WONZ 243 – Syd Vincent

Guest: Sydney Arthur Vincent (1924-2011)

Host: Dave Homewood

Recorded: 1st of December 2009

Released:  3rd of September 2021

Duration:  38 minutes 58 seconds

In this episode Dave Homewood has dipped into the archive and pulled out one of his early interviews, with the late Syd Vincent. At the time Syd was the President of the Fleet Air Arm Association of New Zealand, having served in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm during WWII as a Telegrapher Air Gunner. He trained on Swordfish and then went onto fly operationally as the TAG in a Grumman Avenger crew, operating from Ceylon in the British Eastern Fleet, and then aboard the fleet carrier HMS Victorious with the British Pacific Fleet.

After the war Syd moved to New Zealand and joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force, spending 20 years as an Air Signaller. During that time he was involved in a Bristol Freighter accident at Mauripur, Pakistan, and he details this incident. He later served a further six years with the Royal Air Force.

Being one of Dave’s early interviews he was inexperienced at the time and now wishes he’d asked a lot more, however as you will hear the interview was cut short by a phone call that ended the session anyway. However hearing Syd’s memories of serving in the Avengers and the Freighter are priceless regardless.

Syd Vincent next to the mural depicting his Royal Navy FAA Grumman Avenger attacking a Japanese-held oil refinery which used to be on the wall at the Museum of Transport and Technology (Dave Homewood photo)
Syd Vincent during WWII in his flying kit. (Syd Vincent Collection)
An Avenger about to touch down on a carrier (Syd Vincent Collection)
Avenger (Syd Vincent Collection)
The results, a smoking oil refinery (Syd Vincent Collection)
Syd, left, with his crew (Syd Vincent Collection)
A telegram after the Freighter accident (Syd Vincent Collection)

The following photos show the No. 41 Squadron Bristol Freighter NZ5901 after crash landing at Mauripur, Pakistan. Personnel on board were; Flying Officer JB Randle (Captain), Flying Officer DM Lyng (Navigator), Sergeant SA Vincent (Signaller), Sergeant JG Lockwood (Engineer). This aircraft was rebuilt and flown again until it crashed and was written off in 1956. The photos are Air Force Museum of New Zealand Official shots.

AFMNZ 1983-158.3
AFMNZ 1983-158.4
AFMNZ 2008-093.7
AFMNZ 1983-158.6

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>