Mar 102015

The following is a Lunch Box Lecture given by Seth Pardon at the National WW II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana that I attended in the fall of 2013 commemorating the 70th anniversary of Black Week.

Casualties in the 8th Air Force were never higher than during the Autumn of 1943. The month of October, in particular, was especially bloody. Raids on the German cities of Bremen, Marienburg, Munster and a second visit to the Kugelfischer ball bearing factory at Schweinfurt resulted in the losses of 148 B-17s in a matter of seven days. The 8th Air Force teetered on defeat and the German Luftwaffe never came as close to victory ever again.

Manager of Research Services Seth Paridon discusses the four important bombing raids through the use of veteran oral histories and archival film footage.

Share Button
Mar 102015

YouTube user EmperorTigerstar has painstakingly mapped the changing front lines of World War II in Europe. Incredibly, the map accounts for every single day of the war — from the invasion of Poland through to the surrender of Nazi Germany.

This timelapse offers a fascinating glimpse into the ebbs and flows of the 6-year long conflict. Watching it, you can see how the front lines often moved in fits and starts (often an indication of winter and the infamous Russian spring rasputitsa), and how a sudden alliance or overthrow dramatically changed the geopolitical landscape. It’s also interesting to see the massive encirclements on the Eastern front pop up and disappear from time-to-time (Stalingrad being the best example).

Unfortunately, it doesn’t show the impacts of the Allied bombing campaign, nor does it account for partisan action.

Key dates to watch out for:

  • September 1, 1939: Germany invades Poland (watch the Soviets move in to take their half starting September 17)
  • April 9, 1940: Germany invades Norway
  • May 10, 1940: Germany invades France
  • April 6, 1941: Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece
  • June 22, 1941: Germany invades Soviet Union
  • November 25, 1941: The Battle for Moscow
  • July 3, 1942: Sevastopol falls to Germany
  • October 23, 1942: Battle of El Alamein begins
  • January 31, 1943: German surrender at Stalingrad
  • March 15, 1943: Germans retake Kharkov
  • May 12, 1943: Surrender of Axis forces in North Africa
  • July 10, 1943: Allied landings in Sicily (Operation Husky)
  • June 4, 1944: Rome captured by Allies
  • June 6, 1944: Allied invasion of Normandy (D-Day)
  • August 15, 1944: Allied landings in South of France
  • August 25, 1944: Paris liberated
  • January 17, 1945: Soviets capture Warsaw
  • April 13, 1945: Soviets capture Vienna
  • April 23, 1945: Soviets enter Berlin
  • May 8, 1945: VE Day declared

The Legend:

  • Maroon = Axis Powers proper and annexed lands (Germany, Italy, etc.)
  • Burgundy = Areas militarily occupied by the Axis powers, but not annexed
  • Red = Puppet states
  • Pinkish-red = Gains that day made by the Axis Powers.



Share Button
Mar 032015

Author Steve Snyder will be at the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force Aviation Museum this Saturday, March 7th, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM to sign copies of his book “Shot Down”. Remember, admission to our museum is discounted this day, we have extended our hours, and Falcon Field Airport (where we are located) in Mesa, AZ will be having their Open House!


2015 Falcon Field Open House8th Book Signing







An UCLA graduate and retiree from VSP Vision Insurance, Mr. Snyder belongs to numerous World War II associations. Steve serves on the Board of Directors for the 306th Bomb Group Association. A California native and a part-time resident in Sedona, Arizona, he has made it his mission to learn everything possible about the WWII experiences of his father, pilot Howard Snyder and his of the B-17 named, “Susan Ruth”.

Steve’s father, Howard Snyder, was a B-17 pilot stationed in England during WWII. On 8th February, 1944, his plane was shot down over the French/Belgium border after a mission to bomb Frankfurt, Germany. “Shot Down” tells the true story of events leading up to and after that harrowing day. The book is unique in the varied details and amazing story of each of the ten men aircrew. In particular, is pilot Howard Snyder’s evasion of capture for seven months.

Share Button
Mar 032015

The morning after The National WWII Museum’s American Spirit Award gala, honorees Tom Hanks and Tom Brokaw appeared on NBC’s Today Show and MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss their relationship with the Museum. Check out what they had to say about the impact of the Museum, the urgency of its mission, and why this award is such a special one for both of them.



WW II Museum


Share Button
Feb 102015

Below is a translation from an article that appeared in the Belgium newspaper,  l’avenir

Thanks to the crew of the B 17

Sunday, the civil authorities and made military respect to the crew of the B 17 fortress that crashed in Macquenoise.

The day of February 8, 1944 has been that of a tragedy for the crew of the American B-17 Fortress Susan Ruth. It crashed at a place called The Distillery Macquenoise, returning from a bombing operation on Frankfurt, pursued by the German aerial hunting. The memory of this tragedy is still alive, and the crew of memory, a monument was erected in 1989. Each year a memorial service is held at the memorial, at the initiative of the municipal administration and association for Momignies Lest We Forget (former Belgian-American Foundation dear to the late Paul Delahaye).

The 71st Anniversary

The day of remembrance began with a church service in the church of Macquenoise, whose choir was occupied by the delegations of the Franco-Belgian and American patriotic associations with their flags. At the end of the Mass, a tribute to veterans poem was read by children of the entity.

Ceremonies at B-17 Susan Ruth Memorial at Macquenoise, Belgium

Ceremonies at B-17 Susan Ruth Memorial at Macquenoise, Belgium

All civil delegations, military and the public were later found at the monument to the dead of the community to respect a minute of silence. Among the military authorities emphasize the presence of the US delegation led by Lieutenant Colonel Kuester and honor guard, also the presence of a delegation of the 4th Battalion logistics with Lieutenant Colonel BEM Thierry Esser, recently promoted to chief body.

Saluting are Lieutenant Colonel Thierry Esser from Belgium and Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Kuester from USAF 424 Squadron Base

Saluting are Lieutenant Colonel Thierry Esser from Belgium and Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Kuester from USAF 424 Squadron Base

After this brief process of memory, all went to a place called The Distillery for the memorial service. In a snowy landscape, swept by an icy wind, participants listened to several interventions circumstance before the deposition of flowers and national anthems. The mayor of Momignies Albert Depret stressed the importance of working memory required and the manifestation of gratitude and vis-à-vis our liberators recognition.

Alpert Depret, Mayor of Monignies

Alpert Depret, Mayor of Monignies

Lieutenant Colonel Kuester, R 424 Squadron Base, thanked the civil authorities and the association of Momignies memory Duty of loyalty to the memory of heroes. As for Séverine Delahaye, Member of the Association of Lest We Forget, she thanked the delegations who have at heart to closely associate with the patriotic approach.

Share Button