F/L Tony Snell

Discussion in 'Biographies' started by Antipodean Andy, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    As mentioned in Kyt's thread here - http://ww2chat.com/forums/obituaries/4260-major-peter-lewis-rip.html - a succssful escaper.

    An interesting piece about Tony Snell - mostly his post-war adventures.

    Still Crazy after all these Years - Tony Snell talks to AAS on Life, Love and Living in the BVI

  2. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Whilst looking for info on Snell I found this - Snell gets a passing mention but the rest is a great read

    WWII Stories
  3. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Shotdown in Spitfire ER856 of 242 Squadron on 10 July 1943 (first day of the invasion of Sicily)

    anthony noel 119146

    Attachments from Spitfires over Sicily by Cull et al

    And this is probably one of the longest DSO citations I've ever seen

    Distinguished Service Order Gazetted 23 July 1946
    Flight Lieutenant Anthony Noel SNELL (119146), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
    On 10th July, 1943, this officer's aircraft was shot down during a patrol over the beach head in Sicily, where allied landings were taking place. He was then engaged in attacking a force of Messerschmidts. The crash landing took place in territory controlled by the enemy, but Flight Lieutenant Snell was able to evade capture and, after dark, endeavoured to return to the beach head. He first encountered a number of Italians whom he bluffed into thinking him a Vichy Frenchman. On escaping from the Italians, he eventually found a road which he recognised from his map. Whilst following this road he was challenged by some Germans who ordered him to put his hands up. Without warning they rolled a grenade at him along the ground. Just in time, he jumped aside and ran back, followed by more grenades; he escaped by taking cover in the scrub, hortly after this, he found himself in a minefield through which he picked his way for half an hour before reaching a track. Following this track, Flight Lieutenant Snell blundered on a German airfield, very near the battle area, where he was captured. The Germans decided to execute him as a spy. Flight Lieutenant Snell was marched out to a small open space and ordered to kneel down. Realising that he was to be shot in cold blood, he did not obey the order, but sprang away as the Germans fired. He was wounded in several places, his right shoulder being smashed. Despite this. Flight Lieutenant Snell evaded his captors, and hid for a time amongst boulders, before making a last attempt to reach the British lines. Owing to the extreme weakness and pain caused by his wounds, this attempt was not successful. Flight Lieutenant Snell was re-captured at dawn after he had collapsed from exhaustion. He was again threatened with execution for spying on the airfield, but finally managed to prove his identity to the satisfaction of the Germans. He was taken to a field hospital where his wounds received attention. Later, Flight Lieutenant Snell was transferred to Catania and thence to Lucca by sea. Here he was in hospital for about 2 months, until the Germans, who controlled the prisoners, decided to move them by train to Germany. Although not fully recovered from his wounds, Flight Lieutenant Snell determined to escape during the journey and made all possible preparations for this. In company with an American officer, he jumped from the train while it was passing through a junction, afterwards discovered to be Mantova. For the next week, they travelled south. During this journey, they had several narrow escapes from the Germans and were assisted by a number of Anti-Fascist Italians. With this help, the officers were able to reach Modena where they were sheltered by various friendly Italians for several months. It was eventually decided that Flight Lieutenant Snell and his companion should attempt to escape over the Alps to Switzerland. They made a long and risky train journey, accompanied by several of their -Italian friends, to a small village near the frontier. There they were introduced to two guides who took them over the mountains. After a very long and steep climb, the frontier was -reached and crossed. In Switzerland, Flight Lieutenant Snell was interned until October, 1944, when, the American advance reached the Swiss border.

    Attached Files:

  4. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Interesting to note it lists his escape companion as an American officer not Major Peter Lewis.
  5. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    In Brickhill's notes it states an Army Officer.
  6. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    At least more accurate than the American angle.
  7. Simonspitfire

    Simonspitfire New Member

    Major Peter Lewis and Flt Lt Tony Snell

    Having just joined this Forum I noticed the input on my late uncle Peter Lewis and Tony Snell. I thought members would like to read the full article I sent to the Daily Telegraph for his obituary. This is a great site for remembering all those hero's of WW 2. I look forward to reading other stories.

    Attached Files:

  8. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Welcome Simon and thank you for the obituary.

    I hope you enjoy the forum.
  9. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    That's an incredible read, Simon. To say that he was in the thick of things would be an understatement. Thank you for sharing it with us. I'm sure it will be of great help in other people's research in the future
  10. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Welcome aboard, Simon, and thanks for the article.

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