Amy Johnson (part 2)
When Amy Johnson returned to England after completing her solo flight to Australia she was presented with a CBE (which is on display at the Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon). In August 1930 the Daily Mail newspaper made her a gift of 10,000 pounds for her services in Australia and was given a civic reception at the Guildhall in Hull.
In January 1931 Amy Johnson and her co-pilot Jack Humpreys became the first pilots to fly the 1700 miles from London to Moscow in 21 hours and then from Moscow to Tokyo which took 10 days.
In 1932 she met and married the Scottish aviator Jim Mollison and in December she broke his record for a solo flight from England to South Africa. In July 1933 she attempted a non-stop flight with her husband from England to New York via Canada. Unfortunately the plane was unable to complete the journey due to lack of fuel just 50 miles from their destination. They had a crash landing where they were both injured, although not seriously and were given a ticker-tape parade through New York..
In 1934 Amy and her husband made a record flight to Karachi in India as part of the Australia MacRobertson Air Race, but they had to withdraw from the full race. In 1936 Amy regained her record for a flight between London and Cape Town (which had been broken by Tommy Rose) and the record for the fastest return flight.
Her last flight
In May 1940, Amy joined the women's section of the Air Transport Auxiliary flying both machines and men to wherever they were needed. Part of her job was flying aircraft from the factory airstrips to RAF bases.
On Sunday 5th January 1941 on a routine ferrying flight from Blackpool to RAF Kidlington (near Oxford) she went off course due to the poor weather. She bailed out into the Thames estuary and was seen alive but the rescue attempt failed and her body was never recovered. Her death has always been shrouded in mystery with theories such as she was on an undercover operation or that she was shot down by friendly fire. She was officially presumed dead in December 1943 when a probate court heard evidence from eye-witnesses.
Amy Johnson's legacy
In 1932, Amy used a gift of a purse of gold sovereigns presented to her by the children of Sydney to purchase a gold cup for the City of Hull; The Amy Johnson Cup for Courage. This trophy is awarded to a Hull child (aged under 17) for an outstanding deed of courage
In 1958 the 'Amy Johnson Collection' of souvenirs and mementoes was presented by Amy's father to Sewerby Hall Museum and Art Gallery, and the Amy Johnson Room was opened in 1959. On 18th July 1974 a memorial statue was erected to her honour in Prospect Street, Hull. In 2003 the Royal Mail issued commemorative stamps to mark the centenary of her birth.