James Allan Mollison MBE



SAC with Jim and Amy 1933

with Amy and Sir Alan Cobham in 1932 or 33


 Born 19th April 1905 in Glasgow, and educated at Glasgow and Edinburgh Academies.

RAF commission in 1923, transferred to reserve 1928, then a lifeguard and air-mail pilot in Australia. Made many record flights; his philosophy seems to have been "...one cannot be young for long, and it has always been my practice to live for the moment." He and Amy were married in July 1932, but They Said it wouldn't last, and it didn't; Jim had to fly Black Magic back by himself after the Race; Amy went on KLM.

Jim joined the Air Transport Authority (ATA) early in WWII, and carried on right through until 1946, ferrying more than 1,000 aircraft, comprising nearly every type used by the RAF - he was a 'Class V' pilot (authorised to fly any type of aircraft without previous instruction). He reckoned he had "on a conservative estimate, successfully delivered not less than 15 million pounds' worth of aircraft." - see https://www.ata-ferry-pilots.org/index.php/category-blog-1940/275-mollison-james-allan

Jim re-married and divorced twice, continued drinking [he once said that, when he was cold, tired and frightened, he recommended "brandy, lots of it"] and ended up as the owner of a hotel in Surbiton, bought for him by his third wife Mary [Kampuis], on the strict understanding that it would never be licensed to sell alcohol.


Died 30th October 1959 in Surbiton, London, aged 54, from alcoholic epilepsy.

 jim mollison RAeC 1939 RAeC 1939

Educated: Glasgow and Edinburgh Academies
Commissioned RAF 1923, transferred to reserve 1928, subsequently air-mail pilot in Australia
Record flights:
Australia-England. July/Aug 1931. 8 days 19hrs 28min
England-Cape (first flight by West coast Route) Mar 1932 - 4 days 17hrs 5min
First solo Westward North Atlantic flight. August 1932
First solo westward south Atlantic flight, and first flight England-South America, February 1933
First flight England to USA (with Amy Johnson) July 1933
England to India (with Amy Johnson) October 1934. 22 hours
New York-Newfoundland-London (North Atlantic record crossing coast-to-coast 9 hours 20min) October 1936
England-Cape by eastern route, November 1936. 3 days 6hrs.
Joined ATA early in war. Released in 1946, after ferrying more than 1,000 aircraft, comprising nearly every type used by RAF - single, twin and multi-engined)
Rank: Flight Captain
Category as pilot: Class V (authorised to fly any type of aircraft without previous instruction)
Ferried aircraft all parts of England, Scotland, North Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland.
On conservative estimate successfully delivered not less than £15,000,000 of aircraft.
For his war-time service in the ATA, Mr Mollison was awarded the M.B.E.


  • Articles View Hits 415993

Contact Me

DSCI1060 1

Please feel free to send me your comments, requests, extra information or corrections.

Click here: Email Me