People

Name: Mollison, James ("Jim")
Nationality: Scottish
Occupation: pilot
Birth Date: 1905
Death Date: 1959

Bio:

Now largely remembered because of his troubled marriage to Amy Johnson, but in his day also a world famous pilot. Born in Glasgow, the son of an engineer, Mollison served in the RAF, seeing action on the NW frontier of India in 1925. He first met Amy whilst a pilot with a passenger airline in Australia and he piloted her around the continent on the latter stages of her tour. They met again in South Africa in March 1932 after he had set a new solo record from London-Capetown (a record Amy later broke). Two months later Jim proposed marriage and was accepted. In retrospect, Amy's romantic nature was ill matched with Jim's playboy attitude, serious drinking problems and roving eye with the ladies. In the short term though, the couple were a publicist's dream. Jim's noteworthy achievements included solos from Australia-England (1931), England-South Africa (1932) and crossings of both the North and South Atlantic (1932, 1933). With Amy he crossed the Atlantic in 1933 as part of a proposed long distance record attempt, which was never completed. The couple also took part in the MacRobertson air race from England-Australia in 1934, but withdrew with engine troubles. Marital difficulties came to a head and the couple divorced in 1937. Like Amy, Jim saw service in the Air Transport Auxiliary in WWII, proving to be a brave and dedicated pilot. After the war he found little to occupy his energies. Following his third marriage, Jim ran a hotel in Surbiton, but turned increasingly to drink and died in 1959 of an alcohol related condition. It was a sad end for a gallant flier.


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