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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. J G E Haig


John Galloway Edward Haig, a paper maker by profession, was born on 5th May 1909 in Dairsie, Fife and commissioned in 603 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force on 11th June 1932.

He went on to the Reserve on 11th June 1937 after completing his five-year engagement.

He was recalled for full-time service on 24th August 1939. He arrived at 12 Group Pool Aston Down on 15th September and after further training and conversion to Spitfires rejoined 603 Squadron on 8th December 1939.




On 10th January 1940 Haig and three other 603 pilots were attached to RAF Montrose for convoy protection duties. Haig shared in the destruction of a He111 east of Aberdeen on 16th January.

In the early hours of 26th June 1940 Turnhouse was bombed by German intruder aircraft. Haig was airborne at this time and may have shared in the destruction of a He111 ten miles south of Dunbar, the Heinkel was also attacked by F/Lt. AVR Johnstone of 602 Squadron.

With his fuel running low, Haig requested permission to land at Turnhouse, 603's base. This was refused because of the possibility of German intruders still being in the area and preventing the switching-on of the flare path.

Haig turned away to open country, shortly afterwards his engine failed and as it was too dark to attempt a forced landing he baled out, spraining an ankle on landing. His Spitfire crashed at Harperrigg Reservoir.

Having convinced a local farmer that he was not German, Haig was taken back to Turnhouse by the farmer in his lorry, it ran into a bomb crater when near the aerodrome.

On 17th July 1940 Haig joined the 'A' Flight detachment at Dyce. On the 24th he damaged a He111 east of Peterhead.

In late August 603 Squadron went south to Hornchurch and on 2nd September Haig claimed a Me109 destroyed but made a wheels-up landing back at base in his damaged Spitfire, R6752, unhurt.

Haig probably destroyed a Me109 on 30th September and damaged others on 2nd and 28th October.

He married Diana Mary Folt on 14th December 1940 at All Saints, Sproughton, Suffolk.

He was posted away to 58 OTU Grangemouth on 30th December 1940 as an instructor.

His subsequent service is currently undocumented until 1945, when he was released from the RAF as a Squadron Leader.

Haig died on 3rd September 1976.



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