Capt. John E. Haavik

(E. Giller)

Capt. John E. Haavik


343rd Fighter Squadron Flight Surgeon

Notes Army Serial Number = 0-478643
Memories My earliest recollection of John begins in the fall of 1942 when he became the flight surgeon to the 343rd Squadron of the 55th Fighter. Group in the Pacific Northwest. He was a Psychiatrist from Minnesota and married to his wife Jean. Each squadron had its own flight surgeon and the headquarters group also had theirs. They each had different specialties. One was a gynaecologist and the others family doctors. When we got into combat John's training came into good use not only in our squadron but helped in other cases as well. We had the usual cases of pilots who were reluctant to fly combat and John was very effective in counselling them. He stayed with the 343rd to end of the war and then moved with us to Kaufbeuren Germany in the occupation.
John was a very likable man and mixed well with all the men. He was the doctor to all men enlisted and officers alike. As a flight surgeon he needed to fly four hours a month to get flying pay. He liked to fly in our little Piper Cub and actually learned to fly it. He also rode piggyback behind the pilots in both the P-38 and P-51. These were combat planes without any second seat. The picture of him in a P-51 will demonstrate what I am talking about. We took out the radio in the P-38 to find space, we did not have to take it out in the P 51. John's brother in law was in England when we were there and came to our airfield on occasion.
After the war, my wife and I went to visit the Haaviks at their summer place in Minnesota. John was practicing medicine as a psychiatrist including doing voluntary work in a state hospital for the mentally ill. I have high regard for those that do this kind of work. (Ed Giller, February 2006)
Additional Photographs Capt. John E. Haavik in the Fall of 1944 at Wormimgford (E. Giller)

Capt. John E. Haavik in the Winter of 1944/45 at Wormimgford. Capt. Haavik is standing in front of Maj. Giller's P-51D CY-G 44-14985 "Millie G"  (E. Giller)

(L-R) Capt. Kelley, Capt. Hoeper and Capt. Haavik (F. Birtciel)
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