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Frederick Norman Rhys Thomas

Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand

Fl/Lt. Frederick Norman Rhys Thomas

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  • Title
  • Forenames
    Frederick Norman Rhys AWMM
  • Surname
    Thomas AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • WWII NZ40993 AWMM
    • WWII 40993 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    24 September 1918 Births, Deaths and Marriages
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 Mrs C.D. Thomas (mother), Motueka AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    Pacific Theatre of War AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Air Force AWMM
  • Service number
    • WWII NZ40993 AWMM
    • WWII 40993 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) AWMM
    "Captain of one of three aircraft detailed to bomb a Japanese supply area in the Bismarck area at dawn of September 9, 1944, Flight Lieutenant Thomas reached the target after flying through darkness, heavy rain and thunderstorms, and immediately attacked with courage and determinaton. Two bombs hung up on his first run, and he therefore strafted his way around the target area and made a further run in the face of heavy enemy fire to release the remaining bombs. As the bombs dropped in the target area his starboard engine cut out, the main fuel line having been shot away by anti-aircraft fire. 'Flight-Lieutenant Thomas was faced with exceptional difficulty. Extremely bad weather on a direct course to the base made it undesirable to attempt the return on one motor, and the loss of power prevented crossing the highlands of New Ireland. Accordingly he set a course for an emergency strip at Talasea, New Britain. It was doubtful in the extreme if the aircraft would remain in the air, and it was only by the pilot's determination and skill in making use of up-currents below cumulus cloouds that he kept sufficient altitude throughout a most hazardous flight of two hours' duration. His landing was an outstanding achievement, particularly with only one engine, and throughout he displayed the utmost coolness and courage. Flight-Lieutenant Thomas has completed over 260 hours operational flying in the past year." Ashburton Guardian, 5 January 1945 AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 Airman/Military Electoral Roll, 1941
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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About death

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  • Death
    21 October 2010 Cemetery Records
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Riwaka Cemetery Tasman District New Zealand AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
18 February 2022KelvinNorfolk, EnglandResearcher

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