Pilot Officer Desmond Byrne SNAPE

Service No: 420071
Born: Abbotsford NSW, 4 May 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1941
Unit: No. 141 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station West Raynham, Norfolk
Died: Air Operations: (No. 141 Squadron Mosquito aircraft MJ543), Netherlands, 24 February 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Loppersum General Cemetery, Groningen, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Claude Manning Snape and Doris Mary Snape
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Five Dock War Memorial, Five Dock NSW

At 1758 hours on the night of 24 February 1944 Mosquito HJ943 took off from West Raynham detailed to carry out a service patrol to Kiel, Kattegat and Little Belt. At 2100 hours at position 53.00N 005.00E, this aircraft was heard by Flying Officers Waite and Allen of No. 141 Squadron, to give “Mayday” to “Appelove” twice, but no acknowledgement was heard. Except for this nothing has been heard either the crew or the aircraft which was due to return to West Raynham at 2130 Hours.”

The crew members of MJ543 were:

Flying Officer I H Fowler (J/20406) (RCAF) (Navigator Radio) PoW
Pilot Officer Douglas Byrne Snape (420071) (Pilot)

In a later statement Flying Officer Fowler reported: “We noticed that the temperature of the starboard engine was going up and about 15 minutes later it began to seize up, and the airscrew was feathered. About an hour later the port engine began to vibrate very badly, and the Captain ordered me to abandon and while descending on my parachute, I heard the aircraft crash and saw the flames. The following day the Germans showed me Pilot Officer Snape’s body. His parachute was unopened.”


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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705 166/38/435
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Book Now Book Now