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SHOT DOWN: The true story of pilot Howard…

SHOT DOWN: The true story of pilot Howard Snyder and the crew of the B-17…

by Steve Snyder

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SHOT DOWN: The true story of pilot Howard Snyder and the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth by Steve Snyder is a compelling book worth a read if you are a history fanatic, a WWII buff, or simply someone looking for a good, true story. Written by Steve Snyder, this is the story of his father Lieutenant Howard Snyder and his crew. This book reads like a documentary of sorts, with fantastic detail, thanks to interviews, letters, journals and diaries. This is a great depiction of life as a part of a bomber crew, young men in a dangerous situation, and the ensuing help from the Belgians. This is a personal account of a fascinating story, and one that could easily be read in one sitting. Highly readable and a testimony to the courage of men at war, this book is not to be missed and is highly recommended for an impactful and insightful read. ( )
  ValeryElias | Nov 27, 2017 |
5458, Shot Down The true story of pilot Howard Snyder and the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth, by Steve Snyder (read 7 Apr 2017) This book is published by the author's own company, but I found it at the Sioux City Library. Since I have a great interest in personal experience accounts of war, I decided to read it. The author is the son of the pilot of a B-17 which was shot down in 1944 over Belgium. He has done a good job using letters his father and others wrote and a lot of research to compile this book, which is amateurishly done but of high interest especially when telling of the B-17 being shot down and the experience his father had in the many weeks as he sought to evade capture by the Nazis. I found the account extremely poignant, particularly as the ordeal was ending. The author can be extremely proud of the valor and work of his father. It is always great to read of the downfall of evil and when dealing with World War II we know that a good part will come, even though it seems to take so long. ( )
  Schmerguls | Apr 7, 2017 |
My reader friends know by now that I am a huge fan of WWII stories. Of course one of my favorites in this genre are WWII aviation stories. Since I was little I have been fascinated by aviation. Some day I plan to pick up again my flying lessons and finish getting my pilot's license. Ok. enough about my interests and back to the book.

I thought the author did a very good job of sharing his father's story and that of the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth. The B17 is a four-engine heavy bomber aircraft that was developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC). Any one who is a fan of these types of books will enjoy this book. You don't have to have any knowledge of aviation or this time period as the author shares facts about history from the war, to the crew, his father, and the different positions that each crew member held. Yet, the author finds a nice balance between sharing historical facts and keeping it short without becoming dry. Also, the author shared his father's writing, so he had a voice as well in this book. It helped make me grow closer to the Snyders's. This is a fascinating read. ( )
  Cherylk | Feb 1, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0986076015, Paperback)

Winner of 20 national book awards, SHOT DOWN is set within the framework of World War II in Europe and recounts the dramatic experiences of each member of a ten man B-17 bomber crew after their plane, piloted by the author's father, was knocked out of the sky by German fighters over the French/Belgian border on February 8,1944.

Some men died. Some were captured and became prisoners of war. Some men evaded capture and were missing in action for months before making it back to England. Their individual stories and those of the courageous Belgian people who risked their lives to help them are all different and are all remarkable.

Even before the dramatic battle in the air and the subsequent harrowing events on the ground, the story is informative, insightful, and captivating. Prior to the fateful event, the book covers the crew's training, their journey to England, what life was like on base as well as in London and the English countryside, and the perils of flying combat missions over occupied Europe and Germany.

Through personal letters, oral and written accounts, declassified military documents, and interviews - all from people who took part in the events that happened over 70 years ago (even the German Luftwaffe pilot who shot down the Susan Ruth) - the stories come alive. Adding to the feeling of "being there," are more than 200 time period photographs interspersed throughout the book.

To add background and context, many historical facts and anecdotes about and surrounding World War II are entwined throughout the book so that the reader has a feel for and understanding of what was occurring on a broader scale. SHOT DOWN is an account about brave individuals, featuring pilot Howard Snyder, set within the compelling events of the greatest conflict in world history.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 10 Mar 2017 08:51:40 -0500)

"Shot Down is a compelling story of our B-17 aircrews that flew, fought, and died over Europe to save a continent from tyranny and oppression. There were over 56,000 downed airmen in World War II. Lt. Howard Snyder and the crew of the Susan Ruth were one of those crews that went down over Europe... --General Duncan J. McNabb, USAF, retired, 33rd Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force." -- back cover… (more)

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