Shot Down

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by Westfield Charlie, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Westfield Charlie

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    I've just reviewed Shot Down, Steve Snyder's book about the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth of the 306th Bomb Group, 8th AF. Great Book. Here's the review:


    Shot Down
    Steve Snyder
    Sea Breeze Publishing LLC, 360 pages, (hardbound) $27.95,
    9780986076008
    Reviewed: December, 2014)

    This highly engaging book tells the story of the author’s father, Lt. Howard Snyder, and the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth, of the 8th Air Force’s 306th Bomb Group, shot down over Belgium on February 8, 1944. Two airmen died in the stricken aircraft, the rest bailed out of a flaming inferno careening to earth. Most of them became POW’s; three were murdered by the SS. Some successfully evaded capture and were hidden for months by courageous Belgian underground members, and one fought with the French Resistance Maquis.
    Extensively researched, packed with photographs, and neatly interwoven with background remarks, this meticulously detailed description of the airmen’s daily life offers a comprehensive, yet personalized portrait of a war in which “more airmen with the Eighth Air Force lost their lives than in the entire Marine Corps.” The use of excerpts from letters and journals gives a compelling, up-close account of what it was like to fly with death every day — for example, this description of the raw emotions of men in a burning B-17:
    “I must have been knocked unconscious for a period of time. It was difficult to see through the smoke and flames, but I could see the terrified face of Eike, his eyes almost out of his head, looking crazily about him as he tore frantically at his flak suit and safety belt.”
    Snyder gives readers a real sense of what it meant to be in the blitz in London, on an airfield in East Anglia, and in German-occupied Belgium and France. Despite the wealth of detail, he manages to keep readers turning pages.
    As the devastation of WWII fades into history, this informative and insightful account of one bomber crew’s experiences serves as a cogent reminder of what individuals suffered during seven years of blackouts, deprivation, and the constant threat of death as the hobnailed Nazi boot seemed poised to stomp out civilization. It’s a thoroughly satisfying and worthwhile read.
    Also available as an ebook
    Highly recommended for historians and WWII aviation buffs, who will appreciate the author’s wide-ranging, highly detailed research and extensive website and sources listings.
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #2 FLYBOYJ, Dec 23, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
    Thanks for posting that.

    The 306th still exists today as the 306th FTG at the USAFA and strongly recognizes its WW2 roots. I work with these folks and they still refer themselves as "Wreckers."
     

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  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  4. Westfield Charlie

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    Yes! I see the "H" tail mark and the famous mug from the movie. Thanks, FlyboyJ.
     
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