Flying heroine Amy Johnson helped Luton Airport take off

Amy Johnson at Luton Airport opening in 1938
Amy Johnson at Luton Airport opening in 1938

Luton Airport was officially opened on July 16, 1938 as Luton Municipal Airport.

The ceremony was performed by Kingsley Wood, Secretary of State for Air, and crowds flocked to the airport to see the various flying displays put on to celebrate the occasion.

Among the VIP guests was Britain’s most famous aviatrix, Amy Johnson, whose flying career had started at the London Aeroplane Club ten years earlier.

She broke many records including, in 1930, becoming the first woman to fly alone to Australia – a distance of 11,000 miles from Croydon to Darwin. She returned as a heroine and was awarded a CBE.

Johnson was on a routine flight with the Air Transport Auxiliary on January 5, 1941 when she crashed into the Thames estuary. Her body was never recovered.