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|English aviator MARY VICTOR (MILDRED) BRUCE, born November 10th, 1895.|
As early as 1928 she joined the Mayfair Flying Club and by January 1930 was the owner of a Gipsy Moth. She did not take her first flying lesson until 25 May 1930 the day after Amy Johnson completed her record-setting flight to Australia. Bruce learned to fly at the Brooklands School of Flying; her instructors were G. E. Lowdell and Capt. H. Duncan Davis. Bruce soloed on 22 June 1930 and received her A license #2855 on 26 July.
On 25 September 1930, she named the aircraft "Bluebird" and took off on a round the world solo flight from Heston Aerodrome. She flew east with stops in Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq. India, Burma, Siam (Thailand), Hanoi, French Indochina (Vietnam), Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul. On 24 November 1930, having covered 10,330 miles (16,620 km) in 25 flying days, she reached Tokyo.
She crossed the Pacific aboard the “Empress of Japan” to Vancouver. Her flight across North America was via San Francisco; San Diego; St. Louis; Chicago; Oregon, Indiana; Baltimore and New York. She sailed on the “Ile de France” to Le Havre and flew to Lympne Airport, England having flown 19,000 miles.
She was the first person to fly from England to Japan, the first to fly across the Yellow Sea, and the first woman to fly around the world alone (crossing the oceans by ship).
Mildred Bruce died on 21 May 1990, at age 94.
Note from Ken Pickford - Lympne airport was in Kent, about 4 km from the English Channel, dated from WWI and closed in 1984.