Today in History, May 24, 1930:
British aviation pioneer and adventurer Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, completing an 11,000 mile solo flight from England. She was the first woman to do so. She made the flight in a de Havilland DH.60 Gipsy Moth biplane.
Amy Johnson went on to set several other records during the 1930’s, including flights to Moscow, Japan and South Africa.
When England entered World War II in 1939 she signed up for the Air Transport Auxiliary, flying RAF aircraft from their production sites to their airfields. On January 5, 1941 she was conducting one of these flights when her aircraft crashed into the Thames estuary. Despite heroic efforts by a nearby ship, she was drowned in the tragedy…her remains never recovered. An officer on the ship who dived in to save her died a few days later as a result of his time in the freezing waters.
The circumstances of her demise are somewhat mysterious. The initial story was her aircraft went down in bad weather, however a sailor has since come forward saying he had shot her down after she failed to respond with proper codes, believing her aircraft to be the enemy. He stated investigating officers told him and others to remain silent.
A woman air pioneer who set amazing records and died under mysterious circumstances in WWII. Such incredible similarities to Amelia Earhart.