Former Exmouth pupil with passion for flying dies

A former pupil of St Peter’s School, Lympstone, with a passion for flying, has died, aged 97.

Squadron Leader Peter Huggins had a distinguished flying career that began in 1932 with Tiger Moths and spanned more than 70 years.

He flew 109 different types of fixed wing planes as well as helicopters and gliders. He visited 230 different UK airfields and 115 overseas.

Peter was educated at St Peter’s School and Malvern College, Worcester. He joined the College of Aeronautical Engineering in 1931.

Peter joined the RAFVR after the September 1938 Munich Agreement, as a flight instructor.

In later life, he reflected: “I often think I was lucky to have been flying before the war. Things were much freer before 1939. There were no airways, no control zones and very few prohibited areas.”

From 1942 to 1945, he flew Wellingtons and, later, Lancasters. His experience was mainly night flying.

Most Read

As a squadron leader, he was flight commander - responsible for 10 Lancasters and 70 aircrew.

After the war, Peter worked for the Ministry of Aviation Flying Unit.

He started flying jets in 1950, joining the Decca Navigator Company in 1952 as the company’s pilot demonstrator to test their equipment.

At the age of 80, Peter was presented with the Silver Height award after taking up gliding.

In his early 90s, he was persuaded to write a personal account of his flying career.

He is survived by his wife Marjorie.