary, a body of experienced pilots who were ineligible for RAF service. She was killed during a routine flight in 1941 when her plane crashed into the Thames estuary.

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