Thirteen National Book Awards for Shot Down

Author 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, was Shot Down over the French/Belgium border after a mission to bomb Frankfurt, Germany.

After discovering the journal notes and letters from his father’s service and his days in captivity, Steve Snyder began researching the crew of the Susan Ruth and opened a Pandora’s Box. SHOT DOWN: The true story of pilot Howard Snyder and the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth was the result. The book tells the story of actual events leading up to and after that harrowing day. Of the ten man crew, some died, some ended up in prison camps, and some evaded capture. What makes this 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. 

The book includes the letters and documents that were exchanged before and after the Susan Ruth was shot down. View the photos and follow Steve on his journey to uncovering these extraordinary WW II events that must never be forgotten.

Snyder and his book, SHOT DOWN, have been honored with thirteen national book awards since its publication in the summer of 2014 including Winner Military in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards – Finalist Historical Non-fiction in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards – Silver Medalist in History (U.S.) in the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards – Winner History: General in the 2015 International Book Awards – Gold Medal History in the 2015 eLit Awards – Bronze Medal in the 2015 Nonfiction Book Awards – Second Place in the 2015 Independent Author Network (IAN) Book of the Year Awards – Outstanding Non-Fiction (General) in the 2015 Independent Author Network (IAN) Book of the Year Awards – Finalist in War & Military (Adult Nonfiction) in Foreword Reviews’ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards – Best Books in Military in the NABE Spring 2015 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards – Finalist History: General in the 2014 USA Best Book Awards – Finalist History: Military in the 2014 USA Best Book Awards – Honorable Mention General Non-Fiction in the 2014 Southern California Book Festival and most recently Second Place Winner in the 2015 IAN (Independent Authors Network) Book of the Year Awards.

On May 26-28, Snyder attended Book Expo America and received awards medals at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Reception held at the Harvard Club of New York City and at the 19th Annual IPPY Awards Ceremony at the Providence NYC. The book has also gained notice from CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox News.

About the Book

Set within the framework of World War II in Europe, SHOT DOWN tells the true story about the experiences of each member of a ten man B-17 bomber crew, piloted by the author’s father, after their plane was knocked out of the sky by German fighters over the French/Belgium border in 1944.  Their individual stories and those of the courageous Belgian people who risked their lives to help them are different and remarkable; being retold from personal interviews and letters written by the crew and Belgian citizens. The print edition of the book has more than 200 time period photographs of the people who were involved and the places where the events took place. SHOT DOWN is in its second printing.


“No other event in history affected more people than World War II. No one alive was untouched by it, and no nation was spared the cost and horror. WW II changed the world and set its future course. 16 million Americans served in WW II and soon they will all be gone. The brave young men who fought and died for freedom are members of The Greatest Generation. No one should ever forget. It is our duty to remember.” Steve Snyder, Vice-President of the 306th Bomb Group Historical Association

SHOT DOWN: The true story of pilot Howard Snyder and the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth
(Sea Breeze Publishing LLC, 6 x 9, ISBN 978-0986076008, $27.95) is available at book stores and online stores including Amazon at The book will officially launch at 

Journalists and Bloggers:

Steve Snyder can provide background, commentary and stories related to writing and publishing his book and his speaking engagements. He responds quickly to interview requests.

Media Contact
Company Name: Seabreeze Publishing LLC
Contact Person: Steve Snyder
Phone: 562-355-0461
City: Huntington Beach
State: CA
Country: United States