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6 May 2017

Flying Officer Noel Victor Hibberd 425653 RAAF

 

Noel Victor Hibberd 425653 RAAF, with Pilot's wings

 

 

 

 

Noel Victor Hibberd – Pilot, 425653 RAAF

Photo from the N.V.Hibberd collection, supplied by Tony & Ann (née Hibberd) Hallett and used with their permission.

Links to his Service History, his Honours and Awards, and connections with M.J.Hibberd are included below.

 

Noel Victor Hibberd - a young teenager

 

 

 

Noel Victor Hibberd was born on 24 December 1922 in Killarney, Queensland, Australia. He was the first child of Harry (also known as Max Henry) and Elsie Madeline Hibberd (née Aitken), and was the older brother of Maxwell James Hibberd. The date & place of this photo is unknown but is thought to be of Noel as a young teenager or late primary school student – possibly during Scholarship Year.

Photo from the N.V.Hibberd collection, supplied by Tony & Ann (née Hibberd) Hallett and used with their permission.

 

The following four photos depict Noel Victor Hibberd as he progressed through his student life at the Queensland Agricultural High School & College, at Gatton, Queensland. This College is now University of Queensland (UQ), Gatton Campus. These photos have been extracted from class photos in past Gatton College Magazines, and were supplied by Volunteer Staff at the UQ Gatton Past Students Association. They are used with permission of the UQ Copyright Office.

In late 1940, Noel was one of four final year Diploma students who gained Cadetships with various Queensland Government Departments. He took up employment prior to the end of the study year, returning for final exams, and graduating with a Diploma in Agriculture. The caption under the 1940 photo reads – Agriculture Diploma Year, 1940; 1st XV., 1940; Prefect; Member of Shelton House; Selected as Cadet, Pure Seeds Branch, Dept. of Agriculture and Stock, September, 1940. (1st XV was the Rugby Union Football team. Shelton House was one of 4 boarding residences for students at the College.)

 

 

Noel Victor Hibberd, student at QAHS&C Gatton 1937

Noel Victor Hibberd, 1937 at QAHS&C Gatton. Sub-Junior Year.

 

Noel Victor Hibberd, student at QAHS&C Gatton 1938

Noel Victor Hibberd, 1938 at QAHS&C Gatton. Junior Year.

 

Noel Victor Hibberd, student at QAHS&C Gatton 1939

Noel Victor Hibberd, 1939 at QAHS&C Gatton. Sub-Diploma Year.

 

Noel Victor Hibberd, student at QAHS&C Gatton 1940

Noel Victor Hibberd, 1940 at QAHS&C Gatton. Diploma Year.

 

Cadet Noel Victor Hibberd on Foundation Sports Day 8 July 1938 in Greasy Pig Event, QAHS&C.

 

 

 

 

QAHS&C, Foundation Day 8th July 1938, Cadet Noel Victor Hibberd, wearing Army hat, and fellow students during the sports day event 'Catch the Greasy Pig'.

This photo was supplied by the UQ Gatton Past Students Association and is used with permission of UQ Copyright Office.

 

Noel Victor Hibberd 425653 RAAF at enlistment (NAA)
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 425653.

 

 

 

 

Noel Victor Hibberd 425653 RAAF at enlistment 25 April 1942, aged 19 years & 4 months; Religion Church of England; occupation Cadet with the Department of Agriculture; height 5 feet 8½ inches; weight 142lb; chest normal 32" & expanded 35"; complexion Fair; eyes Blue; hair Dark Brown; medical classification A1B2, A, B.

 

F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd 435342 RAAF (Best Man) at wedding of F/O N.V.Hibberd 425653 RAAF, to Muriel Allen, 10 Feb 1945, Stamford, Lincolnshire

 

Wedding Photo – 10 February 1945 – Saint Michael’s Church of England, Stamford, Lincolnshire, England.

Left to right:
Best Man: F/Sgt Maxwell James Hibberd (known as Max) – b. 06 Mar 1925 – d. 13 Mar 1988.
Bridesmaid: Kathleen Wilson Allen (known as Kath) – b. 09 May 1918 – d. 10 Aug 1990.
Groom: F/O Noel Victor Hibberd – b. 24 Dec 1922 – d. 20 May 1974.
Bride: Muriel Bertha Hibberd (née Allen) (known as Dick) – b. 06 Sep 1914 – d. 05 June 2002.
Bride's Father: Harold George Allen – b. 22 Oct 1883 – d. 04 Nov 1964.

Muriel emigrated to Australia after the war to live with Noel in Brisbane, Queensland, where they raised their family.

Photo from the M.J.Hibberd collection. Detail supplied by Tony & Ann (née Hibberd) Hallett and used with their permission.

 

Wedding of F/O N.V.Hibberd 425653 RAAF, to Muriel Allen, 10 Feb 1945, Stamford, Lincolnshire

 

At the time of his marriage (10 February 1945) Noel Victor Hibberd was no longer on flying duties because of health problems. Up until September 1944, he had been flying Lancaster bombers with 218 Squadron out of Woolfox Lodge, 6 miles NW of Stamford, Lincolnshire. He had arrived at Woolfox Lodge on 18 May 1944 and, from then until 29 July 1944 had been flying Stirling bombers on 'mining' operations. He commenced flying Lancaster Bombers on 06 August 1944.

Left to right:
Bridesmaid: Kathleen Wilson Allen
Best Man: F/Sgt Maxwell James Hibberd
Groom: F/O Noel Victor Hibberd
Bride: Muriel Bertha Hibberd (née Allen)
Bride's Father: Harold George Allen

Photo from the M.J.Hibberd collection. Detail supplied by Tony & Ann (née Hibberd) Hallett and used with their permission.

 

Noel Victor Hibberd and wife Muriel Bertha (née Allen) Hibberd in Amsterdam, July 1970

 

 

Noel Victor & wife Muriel Bertha (née Allen) Hibberd in Amsterdam, July 1970.

Noel Victor Hibberd died on 20 May 1974 while travelling in Spain with Muriel. A Memorial Service for him was held in Brisbane in mid-July 1974.

Noel & Muriel had one daughter and one son who both married, resulting in five grandchildren.

Photo from the N.V.Hibberd collection held by Tony & Ann (née Hibberd) Hallett and used with their permission. This photo has previously been published in a family history "Crawford – the Scottish Connection" compiled by Patricia Osborn née Crawford, Greg Crawford & Rhyl Bennett (née Crawford) ref Fig CCC.hib.34 but incorrectly identified as being in Paris.

 

Information from WW2 Nominal Roll website.

Name – Noel Victor HIBBERD
Service – RAAF
Service Number – 425653
Date of Birth – 24 Dec 1922
Place of Birth – Killarney, Qld
Date of Enlistment – 25 April 1942
Place of Enlistment – Brisbane, Qld
Next of Kin – Muriel Hibberd (wife)
Date of Discharge – 21 September 1945
Rank at Discharge – Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge – 31 Base

Information from Australian Archive Series A9300.
Some records vary by a day for similar entries. Recorded here are the earlier dates if such discrepancies occur. (My comments are bracketed in italics.)

Name – Noel Victor Hibberd
RAAF Service Number – 425653
Date of Birth – 24 December 1922

9 September 1941 – Medical examination.
10 September 1941 – enrolled in RAAF Reserve at Brisbane, Badge No 6139; aged 18 years & 8 months; Religion Church of England; current employment as Cadet in the Department of Agriculture, Brisbane; residence at Brookfield, Brisbane. His medical certificate recorded his height as 5 ft 8½ inches; weight 142lb; chest normal 32" & expanded 35"; vision 6/6 both eyes; medical classification A1B & A3B. The Oath of Affirmation was signed on 10 September 1941 at No 3 Recruiting Centre, Brisbane. He was posted to Class Air Crew V of the Reserve. His educational qualifications were Junior Public and Diploma in Agriculture.

25 April 1942 – enlisted at No. 3 Recruiting Centre in RAAF Citizen Air Force with Service Number 425653, for the duration of the war and period of 12 months thereafter; aged 19 years & 4 months; religion Church of England; occupation Cadet with the Department of Agriculture; height 5 feet 8½ inches; weight 142lb; chest normal 32" & expanded 35"; complexion Fair; eyes Blue; hair Dark Brown; medical classification A1B2, A, B.
25 April 1942 – mustering Aircrew V, on enlistment.
25 April 1942 – Classification – AC2 (Air Craftman 2) on enlistment.
25 April 1942 – posting to 3 RC (Recruiting Centre) Brisbane, Queensland.
25 April 1942 – posting to 3 ITS (Initial Training School) Kingaroy, Queensland. (3 ITS is also named as Sandgate, Queensland on later service file pages.)
Next of Kin listed was his father Sgt. Max Henry Hibberd, Garrison Battalion, Gaythorne, Brisbane (records vary as either 1st or 2nd Garrison); and his mother, Mrs Elsie Magdaline (sic) Hibberd at Brookfield, Brisbane. On a later form, person listed to be notified in case of casualty was his brother 435342 Sgt M.J.Hibberd, RAAF Post Office, Kodak House, London.

3 May 1942 – RAAF Will Form P/P 77 signed and dated at 3 ITS Sandgate. It reads "I appoint Elsie Magdaline (sic) Hibberd, my mother executor of this my will. I give to Elsie Magdaline (sic) Hibberd all my property". (One wonders the legality of this will, as his mother's name was actually Elsie Madeline.)
10 June 1942 – Will certified as signed and witnessed, 3 ITS.
14 June 1942 – Remustering as Aircrew V (P), 3 ITS.
7 July 1942 – Vaccination.
16 July 1942 to 19 July 1942 – 4 days leave with pay.
18 July 1942 – Remustering – Aircrew II (P), 8 EFTS.
18 July 1942 – Promotion to LAC (Leading Air Craftman), 8 EFTS.
23 July 1942 – General Conduct Sheet – certified no entry by Adjutant of 3ITS, Sandgate.

27 July 1942 – posting to 8 EFTS (Elementary Flying Training School), Narrandera, NSW – training in Tiger Moth aircraft.
22 Oct 1942 – posting to 2 ED (Embarkation Depot), Bradfield Park, Sydney, NSW.
23 Oct 1942 – General Conduct Sheet – certified no entry by Adjutant of 8 EFTS Narrandera, NSW.
31 Oct 1942 – General Conduct Sheet – certified no entry by Adjutant of 2 ED, Bradfield Park, NSW.
31 Oct 1942 – posting to 1 ED, Ascot Vale, Melbourne, Victoria.
Undated entry – General Conduct Sheet – certified no entry by Adjutant of 1 ED, Ascot Vale, Victoria.

2 November 1942 – embarked from Melbourne, destination Canada.
2 November 1942 – attachment to RCAF.
27 November 1942 – disembarked Canada.
27 November 1942 – posting to 3 M Depot (Manning Depot) RCAF, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

4 December 1942 – posting to 15 SFTS (Service Flying Training School), Claresholm, Alberta, Canada; training in Crane and Anson aircraft.
9 December 1942 – to 18 December 1942, period in hospital or sick quarters.
25 January 1943 – 15 SFTS, Claresholm, Alberta, Canada – General Conduct Sheet – one offence (the only offence in his RAAF service).
Rank was LAC (Leading Air Craftman), and his age was 20 years & 1 month.
The offence was listed as "WOAS Did not wear great coat in attention area contrary to D.R.O. #6 (19)". (sic)
The Witness was WO2 Sheik, C.W., and the punishment "3 days C.B." was awarded & signed by Squadron Leader J.M.Dobson on 28 January 1943.
(I have been told C.B. means 'confined to barracks'. Assuming that the 'attention area' was a parade ground outdoors, not wearing a great coat in the Canadian winter seems rather foolhardy. A Canadian who until recently lived less than an hour from Claresholm, has advised that during January, the Alberta winter can be extremely cold, so that the punishment of 3 days confined to barracks would most likely have been welcomed. One wonders if the offence was deliberate in order to avoid the cold outdoors!)

29 April 1943 – Inoculation.
30 April 1943 – Remustering as Airman Pilot, RCAF.
30 April 1943 – graduated as Airman Pilot, an awarded Pilots Flying Badge, RCAF.
30 April 1943 – Promotion to Sergeant, RCAF.
30 April 1943 0600 hrs to 6 May 1943 2400hrs – 7 days embarkation leave with pay.

10 May 1943 – posting to 1 Y Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
26 May 1943 – attachment to RAF.
27 May 1943 – embarked from Canada, destination UK.

4 June 1943 – disembarked UK.
5 June 1943 – posting to 11 PDRC (Personnel Despatch & Reception Centre), Brighton, UK.
23 June 1943 – 7 days Privilege Leave, to 29 June 1943.
2 July 1943 – attachment to 18 EFTS, UK, HQ 50 Group Pool, to 16 July 1943 (Fairoaks, near Woking, Surrey).
24 July 1943 – attachment to ECFS (Empire Central Flying School) Hullavington, until 26 July 1943 (near Chippenham, Wiltshire).
10 August 1943 – General Conduct Sheet – certified no entry by Adjutant of 11 PDRC, Brighton.

10 August 1943 – posting to 20 (P) AFU (Advanced Flying Unit), UK (Kidlington?), training in Oxford aircraft.
21 Oct 1943 – 7 days Privilege Leave, to 27 Oct 1943, (20 (P) AFU).
30 Oct 1943 – promotion to Flight Sergeant, 26 OTU.
16 November 1943 – General Conduct Sheet – certified no entry by F/O of 20(P) AFU.
16 November 1943 – Character & Trade Proficiency – as Sgt Pilot – Character V.G.

16 November 1943 – posting to 26 OTU (Operational Training Unit), Cranfield, UK, training in Wellington aircraft.
31 December 1943 – Character & Trade Proficiency – as Sgt Pilot – Character V.G., Proficiency satisfactory.
7 January 1944 – to 13 January 1944, period in Hospital S.S.Q., 26 OTU.
3 March 1944 – 6 days Privilege Leave, to 8 March 1944, 26 OTU.
10 March 1944 – General Conduct Sheet – certified no entry, 26 OTU.

10 March 1944 – attachment to RAF Feltwell, UK, to 24 March 1944 (Methwold was a satellite landing ground for Feltwell by the start of WW2).
10 March 1944 – attachment to Methwold, to 24 March 1944 (This may be a renamed listing as it has the same dates as the previous entry, and assumed to cover a movement from the main site of Feltwell to the satellite airfield at Methwold.)
10 March 1944 – posting to 31 Base, UK.
24 March 1944 – attachment to 1657 CU (Conversion Unit), 31 Base, to 15 May 1944; Stradishall, Suffolk, training in Stirling 4-engine bombers.
15 May 1944 – General Conduct Sheet – certified no entry by Adjutant of 1657 Conversion Unit.

15 May 1944 – posting to 218 Squadron, No. 3 Group, Woolfox Lodge, UK, equipped with Short Stirling III aircraft.

13 June 1944 – discharged as Airman, on being granted a Commission.
13 June 1944 – Character & Trade Proficiency – as F/Sgt Pilot – Character V.G., Proficiency satisfactory.

14 June 1944 – G.D. Pilot.
14 June 1944 – granted a Commission, at 218 Squadron.
14 June 1944 – Appointment as Pilot Officer, Gaz. No. 228/44.
22 June 1944 – 6 days Privilege Leave, to 27 June 1944, 218 Squadron.

3 July 1944 – Recommended for Appointment to Commission, letter dated 3 July 1944, H.Q. 3 Group.
24 July 1944 – 5 days Privilege Leave, to 28 July 1944, 218 Squadron.
6 August 1944 – acting rank of Flying Officer, OHQ P38/44.
18 September 1944 – 6 days Privilege Leave, to 23 September 1944, 218 Squadron.

6 October 1944 – admission to Littleport Hospital, discharged 20 November 1944, (Authority 31 Base) (Littleport Hospital was near Ely in Cambridgeshire).
15 October 1944 – posting to RAF Methwold, UK; 218 Squadron had relocated there in August 1944, equipped with Stirling Bombers, but was in the process of converting to Lancaster bombers.
21 November 1944 – 14 days Sick Leave to 4 December 1944, 218 Squadron, Methwold.
23 November 1944 – admission to Littleport Hospital, discharged 20 February 1945, (Authority 31 Base).
4 December 1944 – posting to 31 Base, Chedburgh UK, when 218 Squadron moved there from Methwold; equipped with Lancaster bombers.
Undated entry – General Conduct Sheet – certified no entry by Adjutant of 218 Squadron, Methwold.
14 Dec 1944 – promoted to Flying Officer, Gaz. No. 78/45.

3 January 1945 – Service Conduct Sheet – certified no entry by S/Ldr Lombard for Air Officer i/c Records RAF.

10 February 1945 – marriage to Muriel Bertha Allen at Saint Michael’s Church of England, Stamford, Lincolnshire, England. Brother F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd acted as Best Man (please see photos above). After F/O N.V.Hibberd's marriage, his Service documents were amended to include as next-of-kin his English wife's name, and her home address "Church Farm", Manthorpe, Bourne, Lincolnshire.

21 February 1945 – RAAF Will Form P/P 77 signed and dated at RAAF O/Seas H.Q., London – this revoked the former will dated 3 May 1942. This new will took into account his recent marriage. It reads " at present on active service abroad with the Royal Australian Air Force as Flying Officer AUS 425653, formerly of Brookfield Brisbane, Queensland Australia" followed by "I appoint my father Max Henry Hibberd of Brookfield aforesaid executor of this my will. I give, devise and bequeath all my property both real and personal to my wife Muriel Bertha Hibberd of Church Farm, Manthorpe, Bourne, Lincolnshire, England absolutely".
21 February 1945 – admission to Littleport Hospital, discharged 7 March 1945 (Authority 31 Base).

1 March 1945 – posting to 11 PDRC, Brighton, UK.
7 March 1945 – admission to CME Hospital, London, discharged 21 March 1945 (Authority 31 Base).
On sick leave or in hospital from 6 October 1944 through to 21 March 1945.
23 March 1945 – posting to 11 PDRC, Brighton, UK.
28 March 1945 – issued with 65 tropical clothing coupons.

11 April 1945 – embarked from UK, destination Australia (brother F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd reported missing with Halifax NA240 Z5-V and all crew, air operation Target Leipzig, Germany on the night of 10 April 1945).

23 May 1945 – disembarked Sydney, NSW.
23 May 1945 – posting to 2 PD (Personnel Depot), Sydney, NSW.
23 May 1945 – 7 days Recreation Leave, to 31 May 1945, 2 PD.
1 June 1945 – 30 days Special Leave to 1 July, 2 PD.
3 July 1945 – posting to 3 PD Brisbane, Queensland, ex Overseas Postings.
21 September 1945 – Authority for payment in lieu of leave entitlements of 75 days (made up of 7 days Recreation Leave, 38 days War Service Leave, 30 days Re-establishment Leave).
21 September 1945 – 3 Personnel Depot, Sandgate, Queensland – discharged 'On Demobilization'.

23 October 1945 – Advice of Eligibility for Returned from Active Service Badge.
29 October 1945 – Certificate of Service and Discharge covering the period as Airman, and Certificate of Service covering the period as Officer in the RAAF forwarded to home address at Brookfield, Brisbane.

Overseas Service – Canada – 2 Nov 1942 to 27 May 1943.
Overseas Service – United Kingdom – 4 June 1943 to 23 May 1945.

Types of Aircraft flown (RAF Form 373) – Oxfords, Wellington, Stirling, and Lancaster (plus un-listed training aircraft – Tiger Moth, Crane and Anson).
Type on which most proficient – Lancaster.

Information not to hand – names of the crew who trained and flew with F/O N.V.Hibberd while posted to 26 OTU, 1657 CU and 218 Squadron. His Navigator was Lou Brimblecombe, formerly of Capella, central Queensland. If anyone can assist with crew information, please make contact.
(Information from the WW2 Nominal Roll website Charles Louis Brimblecombe; RAAF 425592; date of birth 23 December 1923; born Brisbane; enlisted 25 April 1942 in Brisbane (same enlistment date and place as Pilot F/O N.V.Hibberd); Next-of-kin James Brimblecombe; discharged 7 December 1945; Rank Flying Officer; discharged from 9 Aircrew Holding Unit. (The family of Lou Brimblecombe have made contact to confirm that this Navigator is correct, and a web page on this site has been created for him.)
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Honours and Awards

1939-45 Star
France and Germany Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
Returned from Active Service Badge
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Links with M.J.Hibberd

As mentioned above, Noel Victor was the older brother of Maxwell James Hibberd. Noel & Max attended the Queensland Agricultural High School & College in Gatton, Queensland as boarding students, as did their three younger brothers.

Noel was listed as Max's contact 'in case of casualty' in the UK, with his address listed as 425653 N.V.Hibberd, RAAF Base PO, London. Similarly, the UK emergency contact person to be notified in case of Noel becoming a casualty was his brother Max (address listed as 435342 Sgt M.J.Hibberd, RAAF Post Office, Kodak House, London).

Several of Max's short leave breaks were spent at the Allen’s farm in Lincolnshire, which was the home of Noel's wife Muriel.
On 11 May 1945, as an ex-PoW, MJH wrote a letter to his sister-in-law Muriel in UK from Brussels, addressed to her c/- Stevenson Smart & Coy., Red Lion Square, Stamford, Lincoln. The letter is an official Armed Forces Air Letter, postmarked 12/05/45 at “1 Canadian ABPO” and stamped “ex. PoW”.  MJH had decided to write to Muriel, rather than his brother Noel, as Noel had been expecting to leave the UK for the Pacific War Zone. In the letter MJH asks “Is Noel on his way yet?” From Noel's service file, it is now evident that he had embarked from the UK on 11 April 1945, and disembarked in Sydney Australia on the 23 May 1945. MJH and the crew of Halifax NA240 had crashed in Germany on the night of 10 April 1945, so Noel may have already been on board ship by the time the Crew was officially listed as missing on 11 April 1945. One wonders how long it took for Noel to receive this news (assuming it would have been sent via Kodak House, London) and how long before he became aware that his brother was alive and a PoW, and later safe in the UK.

Both brothers had only one offence each on their general conduct Sheets – Noel as LAC in Canada at age 20 years & 1 month as mentioned above, and Max at age 20 years & 3 months as an ex-PoW F/Sgt in the UK on 27/06/45 (as detailed in his MJH Service page). Is there a rebellious streak in the family?

Max was Best Man at Noel's wedding on 10 February 1945 when both were on active service in the UK. Noel was Best Man at Max's wedding in November 1949 after their return to civilian life. Both were motorcyclists, as were their three younger brothers, with their only sister a regular pillion passenger.
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