Gordon Percy Olley MM




One of the original 16 pilots of Imperial Airways in 1924

b. Harleston, Norfolk 29 Apr 1893

based Croydon

September 1925: "Mr G. P. Olly, another Imperial Airways pilot, has spent 5500 hours in the air, and has flown the English Channel no fewer than 1500 times."

March 1926: "DYING SON'S SOS. FATHER'S FLIGHT PLAN FAILS. Captain G. P. Olley, an Imperial Airways pilot, on arriving at Croydon Aerodrome yesterday from Southampton, related the story of a father's efforts to comply with a wireless broadcast SOS which was relayed across Europe. The SOS was sent out from a French station, asking Mr Mauger to go at once to his son, who was dangerously ill at Marseilles. It was relayed by London, and picked up in Jersey, where friends of Mr. Mauger gave him the news. He at once telephoned Imperial Airways, and hired a fast Napier D.H. express to meet him at Southampton and fly to his son at Marseilles. Rough weather in the Channel delayed his arrival at Southampton until the following evening, when he heard that his son was dead."

March 1927: "Captain J. P. Olley, an Imperial Airways pilot, who began to fly in 1915, has carried his 10,000th passenger."

August 1927: "AIR LINER'S SPEED RECORD Mr. G. P. Olley, an Imperial Airways pilot, arrived at Croydon aerodrome in an 8-seater air liner at 5.39 p.m. yesterday, having flown from Southampton Water in 26 minutes. This is a new record for the 70 miles journey, and average speed of the Vickers-Napier machine was over 161 miles hour. The aeroplane, which is'in regular use on Continental routes, left Hamble at 5.13 p.m."

August 1928: "Captain G P Olley, an Imperial Airways pilot, created a new record by flying non-stop from London to Belfast in 4 and a half hours. His machine had been chartered to take special pistons for a motor-car running in the Tourist Trophy race. He did not leave London until after 5 o'clock, the last part of the flight across the sea, and his landing at Belfast at 9:50, being accomplished in darkness".

Jan 1932: "EARL OF INCHCAPE'S ILLNESS. Son to Make 3000-Mile Air Dash to his Bedside. A 3000-mile air dash from Cairo to the bedside of the Earl of Inchcape, who is seriously ill in London, will be commenced at dawn to-day by Viscount Glenapp the earl's son and heir.

Captain G. P. Olley, the Imperial Airways pilot, has arrived in Cairo with an air liner which had been chartered from Imperial Airways, having flown from London via Italy, Malta, and the north coast of Africa in order to bring Lord Glenapp to London.

Lord Glenapp, who was travelling by P. and O. liner from India, as the result of a wireless message to the liner, was to leave it when it berthed last night at Port Said and proceed by train to Cairo. He hopes arrive in London on Monday evening."

Gordon left Imperial Airways in 1934 and started his own air charter company, called Olley Air Service Ltd.


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