Amy Johnson and the WW1 Ace - Talk by Roy Smart
Aviatrix , Amy ‘Johnnie’ Johnson, ‘The Aeroplane Girl' who, from modest beginnings as a fishmonger’s daughter from Hull, by singular grit and determination, taught herself the basics of aviation and then with little experience and against all the odds - after an extraordinary pioneering feat of solo flying half way round the world in a fragile little biplane - emerged to a crescendo of fame, celebrity and heroine worship. Now, ‘the darling of the nation’, Amy brought sunshine in those turbulent 1930s days of trailblazing aviation and technological development, the Big Band era of Swing, the Great Depression, unemployment, the rise of The Third Reich and the darkening clouds of another war.
Roy Smart tells the story of this magnificent girl and her flying machines; her triumphs and disasters, her highs and lows, her ups and downs - not least her calamitous marriage to the “The Flying Scotsman” - and then, unravels the mystery of her disappearance one winter’s Sunday off Southend, serving her country in its hour of need as the Battle of Britain gave way to the Blitz.
In the words of the popular song - ‘ Amy, Wonderful Amy ’ - a girl of contradictions; resolute and naïve, intrepid and foolhardy, inspirational and - enigmatic !
Profile of the Speaker
Roy Smart was a Naval Officer, Fleet Air Arm pilot and air director of many great national memorial events including the televised D Day, VE and VJ Day commemorations attended by the Queen and fifty heads of state, together with flying displays and aviation pageants. With an interest in history and art, he recently contributed to the BBC Radio centenary commemorations of the Battle of Jutland
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