VICTOR NEIRYNCK

Airgunner, RAF

Summary 

Airgunner Victor Neirynck was tragically killed at the age of 19 in a training flight that went terribly wrong at the very beginning of World War II.

Place and date of birth

1921

Lived in Ramuz Drive

Connection to Southend 

Story

Victor Neirynck was born in 1921 and lived all his life in Ramuz Drive, Westcliff, until he went to war. His family were staunch Methodists and attended the Argyll Road Trinity Methodist church. Even before the Second World War was declared in 1939, Victor had volunteered for active service. He must have impressed the RAF examiners as he was accepted for training as a wireless operator and air-gunner, at a time when there was fierce competition for any postings that involved flying. On the night of May 8, 1940, B Flight Blenheim IV, piloted by 23 year old flight sergeant Victor Allison of St Albans, was returning from a night training flight over the Wash with 19 year old Victor aboard. Approaching the airfield to land, the pilot seems to have realised that he was not going to land safely, performed a half roll and steep turn which resulted in a steep dive. With both engines revving at full power, the aircraft hit the ground, creating a massive crater. Tragically the three young men aboard were killed. Sadly only one of Victor’s four brothers was able to be at Argyll Road Methodist Church for the funeral as the other three were away serving in the forces. Airgunner Victor Neirynck was tragically killed at the age of 19 in a training flight that went terribly wrong at the very beginning of World War II.

Researched by Spencer Wilson

Main image courtesy of Dean Trotter

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