Shot Down: The true story of pilot Howard Snyder and the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth

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Product Details

$19.95  $18.55
Sea Breeze Publishing LLC
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.78 inches | 1.11 pounds

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About the Author

Born in Pasadena, California, Steve Snyder was raised in the neighboring community of San Marino. He graduated from UCLA and during the Vietnam War years served six years in the California Army National Guard. In 1972, he moved to Seal Beach, California where he lives today. In 2009, he retired from Vision Service Plan (VSP) after a 36 year career working in sales and sales management. Soon after retirement, Steve began his quest to learn more about the World War II experiences of his father, pilot Howard Snyder, and his crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth. It became his passion, and after 4 1/2 years of dedicated research, resulted in book, SHOT DOWN, which has won 20 national book awards. One result of his new career as a World War II historian is that he is a member of numerous World War II organizations and is President of the 306th Bomb Group Historical Association.
Nick Zelinger of specializes in Graphic design, including book (cover and interior) design and production, collateral marketing materials, logo design, corporate identity, brochures - virtually anything for the print industry
John Maling, PhD, has professionally worn many hats. As an author, he created the multi-award winning Have You Even Held a Mountain?, an inspirational poetry book woven with mountains and scenery. As an inventor, he created children's puzzles and crafts and as a book editor, he specialized in non-fiction books and Indexing. Drawing on his educational and scientific background, he did research and taught physics and engineering at college level. Combining all, he has used his love of art and animation along with his wit and poetry and teaching and brought The Alphabet Menagerie to life. John lives in Colorado and his website is


Steve Snyder's masterful book, Shot Down, does justice to the adventures of his father, pilot Howard Snyder, and the crew of the B-17 plane Susan Ruth. Using first-hand accounts from diary entries, letters, and family stories, Snyder revives experiences that are accessible and relevant both to historians and readers with a casual interest in WWII history. As World War II fades into history, stories like the ones in Shot Down revive the past, give it new life, and offer a link between the heroes of yesterday and the men we now call "Grandpa." Steve Snyder's extensive research, careful storytelling, and humane treatment of his subjects make Shot Down a must-read for anyone with an interest in this gripping period of American history. - Foreword Reviews Throughout the book the author is careful to set the larger context of the war without losing readers to unnecessary acronyms or overly technical discussions. This is a great introduction to the history of the U.S. air war in Europe, humanized by the experience of a single bomber crew. Maps and illus. - Publishers Weekly The author does an impressive job letting the tale speak for itself, giving center stage to the words of the soldiers and eschewing unnecessary dramatic embellishment. Snyder's contribution is an excellent one that honors both the personal and global effects of war. A gripping story for readers in search of either drama or historical edification. - Kirkus Extensively researched, packed with photographs, and neatly interwoven with background remarks, this meticulously detailed description of the airmen's daily life offers a comprehensive, yet personalized portrait of a war in which "more airmen with the Eighth Air Force lost their lives than in the entire Marine Corps." The use of excerpts from letters and journals gives a compelling, up-close account of what it was like to fly with death every day. . As the devastation of WWII fades into history, this informative and insightful account of one bomber crew's experiences serves as a cogent reminder of what individuals suffered.. It's a thoroughly satisfying and worthwhile read. - Blue Ink "Shot Down" is an informed and informative reading for World War II history buffs and for personal reading lists. Centered around the 306th Bomb Group in Thurleigh, England, it is informative, insightful and captivating. - Midwest Book Review Steve Snyder's military history book, Shot Down, reads like a novel, yet it isn't. The names and faces are all real, but their stories are presented in such a compelling manner that this thorough and painstakingly researched effort reads smoothly and fluently as Snyder and his father's journals bring the past to life. I was fascinated as I read . Shot Down is a remarkable compilation of historical data that is presented in a well-written and thought-provoking narrative. It's most highly recommended. - Readers' Favorite Book Reviews Steve Snyder's Shot Down is extraordinary. It is littered with a wide range of visual aids. The book contains photographs, diagrams, maps, and even scans of Howard's diary and telegrams. Seeing photographs of the Belgian homes where crew members stayed, and of the acquaintances they made while downed, bring this story to life. The book itself is drawn from Howard's diary, correspondence, and other first-hand accounts. It is a rich documentary. Letters written by Howard to his wife, in particular, allow readers to "get inside" the mind of a B-17 pilot. Steve Snyder's narrative is straightforward and compelling. It is a relatively easy read, and the short chapters make this book highly accessible. This book will be particularly enjoyable for those interested in the Eight Air Force and/or the B-17 Flying Fortress, but it is also broad enough to appeal to general history readers. Shot Down is a masterful work. It is insightful, engrossing, and succeeds on every level. Bravo. - War History Online