SNOOK Graham Ernest 415743

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Graham Ernest SNOOK

Service No: 415743
Born: Perth WA, 28 August 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 31 January 1942
Unit: No. 138 Squadron (RAF), RAF Tempsford, Bedfordshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 138 Squadron Halifax aircraft JD156), Baltic Sea, 17 September 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Harry Graham Snook and Henrietta Pearl Snook, of Mount Lawley, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 193, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Halifax JD156 of 138 Squadron took off from RAF Tempsford at 1827 hours on 16 September 1943 along with other aircraft of the Squadron, to carry out a special mission in Poland. Nothing was heard from JD 156 after take off and it did not return to base. Later it was learned that the aircraft had ditched and three crew members were killed and four became Prisoners of War.

The crew members of JD156 were:

Flying Officer James Reid Bradley (J/10044) (RCAF) (Navigator)
Sergeant S Francis (1582178) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Sergeant Henry Johnston (976714) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant G T Jones (1320522) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber) PoW
Flight Sergeant Donald Robert Quinlivan (422007) (Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 16 October 1945
Flight Sergeant Graham Ernest Snook (415743) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Lloyd Alfred Trotter (415368) (Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 30 April 1946

In a later statement by Flight Sergeant Trotter he reported that “Flight Sergeant Snook was alive and uninjured up to the time the aircraft ditched in the Baltic. Trotter and the other three who became PoWs escaped from the aircraft and were two hours in the water before being taken prisoners. No others were seen to escape from the aircraft and he believed that Flight Sergeant Snook and the other two crew members had lost their lives when the aircraft ditched.” It was later established that the body of Sergeant Johnston was washed ashore in Denmark and is buried at Frederikshaven on the east coast of Jutland while that of Flying Officer Bradley is interred at Randers. It was recorded that Flight Sergeant Snook had lost his life at sea.

References:

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, 166/38/283

Bibliography:

Walley, B (Brian) (Editor) Silk and Barbed Wire, RAF Ex-Prisoners of War Association (Australian Division), Sage Pages Warwick WA 6024, 2000 – Special Duties Mission by Lloyd Trotter, Page 179