© 2009 454 & 459 RAAF Squadrons
454 RAAF Baltimore Light Bomber Squadron
Dessert Air Force ME and Italy
Sergeant William Aubrey (Bill) NOONAN -- FITTER IIA
Service Number 16565
(Information Supplied by 1477940 LAC Tom Smith, Fitter IIE RAF
for the Associations 2000 Bulletin)
Sgt Bill Noonan, a Fitter IIA, was a member of the Yellow Draft of 400 ground crew Fitters IIA and IIE, and Instruments Makers, fully trained in Australia, who volunteered for service in the RAF, and arrived in Egypt in 1941 for postings temporarily via various maintenance units, squadrons or elsewhere until they could be accommodated in RAAF units if possible - finally in Bill's case with 454 RAAF squadron.
Tom Smith reports that Bill Noonan, Sergeant IIA on discharge, served, on first arrival, with 51 RSU RAF 1941-42, then with A Flight 454 RAAF 1942-45.
Following long overseas service, with promotion on the way, after demobilisation, he was employed in 1956 in a government training programme for local New Guineans on basic engineering equipment - lathes, drills, etc. for approximately two years. In 1961-62 he was an Australian Government interviewer in the UK assessing the skills and suitability of prospective migrants for employment in Australian industry.
Tom Smith had sent the above photographs, one showing Bill in a group with a bomb to be delivered by Liberator from 159 Squadron RAF probably from Aqir, Palestine, surrounded by ground and air crew (who do you know?)
He had experience with two country hotels in WA for a time and in the 1970s had an heraldic shop in Perth making ancestral wall plaques. some time was spent on painting landscapes at which Bill was quite competent. After moving about Queensland and making another trip to the UK our 454 "will of the wisp", a genuine "desert nomad", married again and settled in WA about five years ago.
This photograph shows ground crew who serviced
pilot FO John Watkin's Baltimore.
The captions on the above photographs indicate
as much information as was known to Tom at the time.
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