Clarence Z. "Sonny" Snyder never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on March 21, 1918 in Washington. His parents Clarence and Bessie were born in Kansas and Washington, respectively. His father worked as a farmer and later as a dairy farm laborer. Still later he was a city park caretaker. Clarence had three younger sisters. By 1940 Clarence had completed four years of high school and still lived at home working as a school bus driver.
He enlisted in the Army Air Forces on May 21, 1941. In all likelihood, Sonny attended flight school where he became a first lieutenant and pilot in the 21st Photo Recon Squadron, 14th Air Force. It was sent to China in June 1943. The 21st PRS was tasked with taking photographs needed due to inadequate maps of China. Lt. Snyder was most likely a specially equipped P-51 pilot.
There was a C-47 that crashed on March 20 in China. I don't know if Lt. Snyder was on this plane or if he died in an unrecorded crash or from some other cause. He died on March 21, 1945.
His grave is at Vineland Cemetery, Clarkston, Washington.
Last year on this date I profiled Harrison Wittee, a B-29 Bombardier who became a POW. You can read about Harrison here.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100