Stuart (Snow) Davis

Snow Davis enlisted in Sydney on 15 August 1941. He remembered listening to a radio broadcast in which it was stated 'If you can ride a horse, you can fly an aeroplane'. Snow and a few mates who could ride took the advertisement at face value. After 3 months of basic training, he was selected to start training as a pilot and practised in Tiger Moths, Wirraways and the Miles Master.

When posted to England, Snow was assigned to No 231 Squadron, RAF, flying the Mustang Mk I. He was then assigned for a brief time to No 16 Squadron, RAF, and flew photographic reconnaissance in a specially equipped Spitfire. It was a job he didn't enjoy because the plane was unarmoured and carried no weaponry for protection. Part of Snow's job entailed photographing the French coast in preparation for the expected invasion.

He recalled making himself quite disagreeable to his senior officers when he objected to not being informed about the purpose of the missions. He was transferred to No 122 Squadron, RAF, where he was much happier piloting the Mustang Mk IIIs, which he considered more stable than the Spitfires and certainly better armed.

During the D-Day landings, Snow flew missions inland to strike at the German supports and strategic targets. He remembered the missions flown around Calais as being particularly bloody as they sought to strike anything that moved. A particularly pungent memory was his visit to the battlefield of Tilly-sur-Seulles, not long after the battle's conclusion. The stench and sight of dismembered body parts stayed with him for the rest of his life.

Snow was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for his efforts in France during the war. He was discharged from the RAAF in February 1946 and returned to his pre-war job at Dalgety's, where he eventually became chairman of Dalgety Futures. He retired in December 1980 after 40 years of service and moved to Port Macquarie, where he lived at his Lighthouse Beach home.

Last updated: 21 May 2020

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