Urmston WW2 

Arthur Malcolm Snape

Rank:Sub-lieutenant (A)
Ship/Rgn/Sqn No:837 Sqn RNVR
Name of Rgt or Ship:H.M.S. Glory
Country of burial:Lost at Sea
Cemetery or Memorial:Lee-on-Solent Memorial
Town Memorial:Not Listed
Extra Information:
Born during the June quarter 1915 in the Barton upon Irwell R.D. - ref:
8/888, the son of Frank & Lucy Snape (nee Pinnington).

H.M.S. Glory was a Colossus class of Light Fleet Carriers, a utility design
without armoured decks, a top speed of 25 knots and only close range A.A.
guns as ship’s armament.    The order for H.M.S. Glory was placed on
25-3-1942 and the keel was laid on 28-8-1942 at Harland & Wolff, Belfast,
she was Job No.12.     On Saturday 27th November 1943 was she was launched
by Lady Cynthia Brookes (wife of the Northern Ireland P.M.) and then spent
1944 being fitted out.   Then on 21st of February 1945 she was
commissioned.  Captain Sir Anthony Buzzard DSO.OBE. had already spent three
months overseeing the final fitting out.

H.M.S. Glory slipped her berth on Friday 23rd March to begin her sea trials
and working up. Then on May 14th she became operational and left the Clyde
and made her way to the Med.

David W. Earl an aviation historian, from Cheshire, states that - Sub.Lt.
Snape was killed in a flying accident off the Isle of Arran, off Islay
North Coast Scotland, whilst serving with the Fleet Air Arm and was missing
at sea flying a Barracuda aircraft number HX794.

At the time of the accident he had taken off from Machrihannish on Kintyre
and was returning to the ship or visa versa practicing take offs & landings
in preparation for going overseas in the coming weeks.   See report below.

Note from David Earl - Re: Sub/Lt Arthur Snape.  I have in fact recently
found out that his aircraft Barracuda MX794 crashed in the sea off the
North coast of the Isle of Islay (Not Arran as first thought, it has also
been reputed to have crashed on Goat Fell Arran) this is also incorrect. 
The aircraft crashed into the sea (For reasons still not known, perhaps
engine trouble?) on 16/4/1945 killing Sub/Lt Snape, Sub/Lt Geoffrey Claude
Pickles of Ottley, Yorks and Leading Airman William George Ryan of
Rogate,Sussex. Pickles body was washed up on Kintyre and he is buried in
Campbeltown (Kilkerran) Cemetery,Argyl. Division 4,Grave 625. The other two
are commemorated on Lee On Solent memorial. Stangely the CWGC have Pickles
serving with HMS Gloria (This is a typing error and should of course be
Glory).   The co-ordinates for his crash position are - 55:53N - 06:24W 
off Nave Island, NW of Islay

Examination of the 837 Squadron history log book at Kew, much of which is a
light hearted, blow by blow account by the men themselves, of what the
Squadron got up to, rather than an official squadron record.  It does
however record the two tradgedies that the Squadron faced.  Picking up the
story from mid-August 1942 - the record book states that the Squadron left
New York on H.M.S. Dasher, bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, on
route to the UK.   H.M.S. Dasher was originally built as a cargo vessel,
later converted to an aircraft carrier.   It was not a happy ship, there
were always problems with it and Sub.Lt. Snape, if he was aboard then, was
lucky to get back in one piece - the ship was later sunk off the Isle of
Arran on the 23rd  March 1943, with the loss of 379 of the total crew of
528.  The loss was hushed up for many years and the reason for it sinking
is still unknown, but is believed to have been caused by men smoking below
decks where there were always petrol leaks and the inevitable petrol fumes
about.   On their arrival in the UK, they were stationed at Lee on Solent,
conducting training exercises.

The log for the 3rd of September 1944 states that Sub.Lt Snape is attending
an engine handling course.   The 4th September log comments on the problems
that the loose wing rivets are causing on the Baracuda aircraft (torpedo
bombers) - in consequence, they can only fly straight and level in them.  
The first Baracuda - number HX552, is reported as being ready for service
on the 8th September.  By the 10th, it is reported that Baracuda's arrive
daily now and they now have six.   By the 21st October, they seem to have
solved the problem of the loose wing rivets. and have now logged up a total
of 554.4 flying hours at Lee on Solent.    They are now going on 14 days
leave before moving up to RNAS Fearn (HMS Owl) in Ross-shire.

There is a list of air crews for their journey up to Scotland and Sub.Lt
Snape is listed as A/c 'S' Snape on 'A' Flight.    They land in the dark at
RNAS Fearn at 18.30 hours on the 6th November 1944, in a 5 knot gale. 
There is a photograph of Roy Mellars, "Talkie" Ward, "Macsnape" and Johnny
Hobbs plus a group photo of the entire Squadron.

On the 9th January 1945, they are informed that the ship to which they are
to be stationed on, is to be H.M.S. Glory.   Their first disaster struck at
the end of February when Sub.Lt's. Sherriff and Hood, together with
L/Airman Graham, are killed when their aircraft spin from 1,500 feet.  They
eventually land on H.M.S. Glory during the month 4th April - 10th May 1945
and start 14 days of hectic flying (training?) that went on from 08.00 -
20.00 hours each day.   There is another photograph of Macsnape in the
book, probably put there after his loss on the 16th April.   The log
reports that "On their first "Navex" from the ship, Sub.Lt's. Snape and
Pickles, together with L/Airman Ryan, do not return.  The Squadron went out
for three days scouring the sea for them, from Ireland across to the
Hebrides, but to no avail, they were lost".

Memorials found on:
Similar Names