Working for The Associated Press from 1937, Noel covered the Malayan jungle campaign as a reporter and photographer after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. During World War II, Noel worked for the AP in the Pacific Theater. Later he went to Burma and India. After the war he was assigned to the Mediterranean area for four years, with special emphasis on the Palestinian conflict. The following year he covered Berlin during the cold war. When the Korean War broke out, Noel volunteered to cover it. He was captured and held captive from 1950 to 1953, during which time he managed to photograph captured United Nations forces. He was apprehended during an attempted escape and spent seven weeks in solitary confinement. Upon his release by the North Koreans, he returned to New York. Then he was sent by AP to Tampa in 1958, and then to Tallahassee.