Here’s a photograph from the May 14 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of an aviator who had just made a solo flight from Australia to England.
Jean Batten (1909-1982) achieved a number of notable solo flight accomplishments in the 1930s:
- May 8-23 1934: England to Australia (solo women’s record)
- April 8-29 1935: Australia to England (solo women’s record; pictured here)
- November 11-13 1935: England to Brazil (record time; fastest crossing South Atlantic Ocean; first woman to achieve this)
- October 5-16 1936: England to New Zealand (world record)
- October 19-24 1937: Australia to England
After all of this, she became, not surprisingly, the most famous New Zealander in the world.
In her later years, she became a recluse, living with her mother in various places around the globe. After her mother’s death, she retired to Spain. She passed away in 1982 after being bitten by a dog in Majorca and refusing treatment. She was buried under her middle name of Gardner, and her family did not learn of her death until 1987.