FLTLT Norman Frederick Rankin 403002

Norm Rankin, on the left beside ZP-Z (457 Squadron - Morotai)
Squadron/s457 SQN
261 SQN RAF
610 SQN RAF
Rank On Discharge/Death Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT)
Mustering / SpecialisationPilot
Date of Birth04 Sep 1921
Date of Enlistment11 Nov 1940
Contributing Author/sCompiled by Vince Conant, May 2013`
The Spitfire Association

Norm Rankin was born on the 4/9/1921 in Bangalow, NSW. He enlisted on the 11/11/1940.

Overall Norm served in the RAAF for almost five years - a long time out of a young man's life! He was discharged on the 4/10/1945. Norm started training at No 2 ITS, Bradfield Park, NSW, before moving to No 8 EFTS in Narrandera; qualifying on Tiger Moths by early 1941.

Later he moved with many of the other fellows to Canada No 11 SFTS to Yorktown, EATS and flew Harvards. He received his wings there. An eventful sea voyage then took place and Norm found himself in England, with No 55 OUT at Newcastle–on-Tyne to be exact and started on Miles Masters and really started to cook with gas when he flew the Hurricane.

The Miles M.9 Master was a British 2-seat monoplane advanced trainer built by Miles Aircraft Ltd for the Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War. It went through a number of variants according to engine availability and was even modified as an emergency fighter during the Battle of Britain. It was a fast, strong and fully aerobatic aircraft and served as an excellent introduction to the high performance British fighter aircraft of the day: the Spitfire and Hurricane.

Norm moved over to Number 610 Squadron RAF and, still remaining in England, flew Spitfire Mk V's, and started on Operations.

In late 1942, Norm was shipped out with No 261 Squadron RAF to Ceylon, India and Burma fighting a different enemy the Japanese and flew Hurricanes, Spitfire MkII and Mk IIc's in various operations. Later in 1944 he was still in India with No 1 AFTU and was flying Spitfires, Harvards and Kittyhawks.

Moving on, Norm was transferred back to Australia and arrived at Parkes No 8 OTU in 1944. He flew Wirraways and Mk VIII Spitfires there.

Norm's war then started to hot up again and he transferred to 457 Squadron RAAF and for the remainder of 1944 to 1945 flew Spitfire Mk VII’s on operations against the Japanese air force in Morotai and Borneo.

His medals were the 39-45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Burma Star, Pacific Star, Defence Medal and the 1939-45 War Medal. Air crew Europe Star the medal was awarded to Commonwealth aircrew who participated in operational flights over Europe, from UK bases. Pacific Star Defence Medal Norm was later in life appointed to the Executive Committee of the Spitfire Association and resigned from that in 2005 due to the ill health of his wife.


Air crew Europe Star the medal was awarded to Commonwealth aircrew who participated in operational flights over Europe, from UK bases.

Pacific Star

Australian Defence Medal

Norm was transferred back to Australia and arrived at Parkes No 8 OTU in 1944. He flew Wirraways and Mk VIII Spitfires there.

One of the best advanced training aircraft ever built, the Harvard became a mainstay of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Harvard IIBs were first ordered from Noorduyn in Montreal in January 1940. Noorduyn eventually built 2 800 Harvards for the RAF and RCAF. Canadian Car and Foundry made 550 Mk.4s for Canada and the United States in the 1950s. The Mk.4 had an improved cockpit canopy and greater fuel capacity.

Learn more about the squadron/s in which Norman served.