Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Sopwith Snipe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bristol, England
    Posts
    1,321
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 9 Times in 8 Posts

    Default Sopwith Snipe

    I have recently come by a photograph of a wrecked aircraft which I have provisionally identified as a Snipe (shape of the rudder, two cut outs in top plane). Additionally, there seems to be a lateral stripe marking along the fuselage side (3 Squadron?). The last two of the serial number '30'. Does anyone have a record of a 3 Squadron Snipe accident that might fit please. I have looked through the J File without seeing anything relevant.

    EDIT The Times reports the crash of a 3 Squadron Snipe 'near Upavon' 26/11/1925 resulting in the deaths of Slater JA and Early WJR.

    DaveW
    Last edited by davew; 10th November 2013 at 13:02. Reason: More info added/corrected date

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,517
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    Dave,

    I'm not sure if this helps but your reference to Upavon made me look at Priddle's Wings over Wiltshire and elsewhere. It appears 3 Sqn did not exist in February 1924 (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._3_Squadron_RAF). Other on-line sources state the "squadron disbanded in late 1918 before ariving at Upavon in 1924 with Snipes."

    Priddle states

    On 30th April 1924 No 3 (Fighter) Squadron returned to Upavon from Manston where it had reformed at the beginning of the month.

    I'm unclear as to where the returned comes in as, so far as I'm aware, the squadron was never previously at Upavon.

    He doesn't mention any Snipe accidents until 1926:

    On 26 November a far more serious accident (he'd previously referred to a Avro 504N crash) occurred resulting in two fatalities. Ft Lt Slater, MC, DFC, was the pilot of a dual Snipe with P/O Early under instruction. After take-off, and at around one and a half miles from the aerodrome, the machine nose-dived straight into the ground.

    This accident, on the face of it, seems to fit your information - apart from the date. Can you confirm your date as I'm wondering if Priddle is in error? He's normally pretty good at recording events in a chronological sequence, but in this instance he jumps from a Jan 1926 crash, to November 1926, then the following two paragraphs refer to pre-November matters.

    Brian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Heath Charnock
    Posts
    39
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Flight, in 3rd December 1925 issue, has "As a result of an accident near Upavon Aerodrome, Marlborough, Wiltshire, to a Sopwith Snipe of No. 3 Squadron, Upavon, on November 26, 1925, Flight-Lieutenant James Anderson Slater, M.C., D.F.C., and Pilot Officer William John Reginald Early were killed"
    So it would appear that Priddle was a year out.

    Sean

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bristol, England
    Posts
    1,321
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 9 Times in 8 Posts

    Default

    Brian,

    thanks for that. I have corrected the date in my original post to 26/11/25. I was looking at one thing and thinking about another, it doesn't work as well as it used to! It looks as though we might be on to something , a serial would be nice, but if Priddle hasn't recorded it....

    DaveW

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,517
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    Dave,

    I've emailed Rod to ask if he can help - although it was a very long time ago that he did his research. However, the evidence suggests the accident must have been reported in the local press, so you could try contacting Wiltshire Libraries and ask if this was so. I've just tried to use their website but it is appalling and does not provide an email address, however the postal address of the Trowbridge library (which holds archived newspapers) is Ground Floor, County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge. BA14 8JN
    Telephone 01225 716700. My thinking is that a report might be accompanied by a photo that provides more information.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 10th November 2013 at 14:50. Reason: Spelling

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,869
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 80 Times in 73 Posts

    Default

    Spink Medal Catalogue 2012

    was ‘quite in order’.
    Immediately after the end of the war Jimmy Slater continued as an instructor at R.A.F. Thetford and was granted a permanent commission in the Royal Air Force in August 1919. In 1922 he sailed to Egypt and became an instructor at No. 4 FTS. As a Flight Lieutenant he joined 70 Squadron in 1924, flew with 216 Squadron and then joined 1 Squadron, his old unit of 1917 days.
    He returned home at the end of 1924 and in April 1925 joined 3 (Fighter) Squadron at Upavon, flying Gloster Grebes. Upavon was also the home of the Central Flying School. Flying both on the squadron strength he coupled his duties with that of instructor which he enjoyed but tragically was killed in a flying accident on November 26, the day before his 29th birthday. It was, sadly, the old story of an instructor not taking over control in time. Even so he nearly retrieved the situation. So died a fighter who, had he lived, his undoubted flare for the unorthodox and his terrific spirit would have taken him to the top of his chosen profession, in fact he was just about to be promoted to Squadron Leader when his luck finally ran out.’ (ibid).
    Slater had been instructing Pilot Officer J.R. Early in a Snipe aircraft, both officers were killed in the crash, and were buried in Upavon Cemetery; Slater’s son followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a Wing Commander in the R.A.F. and being awarded the D.F.C. and the A.F.C.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,869
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 80 Times in 73 Posts

    Default

    re: So it would appear that Priddle was a year out.

    Its not his fault, I downloaded the ORB and it says 26.11.26 as date of crash! - I wonder if a re-look at J Serials and with the correct date and maybe '30' serial will reveal the aircraft id?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bristol, England
    Posts
    1,321
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 9 Times in 8 Posts

    Default

    My thanks to all who have taken an interest in this.
    Paul's reference to the ORB entry being a year out is interesting as it spotlights Brian's remarks about Priddle being out of sequence with the events of 1925/1926.
    Paul, is the Snipe entry in the ORB in chronological order, i.e. is is just the date column entry that is incorrect, or is the whole entry placed out of sequence?
    I will look again through the J File, although I fear that not all Snipes are listed in it.

    DaveW

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,869
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 80 Times in 73 Posts

    Default

    re: Not an easy one to answer, 3 Sqn had one of the most detailed ORBS of a prewar sqn I have ever seen, but they grouped stuff together in sections over a 12 month period, so the sequencing is all over the place - DaveW you have a pm!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,517
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    Dave,

    Rod has replied giving the same information as Paul in respect of the date and the uncertain nature of the 3 Sqn ORB. He doesn't have the Snipe's serial number, but suggests contacting Vic Lauriman, the 3 Sqn historian. I have a contact telephone number if you have not already gone down this path.

    Brian

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •