- Hardcover: 376 pages
- Publisher: Sea Breeze Publishing LLC; First edition (August 15, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0986076007
- ISBN-13: 978-0986076008
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (370 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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SHOT DOWN: The true story of pilot Howard Snyder and the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth Hardcover – August 15, 2014
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Steve Snyder's masterful book, Shot Down, does justice to the adventures of his father, pilot Howard Snyder, and the crew of the B-17 plane Susan Ruth. Using first-hand accounts from diary entries, letters, and family stories, Snyder revives experiences that are accessible and relevant both to historians and readers with a casual interest in WWII history. As World War II fades into history, stories like the ones in Shot Down revive the past, give it new life, and offer a link between the heroes of yesterday and the men we now call "Grandpa." Steve Snyder's extensive research, careful storytelling, and humane treatment of his subjects make Shot Down a must-read for anyone with an interest in this gripping period of American history. - Foreword Reviews Throughout the book the author is careful to set the larger context of the war without losing readers to unnecessary acronyms or overly technical discussions. This is a great introduction to the history of the U.S. air war in Europe, humanized by the experience of a single bomber crew. Maps and illus. - Publishers Weekly The author does an impressive job letting the tale speak for itself, giving center stage to the words of the soldiers and eschewing unnecessary dramatic embellishment. Snyder's contribution is an excellent one that honors both the personal and global effects of war. A gripping story for readers in search of either drama or historical edification. - Kirkus 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. . 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.. It's a thoroughly satisfying and worthwhile read. - Blue Ink "Shot Down" is an informed and informative reading for World War II history buffs and for personal reading lists. Centered around the 306th Bomb Group in Thurleigh, England, it is informative, insightful and captivating. - Midwest Book Review Steve Snyder's military history book, Shot Down, reads like a novel, yet it isn't. The names and faces are all real, but their stories are presented in such a compelling manner that this thorough and painstakingly researched effort reads smoothly and fluently as Snyder and his father's journals bring the past to life. I was fascinated as I read . Shot Down is a remarkable compilation of historical data that is presented in a well-written and thought-provoking narrative. It's most highly recommended. - Readers' Favorite Book Reviews Steve Snyder's Shot Down is extraordinary. It is littered with a wide range of visual aids. The book contains photographs, diagrams, maps, and even scans of Howard's diary and telegrams. Seeing photographs of the Belgian homes where crew members stayed, and of the acquaintances they made while downed, bring this story to life. The book itself is drawn from Howard's diary, correspondence, and other first-hand accounts. It is a rich documentary. Letters written by Howard to his wife, in particular, allow readers to "get inside" the mind of a B-17 pilot. Steve Snyder's narrative is straightforward and compelling. It is a relatively easy read, and the short chapters make this book highly accessible. This book will be particularly enjoyable for those interested in the Eight Air Force and/or the B-17 Flying Fortress, but it is also broad enough to appeal to general history readers. Shot Down is a masterful work. It is insightful, engrossing, and succeeds on every level. Bravo. - War History Online --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
A great introduction to the history of the U.S. air war in Europe, humanized by the experience of a single bomber crew. -- BookLife
Foreword Clarion Review 5 Star Rating
Snyder’s masterful book puts the reader inside the cockpit, shoulder to shoulder with the pilot and crew. Accessible and relevant both to historians and readers with a casual interest in WWII history, Shot Down a must-read for anyone with an interest in this gripping period of American history. – Claire Foster
BlueInk Starred Review
Highly recommended for historians and WWII aviation buffs, it’s a thoroughly satisfying and worthwhile read. Extensively researched, packed with photographs, and neatly interwoven with background remarks, this highly engaging book offers a comprehensive, yet personalized portrait of a war.
War History Online
A masterful work. Enjoyable for those interested in the Eight Air Force and/or the B-17 Flying Fortress, but it is also broad enough to appeal to general history readers. Insightful, engrossing, and succeeds on every level. Bravo. – Nate Sullivan
World War II Today
A magnificent job. Readily accessible to anyone not familiar with the bomber war in Europe, but also much to interest those whose real passion is wartime aviation. -- Martin Cherrett
A wonderful read and compelling story of our B-17 aircrews that flew, fought, and died over Europe to save a continent from tyranny and oppression. Gives a great sense of the heroes that made up the “Greatest Generation.” — General Duncan J. McNabb, USAF, retired 33rd Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force
Snyder has reached a level of scholarship few amateur historians achieve. A story that all young Americans should read. — Vernon L. Williams, Ph.D., Director East Anglia Air War Archives
A great example of young men from the greatest generation fighting to defend the cause their country asked them to. — Chris M. Kuester, Lt Col, USAF Commander, 424th Air Base Squadron Chievres, Belgium
We organize an annual ceremony at a memorial in memory of the B17 Susan Ruth crew members honoring the memory of those who crashed in Belgium on February 8, 1944. The local population still remembers the heroes who crossed the ocean to come and help people who were totally unknown to them, to free them and to restore their honor and happiness. They gave their lives, and we will be eternally grateful to them for their sacrifice. We will always remember these men as heroes of our freedom. Thank you. We will never forget you. — Christel Delahaye, President Association du Devoir de Mémoire de Momignies ‒ Belgique
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Top Customer Reviews
As a published aviation historian and researcher, I was amazed at the depth of his research and the lengths he went to uncover the facts!
The book is actually a collection of stories about the men of the B-17 crew SUSAN RUTH. We learn about their varied backgrounds, their training, entry into war over the skies of Europe, and what it was like to fly missions in the Flying Forts. I was amazed that the author left no stone unturned in his quest for historical accuracy, right down to locating the actual Luftwaffe pilot who shot down his dad's plane and getting his recollections!
If Steve's goal was to elicit an emotional reaction from his readers, he certainly succeeded with me! That's an example of mighty fine writing! After putting down the book, I was grateful and relieved that I never had to endure what the crew went through.
Steve and his father Howard pay tribute to the many sympathetic villagers in occupied Belgium and France who risked their lives to rescue and provide aid to our shot down airmen. Some of the survivors of SUSAN RUTH went back to personally thank the families. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing their smiling faces and the houses and farms where they hid from the Germans and their collaborators.