Berks

A tale is shared at the annual World War II Weekend in Reading

World War II Weekend

Planes are taking to the sky in Bern Township, Berks County, during the annual World War II Weekend at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum at the Reading Regional Airport, but nestled among all these aircraft is a man who tells a fascinating story about his father in a book he wrote.

"The story of 'Shot Down', it's the true story of pilot Howard Snyder and the crew of the Susan Ruth. It's a story about a 10-man Palmer crew that was shot down over Belgium on February 8 of 1944," said Steve Snyder, author of the book 'Shot Down'.

Snyder said of that 10-person crew, only five survived.

In his book, Snyder tells the stories of all 10 men, including his father, Howard Snyder, who was the pilot.

Howard's story at times feels like it has all the makings for a major Hollywood film.

"He was missing in action for seven months. He evaded capture, he was hidden by Belgiums for a while, he joined the French resistance and started sabotaging German convoys," said Snyder.

Eventually Howard Snyder made it safely back to England and finally back to his family.

"I came to the conclusion that the story of my dad and his crew was so unique and so compelling that I needed to be told and people needed to read about it. Since I wrote the book basically my life has changed," Snyder said.

"Shot Down" was published in 2014. Snyder said since then he's been on a mission to share the story of the Susan Ruth.

"Doing the story I think I just got more of an appreciation of what those guys went through. There were more men lost in the eighth Air Force than the entire Marine Corps fighting in the Pacific," he said.

It's one of countless stories that can be told about what happened during World War II, but one that means the world to this man.


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