Howard John Snyder Jr.

Howard John Snyder Jr.

World War II · US Army · Captain

8th Air Force/306th Bomb Group B-17 pilot. Shot down over the French/Belgian border on February 8, 1944 after a mission to Frankfurt, Germany by two Focke-Wulf 190s. Was missing in action for 7 months but evaded capture. Was hidden by members of the Belgian Underground for several months and then joined the French Resistance (Maquis) sabotaging German convoys. Met up with U.S. 3rd Army on September 2, 1944 and went back to England. Sent home to the States to be a B-17 flight instructor for the remainder of the war. His story is told in the book SHOT DOWN: The true story of pilot Howard Snyder and the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth (named for his one year old daughter). To learn more, go to

World War II (1939 - 1945)
Served For

United States of America

Added by: Steve Snyder
Conflict Period

World War II

Added by: Steve Snyder

Army Air Forces

Added by: Steve Snyder


Added by: Steve Snyder

Stories about Howard John Snyder Jr.

SHOT DOWN Book Overview

    SHOT DOWN Book Front Cover.jpg

    Winner of 25 national book awards, SHOT DOWN is set within the framework of World War II in Europe and recounts the dramatic experiences of each member of a ten man B-17 bomber crew after their plane, piloted by the author's father, was knocked out of the sky by German fighters over the French/Belgium border on February 8,1944.

    Some men died. Some were captured and became prisoners of war. Some men evaded capture and were missing in action for months before making it back to England. Their individual stories and those of the courageous Belgian people who risked their lives to help them are all different and are all remarkable.

    Even before the dramatic battle in the air and the subsequent harrowing events on the ground, the story is informative, insightful, and captivating. Prior to the fateful event, the book covers the crew's training, their journey to England, what life was like on base as well as in London and the English countryside, and the perils of flying combat missions over occupied Europe and Germany.

    Through personal letters, oral and written accounts, declassified military documents, and interviews – all from people who took part in the events that happened over 70 years ago (even the German Luftwaffe pilot who shot down the Susan Ruth) - the stories come alive. Adding to the feeling of "being there", are more than 200 time period photographs interspersed throughout the book.

    To add background and context, many historical facts and anecdotes about and surrounding World War II are entwined throughout the book so that the reader has a feel for and understanding of what was occurring on a broader scale. SHOT DOWN is an account about brave individuals, featuring pilot Howard Snyder, set within the compelling events of the greatest conflict in world history.

    To learn more, go to

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    Additional Info
    Steve Snyder -Contributions private
    16 Jun 2020
    17 Jun 2020
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