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War hero honoured by old school
John Viney
Wing Commander John Viney piloted a Halifax heavy bomber on D-Day

Abingdon School are holding an exhibition to remember a local war hero.

John Viney flew Halifax heavy bombers during World War II and played a pivotal part in D-Day.

The exhibition, titled Abingdon and Old Abingdonians at War 1939-1945 will includes rare photographs and memorabilia donated by Viney's sons.

John Viney was born in 1920 and attended Abingdon School for six years before joining the family business.

When war broke out in 1939 he joined the RAF and he was posted to 158 Squadron, RAF Rufforth, Bomber Command, in October 1942.

He made 50 operational sorties over European cities and the U-boat base on the west coast of France, completing two tours of duty.

On D-Day, 6 June 1944, he bombed the German defences at Grandcamp-Maisy, just behind Omaha beach.

Two months later and at 23 years of age he was promoted to a Wing Commander and became the Officer Commanding 640 Squadron, RAF Leconfield. Awards for the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Distinguished Service Order followed.

John Viney and crew
Viney (seen here with his crew) made 50 operational sorties during the war

After the war he returned to the family business, Vineys of Abingdon, before starting up his own business, Abingdon Carpets.

John Viney died in 1976 but with the exhibition of these rare photos from his life his legacy continues.

The exhibition at Abingdon School runs from 10 - 27 November, 14.00 to 16.30 in the Amey Theatre Foyer, and will include details about other men from the school and the town who fought and died for their country.

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