The History Anorak

The History Anorak

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Amy Johnson: aviatrix

January 1, 2017 marks the start of Hull's reign as UK City of Culture, As part of the celebrations Hull is currently home to a flight of moth sculptures that commemorate one of the city's famous offspring - Amy Johnson.

Amy was a renowned aviatrix who was the first woman to fly solo from the UK to Australia. Born July 1, 1903, she attended school in Hull before studying at the University of Sheffield where she gained a BA in economics.

While working as a solicitor's secretary in London she took up flying as a hobby. She gained her pilot's licence in 1929 and her father helped her to buy her own aircraft - a second hand De Havilland Gipsy Moth.

Two years later, working with co-pilot Jack Humphreys, she completed the first ever flight from London to Moscow in less than a day. Other records she set included solo to Cape Town, Britain to India, and non-stop to New York.

During WWII she joined the Air Transport Auxiliary. In 1941 she flew an Airspeed Oxford from Prestwick to Oxford via Blackpool, but went off course and ditched in the Thames Estuary in freezing conditions. Her body was never recovered.

A Moth for Amy will be on show in Hull until the end of March.


  1. I'd heard of her of course, but not a lot, here in the States we hear more about Amelia Earhart.

  2. The moths look wonderful and I bet it will be great fun finding them all. Amy was a great heroine and Hull must be proud of her:)

  3. Wonderful to hear about a woman who did it her way. Have never heard her story, but did enjoy it very much. Thanks for the info.


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