Aviatrix. A native of Kingston-Upon-Hull, England, Johnson was introduced to flying as a hobby in 1929 when she joined the London Aeroplane Club in London, England, and got her licence soon after. After some training Johnson became the first qualified British-trained woman ground engineer, and gained further fame in 1930 when she became the first woman to fly from Britain to Australia. On May 5, 1930, she left Croydon, England, in her De Havilland Gypsy Moth airplane named 'Jason' and landed in Darwin, Australia, on May 24, 1930, having flown 11,000 miles. In July 1931 Johnson flew a De Havilland Puss Moth airplane from England to Japan with a co-pilot and set a record for flying. A year later in July 1932 Johnson again set a record for a solo flight from England to Cape Town, South Africa, in a De Havilland Puss Moth airplane, and another record in time flying in a Percival Gull in May of 1936. In 1932 she married a British pilot named Jim Mollison and with him flew a De Havilland Dragon Rapide airplane nonstop from Pendine Sands, South Wales, to the United States in 1933. Johnson and Mollison also flew nonstop to India in 1934, and from England to Australia in a race in a De Havilland Comet airplane. In 1938 Johnson divorced Mollison but continued to fly, becoming a ferry pilot for the Transport Auxiliary. On January 5, 1941, while flying an Airspeed Oxford airplane to RAF Kidlington near Oxford, England, Johnson went missing and was presumed killed in a crash into the Thames River. Johnson's body was never found. At the time of her death she was just 37 years old.
Bio by: Kris 'Peterborough K' Peterson
James Allan Mollison
Irene Johnson Pocock