A remarkable life and the enduring mystery of her tragic death.
The late arrival of the inbound flight she had piloted from Hatfield, in Hertfordshire, prevented Amy Johnson from departing Prestwick, Scotland any earlier than 4.00 pm on that afternoon in early January of 1941. Darkness was already beginning to fall. The most direct route from Prestwick to her eventual destination of Royal Air Force base Kidlington, near Oxford, took Amy Johnson right over Blackpool where Amy’s sister Molly and her husband Trevor lived in nearby Stanley Park. The thought of a meal, spending time with family and a decent night’s sleep must have had a lot of appeal rather than slogging further southeastwards in thoroughly awful conditions and at night. She landed the Airspeed Oxford twin-engine trainer at RAF Squires Gate just south of Blackpool proper, and secured the plane for the night. It was just another ordinary day in her life as a ferry pilot working in the dark midst of World War II...
Listen to the rest by clicking the play button, above. The text version of this essay can be found on Medium where it was published contemporaneously. They key image for this episode is Amy Johnson at the controls of ‘Jason’ in Australia in 1930 at the conclusion of her record setting flight. (image credit: Ted Hood via State Library of New South Wales)