Friday, 18 October 2013

Gun Camera footage - some further 'matches'...

As a result of the RAF gun camera film I have been cataloguing for the IWM, I have had a couple of more 'results'.

I am in touch with a former RAF pilot via a third party and hope to "reunite" him shortly with the footage he shot during his time flying Spitfires. More info on this once I have arranged the viewing of the film. I am excited about this opportunity and I understand the pilot had no idea of the existence of this film.


On another front, it transpires that the father of an old friend of one of my brothers, flew Spitfires during WWII and I have identified several clips of film that he was responsible for.
The pilot in question was John Niven (DFC & bar) and he had distinguished service in the RAF, flying spitfires in the UK, Indian and Japan. He was Squadron Leader in the 602 City of Glasgow Squadron and 485 New Zealand Squadron. He also flew with 322 Dutch Squadron.

Image Courtesy Roger Niven

He was interviewed by Moray Firth Radio in 1986 and the ten part interview archive is available online -
MFR: Memories of a Spitfire Pilot

Sadly John died in 1986 but his wife is still alive and the Log Books are in the possession of the family and hopefully will provide the link to the footage.
I am equally excited about this discovery as it has such a close link via a very long standing family friendship.


  1. To compare the log books to the film would be a fascinating jump back into history. Let us know how it works out Bob.

    Mark from Canada

  2. Fascinating stuff, Bob. I just stumbled upon the Moray Firth Radio interview on Facebook, of all things, and thought I'd google JBN as I hadn't heard of him. I'm in Australia but have an interest in all RAF and Commonwealth air forces aircrew. Noting his time with No. 485 Sqdn RNZAF piqued my interest further. Am going to ask a question over on the Wings Over New Zealand forum. It would certainly be interesting to know more of his career and life. Dare I say there's probably a book in there...
    Cheers and thanks
    Andy Wright
    Aircrew Book Review