Flying Officer Neil James Rankin was born  on 27 June 1923 in Colac, Victoria, Australia. He enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force on 7 November 1941. After completing basic training, he was sent to Canada under the Empire Training Scheme to obtain his “wings”. He then went to England and was first posted to a Spitfire Squadron and thereafter posted to No. 80 Squadron flying Tempests.

Rankin was killed on 30 March 1945 when he was shot down by FLAK over East Vechta while flying NV766. He is buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery, 85 kilometres north of Cologne.








rankin 2

Holland on 10 October 1944, RAAF pilots of No. 80 Sqn. Left to right: F/O M. Adams, F/O A. Anderson, P/O N. Rankin and P/O F. Calder.



Rankin's victories in Tempest

Date of Claim Type Claimed Aircraft Serial No Location of Claim Unit
4 January 1945 1/2  Fw190 W2-B (EJ633) 12 m NE Rheine 80 Sqn
14 February 1945 Bf109 W2-X (EJ705) 10 m E Celle 80 Sqn


The Typhoon and Tempest Story by Christopher Shores and Chris Thomas