Military books and books about aviation are very popular with American readers. Seldom do we encounter a military book told from multiple perspectives however. While many of these military books are well researched, very few of them are written by people who can provide us with a view from inside the story, having been there when the story unfolded. Award winning author Steve Snyder has managed to give readers just that.
Steve Snyder’s father, Howard Snyder, was a B-17 pilot stationed in England during World War II. On February 8, 1944, his plane, the B-17 Susan Ruth (named after Snyder's daughter), was shot down over the French/Belgium border after a mission to bomb Frankfurt, Germany.
The book tells the true story of events leading up to and following that harrowing day. Of the ten man crew, some died, some ended up in prison camps, and some evaded capture. What makes this aviation book unique is the varied, detailed, and amazing story of what happened to each crew member, in particular Howard Snyder who evaded capture and was missing in action for seven months.
Readers are given the opportunity to read the letters and documents that were exchanged before and after the Susan Ruth was shot down. 'Shot Down' is filled with photos that enhance the presentation of these extraordinary WW II events that must never be forgotten.
"I wrote this book because the story of my father, his crew, and the many Belgian people who risked their lives to help them is so unique and so compelling that it just had to be told," Snyder stated. "Unlike other books about the air war in Europe that either tell about many crews or just one man's experience, 'Shot Down' focuses a crew of ten men while stationed in England, flying combat missions, being shot down, and their varied experiences on the ground afterwards. The entire story is written through first-hand testimony by the people who involved in the events that took place."