Jan 172015

Normally I never begin a book review like this—but allow me to just come right out and say it: this book is excellent. Steve Snyder’s Shot Down: The True Story of Pilot Howard Snyder and the Crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth is extraordinary. When the book arrived in the mail, I was expecting another narrowly focused monograph written by an adoring son about the experience of his father in World War II. What I got was so much more. Among other things, what makes Shot Down different is the broad context woven into the story. The experience of B-17 Susan Ruth and its crew is told squarely within the larger framework of the war. Nazi aggression in Europe, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, D-Day, and the push of General Patton’s Third Army into Germany are highlighted, providing a familiar backdrop to the unique episode of Lt. Howard Snyder and his crew. Author Steve Snyder’s grasp of history is solid and readily apparent.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE from the WarHistoryOnline.com website.

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Jan 032015
Meet The Author: Steve Snyder

Event Date: 

Saturday, January 10, 2015 – 10:30 am

Discover the extraordinary true events of pilot Howard Snyder and the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth, that was shot down over the French/Belgium border on February 8, 1944. Buy the book today in our gift shop and bring it in on January 10, 2015 to have the author Steve Snyder sign it! 

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Jan 022015

At its peak strength in 1944, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) employed 450,000 Americans in Britain. Most people think of the bomber crews or fighter pilots, but the majority of USAAF’s men (and some women) were engaged with non-combat tasks, all of which were necessary to keep the planes flying.

The American Air Museum website records the stories of the men and women of the who served their country from the UK during World War II. It also records the memories of the British people who befriended them. You can browse, edit and upload your own photographs and memories to the site.

Here is a short video about it.

The American Air Museum is located at IWM Duxford, part of Imperial War Museums, near Cambridge, United Kingdom. The building is home to the best collection of American military aircraft on public display outside of the United States.





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Dec 292014

It’s hard to imagine what the young bomber crews’ experienced as they flew their B-17s and B-24s through flak and battled enemy fighters.  Add to that watching their sister ships in the formations get it and blow up or fall from the sky. The tension and stress must have been enormous, but this short clip gives you a little idea.


I don’t know if this movie will ever be made, but the trailer is great.

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Dec 192014

B-17s served in every World War II combat zone. The aircraft is best known for daylight strategic bombing of German industrial targets. The B-17 flew mostly out of England, equipping 26 of the 40 bombardment groups of the 8th Air Force.

After the end of World War II in August of 1945, the U.S. Army Air Corp found itself with thousands of surplus, and now obsolete, B-17 bombers. The B-17 was quickly phased out of use as a bomber and the Army Air Forces retired most of its fleet.

Production of the B-17 ended in May 1945 and totaled 12,731 aircraft. Most of those still in service at the end of the war were sent to military aircraft bone-yards for temporary storage, sale, or scrapping and smelting into aluminum ingots.

Flight crews ferried the bombers back across the Atlantic and Pacific to the United States. Some remained in use in second-line roles such as VIP transports, air-sea rescue and photo-reconnaissance. However, most B-17s ended their service, not in combat, but in the smelter at locations such as Kingman Army Air Field in Arizona and Walnut Ridge Army Air Field in Arkansas.

Kingman Army Air Field, Arizona 1946

Kingman Army Air Field, Arizona 1946

Walnut Ridge Air Field, Arkansas 1945

Walnut Ridge Air Field, Arkansas 1945

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