WWII RAF: ATA. Amy Johnson


Amy Johson will forever be an icon of flying. With her flying exploits pre WW II well documented, with most famously flying solo from the UK to Australia in 1930. When WW II began the company she worked for was taken over by the air ministry and in May 1940 Johnson joined the newly formed ATA, transporting RAF aircraft around the country.  On January 5th 1941, while flying an Airspeed Oxford, Johnson went off course in adverse weather conditions. Reportedly out of fuel, she bailed out, the aircraft crashed into the Thames Estuary near Herne Bay.  A ship from a passing convoy diverted after see her parachute, but weather was too bad, the tide was strong and it was freezing cold in the water.  Ropes were thrown out to her, but she could not grab them and was lost under the ship.  A second body was seen in the water, HMS Haslemere Captain, Lt Cmdr Walter Fletcher, dived into the water, got to the body, but they were dead.  By the time Fletcher was recused he was unconscious and die in hospital a few days later, Fletcher was posthumously awarded the Albert Medal in May 1941.  There has always been some controversy surrounding what happened, that she was shot down by an RAF pilot after failing to give the correct radio signals.As a member of the ATA with no known grave (her body was never recovered), Johnson is commemorated, under the name of Amy V. Johnson, by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on the Memorial at Runnymede. Johnson’s watertight flying bag, her log book and cheque book later washed up and were recovered near the crash site.

Model: TG-RAF006B


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