War History logoNormally 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.

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