Just A Common Soldier, also known as A Soldier Died Today, is a tribute to the soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen who have given so much for their country. The poem was written and published in 1987 by Canadian veteran and columnist A. Lawrence Vaincourt. On July 4, 2008, it was carved into a marble monument at West Point, New York.
February 8 is Super Museum Sunday at the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force located in Pooler, Georgia and admission is free all day. During the event, I will be signing my book, SHOT DOWN, out of the Museum Gift Store from 10 am-4 pm.
It was 71 years ago on February 8, 1944, that my father’s B-17 was shot down over over the French/Belgium border after a mission to bomb Frankfurt, Germany. The book tells the true story of events leading up to and after that harrowing day.
Of the ten man crew, some died, some ended up in prison camps and some evaded capture. What makes the book unique is the varied, detailed, and amazing story of what happened to each crew member and of the Belgian patriots who risked their lives to help them. My father, Howard Snyder, evaded capture and was missing in action for seven months until liberated on September 2 by the U.S. Armies coming up through France after D-Day.
Both the B-17 Susan Ruth the video and the Monceau Imbrechies video were produced in 2011 by AFN Benelux; the American Forces Network which provide news and community information to Department of Defense personnel and their families located in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
In the Monceau Imbrechies video, Christel Delahaye speaks. She is the daughter of the late Dr. Paul Delahaye, founder of the Belgian American Foundation (since renamed Association du Devoir de Mémoire de Momignies – Belgique) which erected these two memorials: the one at Monceau Imbrechies in 1988 and the Susan Ruth in 1989.
A 2005 interview with Roy Holbert, flight engineer and top turret gunner on the B-17 Susan Ruth who was captured by the Germans after bailing out of the plane and spent 444 days as a prisoner of war (POW).