Amy Johnson and James Allan ("Jim") Mollison were both famous aviators in their own right. Not surprisingly, for two people who loved to travel fast, theirs was a brief courtship. The story goes that they met when they teamed up for a flight in 1932 and he proposed eight hours later — while they were still in the air. The marriage lasted six years.

Syracuse Journal, Thursday, February 9
THIES, Senegal, French West Africa (INS) — Winging across the water in his tiny Moth airplane, Heart’s Content, Capt. James A. Mollison, Scottish flier, sped across the South Atlantic today, bound for Natal, Brazil.

The British airman took off from here shortly before 1 a.m. today on his perilous transoceanic hop of 2,000 miles.

Mollison, only flier every to complete a westward solo flight across the North Atlantic, left Lympne, England, on Monday, stating he hoped to arrive in Brazil within three and a half days.

Several hours after the takeoff he was sighted at sea by an aeropostal mail patrol vessel.

Syracuse Journal, Thursday February 16
RIO DE JANEIRO (INS) — Captain James A. Mollison, Scottish aviator who recently completed a solo flight across the South Atlantic to Brazil, took off for Buenos Aires, Argentina, today at dawn.

Syracuse Journal, Friday, February 17
BUENOS AIRES (INS) — Captain James A. Mollison, Scottish airman who flew across the South Atlantic to Brazil, laid plans today for a flight to Santiago, Chile, following his arrival from Rio De Janeiro.

He talked to his wife, Amy Johnson Mollison, who is in London, by trans-Atlantic phone and made arrangements to meet her at Teneriffe about the middle of next month.


The flight Mollison made in early February was similar to one that would be made ten months later by Charles A. Lindbergh and his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The Lindberghs were easily the most famous flying couple, though Mrs. Lindbergh wasn't regarded as a pilot in her own right.

Not so Amy Johnson, who was a highly regarded flier before she met the man she would marry. In July, 1933, the Mollisons set out together, this time from Wales in an attempt to reach New York City.


Syracuse American, July 23
PENDINE SANDS, Wales (Universal) — Young Jim Mollison and his flying wife, Amy Johnson, succumbed to the trans-Atlantic urge again yesterday and they are believed far out over the ocean in their twin-motored biplane, Seafarer, on the way to New York.

With Mollison, a trans-Atlantic veteran at the controls, the big black craft rolled away from Pendine Sands and into the air over Carmarthen Bay yesterday at 11:59 a.m. (5:59 a.m., EST).

Cruising into foul weather off Ireland, the Mollisons’ ship was sighted over Fastneck Rock, Ireland at 2:20 p.m. (8:20 a.m., EST), at a low altitude, making about 100 miles an hour. Before takeoff, Mollison said he expected to reach New York about 4 p.m., EST, Sunday, after about 34 hours’ flying.

After a short rest in New York, the couple plan to take off on a return crossing of the Atlantic, heading for Baghdad in an attempt to set a new non-stop distance flight mark. From there they intend to hop back to England.

Today’s takeoff was made with ease. Six weeks ago the plane nosed over and wrecked itself when the Mollisons tried to get away from Croydon. Their ship has been fully repaired and tested.

Just before she stepped up into the cabin of the big De Haviland, Amy, Britain’s premiere aviatrix and veteran of solo flights to Australia, South Africa and Tokyo, said, “I’m frightfully glad to be off. It’s been a strain, this eight weeks’ wait. I’ll do most of the piloting by day, and Jim’s gong to take it over for the night flying.”

Mollison was concerned over the weather.

“For 900 miles we’ll have rotten flying — low clouds, heavy fog, rain and all that. After Ireland, though, everything should be fine and maybe we’ll be able to pick up a little tailwind.”

Off Newfoundland, on the great circle course, the Mollisons will face 10 miles per hour northeast wind, sunshine, clear skies and good visibility. The barometer was reported rising, but there was a slight fog drifting in.

Jim and Amy flew over to Pendine Sands this morning from London after studying weather records. They arrived at 9:45 a.m. and refueled the Seafarer with 400 gallons of gasoline. For themselves, they couple took on raisins, barley, sugar and coffee.

A weather report at 11:45 a.m. from the air ministry sent them on their way. Only a handful of watchers saw the start, for it was not generally known that the flying family was ready for the long and hazardous hop.

They hope to reach New York without a stop, and then fly back, nonstop, to England, thus completing the first return flight over the Atlantic, nonstop each way.


Syracuse Journal, Thursday, July 27
NEW YORK (INS) — Impatiently awaiting permission from physicians to leave their hotel suite, Captain James A. Mollison and his wife, the former Amy Johnson, today occupied themselves with plans for seeing the United States.

The famed flying Britons, whose attempted nonstop flight from Pendine, Wales, to Floyd Bennett airport ended in a crash in a Connecticut marsh Sunday night, seemed recovered from their hurts and in a cheerful mood.

“We’re not through flying,” said Mollison. “we’re both young and intend to make other flights. We’ll carry on.”

Mrs. Mollison found a bright spot in their mishap in that she is seeing the sights of New York.

Both were cheered by information that the engines and part of the fuselage of their wrecked plane could be salvaged and used in a new ship. the new craft will be assembled at the Toronto plant of the De Haviland Aircraft Company, it was said, and the Mollisons hope to use it in a flight to Chicago to see the World’s Fair.

Tomorrow has been set as the tentative date for their reception at City Hall.


Mollison remarried several years after he and Amy Johnson divorced in 1938. Drinking proved his undoing. He eventually lost his pilot's license and died in 1959.

During World War 2 Amy Johnson joined a group that transported planes for the Royal Air Force (RAF). However, in January, 1941, while on a flight, she ran into bad weather and had to ditch her plane when she ran out of fuel. She bailed out over the Thames Estuary and drowned before rescuers found her.