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The Airmen's Stories - P/O H G Niven


Hugh Glen Niven was born in Toronto, Canada in 1919. His family moved to Winnipeg in the 1930's when his father was commanding Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry. The family moved to Scotland in June 1937.

Niven joined 602 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force at Abbotsinch on 7th May 1939 and began his training in Avro Tutors.



Called to full-time service at the outbreak of war, Niven was posted to 11 EFTS Perth on 25th October 1939. He went to 15 FTS Lossiemouth on 23rd March 1940 and after completing the course he moved to 5 OTU Aston Down on 17th August to convert to Hurricanes.

Niven rejoined 602 Squadron, then at Westhampnett, on 1st September 1940 but, having had no Spitfire experience, he was posted to 601 Squadron at Debden three days later. After much complaining he rejoined 602 Squadron on 21st September.

His Spitfire, X4603, was damaged in combat with Me109's over Maidstone on 29th October. Apart from a few days with 603 Squadron in late July 1941, Niven was serving with 602 until 23rd September 1941.

He was admitted to Horton Emergency Hospital on the 24th, suffering from tuberculosis. He was invalided out of the RAF on 12th March 1942 as a Flying Officer. He spent some years in hospital.

When 602 Squadron was reformed in June 1946, Niven rejoined as a civilian clerk.

He died on 8th April 2008.


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