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.
The book tells the true story of 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.
FROM THE AUTHOR: "What follows here, just a brief insight into Pain and Purpose in the Pacific. This book did not begin with the idea of a chronology of the battles of the Pacific War, although an overview is included. But instead it was intended to be a brief account of the battles on Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa as I retrace the travels of one Marine from the farmland of Minnesota to Japan and back. Carl J. Johnson spent 30 months in the Pacific. Four of those months were in bitter combat on the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa. He is my uncle. I have been blessed to travel, & to spend time at many of the places he traveled during World War II. My travels didn’t stop there.
As a Continental Airlines pilot based in Guam, now retired and having lived on Saipan, I have had the opportunity over a seven year period to visit other islands that were the scene of horrific battles of World War II. In addition to Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa, I will mention a few of them. Included are Guam where I was based during the closing years of my airline career; also Belau, which is Palau, and includes Peleliu. Included too in this book are Iwo Jima, Corregidor and the Philippines. In my travels beyond Hawaii and Pearl Harbor, which was my introduction into the Pacific, were Yap, and Truk, which is Chuuk, and Pohnpei in the Carolines. And I’ve spent time in Japan."