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The Airmen's Stories - P/O J K Haviland

Born on 19th January 1921 in Mount Kisco, New York, John Kenneth Haviland was the son of a US Navy officer and an English mother. He spent a lot of his early life in England, going to school there and and enlisting in the RAF Reserve in July 1939. Called up on 1st September 1939 he completed his flying training at 10 FTS and was posted to No 1 Army Co-Operation squadron at Old Sarum near Salisbury.

In August 1940 he volunteered for Fighter Command and ended up with 151 Squadron flying Hurricanes.

 

 

A mid-air collision on 24th September resulted in a force-landing at Waddington. Haviland served throughout the war, doing tours as an instructor, intruder operations and bomber support. He was awarded the DFC on 16th February 1945.

After the war he settled in Canada, later becoming a Professor at the School of Engineering, Virginia University in the USA on aerospace projects. He died on 1st July 2002.

Of the ten US volunteers in the Battle of Britain he was the only one known to have survived the war (the fate of D D Brown is unsure though he does not appear in casualty lists).

 

 

Above: Haviland on a visit to the UK in 1990.

 

 

The American volunteers that flew with the RAF in the Battle are the subject of a book "The Few" by Alex Kershaw ISBN 978-0-718-14746-4

 

Battle of Britain Monument