Pilot Officer Noel William Faulkner THACKRAY

Service No: 409973
Born: Canterbury VIC, 18 November 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 7 November 1941
Unit: No. 514 Squadron (RAF), RAF Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 514 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LL639), Belgium, 11 April 1944, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Heverlee War Cemetery, Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Alfred Teague Thackray and Adele Knight Thackray; husband of Phyllis Mary Thackray, of Surrey Hills, Victoria, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Camberwell VIC
Remembered: Panel 131, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Pilot Officer Thackray is listed on the South Australian Memorial; however he has a Victorian Service Number (409XXX) and enlisted from Victoria.

On the night of 11 April 1944, Lancaster LL639 took off from RAF Waterbeach at 2101 hours, detailed to attack Aachen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. A Missing Research and Enquiry team later reported: “the aircraft crashed at Molensbeersal, 9 kms north west of Merseyck, Belgium.” Six of the crew were killed and one became a Prisoner of War.

The crew members of LL639 were:

Sergeant Clive Walter Banfield (1832773) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Reginald Ernest Bromley (424363) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Clement Herbert Henn (424001) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Patrick Hughes (1575442) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant E L Humes (642170) (RAFVR) (Navigator) PoW
Flight Sergeant John Russell Moulsdale (415482) (Air Bomber)
Pilot Officer Noel William Faulkner Thackray (409973) (Pilot)

In a PoW report Sergeant Humes stated: “the aircraft crashed near Hasselt in the district of Heverlee, Belgium.”


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/39/260

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