Thursday, October 29, 2009

7 Things: The Amy Johnson Issue

A small moment in Judith Krantz's Til We Meet Again mentioned Amy Johnson. Intrigued I looked her up, and a few years later a new biography on her came out which I immediately purchased. I didn't finish it until a few years later where I brought it on a long trip, but I find it strange that Amelia Earhart seems to get all the press when their two stories are so eerily similar. And yet I find (personally) Amy Johnson more interesting. So, I present 7 Things: The Amy Johnson issue.
1. Amy married a fellow pilot Jim Mollison. She had set flying records prior to their meeting, and together they set several more.
2. Amy also broke one of her husband's records.
3. Planes at that time had relatively small fuel tanks and there were limited places to refuel, so pilots carried extra fuel cans on board with them. Amy and her husband ended up crash landing in Bridgeport, CT after running out of fuel during a flight from Wales to the US and, after recuperating, were thrown a ticker tape parade.
4. A song was written about Amy's flight to Australia. Another song was written about her years later in the 1970's.
5. Amy and her husband divorced and she reverted to her maiden name.
6. In 1940 the ATA was formed to assist the transport of newly built aircraft to the airbases, using pilots that could not fly combat, such as women. (The Women's Army Air Corps performed similar duties in the US.) Amy joined, and on a mission, went off course and bailed out of her plane. She was never found.
7. In the late 1990's a man came forward claiming that Amy's plane was shot down after failing to provide the correct code of the day and that they were told not to reveal this.