Bronze Star and 11 medals awarded to WW2 veteran


2015-06-26 11:41:58


Bronze Star and 11 medals awarded to WW2 veteran

An ex-soldier, whose fluent German was a valuable weapon against the Nazis, is finally honoured

WW2 veteran Ed Snider finally received an appropriate set of honours this week,more than60 years after he served.

Sniderserved from 1941 onwards in World War Two in servicewhich took him to Africa, Belgium, England, France, Germany and Sicily.

Hewas also part of the invasion forcein the D-Day landings.

Snider'sfamily had migrated to America from Germany in the 19th century. This encouraged him to learn Germanto analmost bilingual standard. This wouldprove very useful when questioning German prisoners captured by his battalion.

During WW2, Snider also translated speeches broadcast over German radio.But he faced his greatest risk as a translator when his troops wandered too close to a German position in Hanover.

As they came under heavy fire, Snider calledat the enemy inGermanto stop them shooting.

The convoy was captured, and Snider was separated for interrogation. Amazingly, he thenhad to work hard to convince his captors that he was an American soldier, and not a local resident who had betrayed his country.

Fortunately, the war was nearly over, and Snider returned to the US. He did not seek medals, preferring to forget about the war. In fact, an office fire in 1973 later destroyed his records.

It was only in the 1980s that Snider joined a local veterans' chapter and reconsidered.

He came toregret that he had not received anyhonours - especially whenotherswith whom he served had received Purple Hearts for their injuries.

Snider, too, had suffered: including facial injuries and deafness in one ear from a bomb blast.

Later, Sinder's daughter found that a technicality prevented himfrom receiving a Purple Heart. But further investigation showed that he qualified for several other medals, including the higher Bronze Star. In fact, Snider qualified for 12 medals.

On Monday, they were presented to him by Representative Chet Edwards,leaving the veteran feelingsomewhat overwhelmed.

"I didn't know all of this was coming," he commented. "This is something here, to be awarded all these medals after all these years."

Edwards now hopes thatSnider will participate in American Memory, andoral history project.

Those interested in American WW2 memorabilia may be interested inour letter written by General Patton during the war,and a signed picture of the Bockscar plane which dropped the second nuclear bomb on Japan.

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