Sunday, August 29, 2010

Carl Snyder. The man who can fix it.

When you think of WWII odds are your thoughts shift to battles in Normandy, Perl harbor, or Britain.

Did you know that our troops also fought in Alaska? It was called the Aleutian Islands Campaign and Carl Snyder was there. At the age of 22 Snyder was drafted into the Army in 1941.

“I grew up on a farm on Pleasant Home road and was working at the Marshallville equity when I received the letter saying I had been drafted”.

After basic training Snyder was sent Sitka Alaska where he served in the joint operations center. “It was a small 14 foot building and my job was to communicate with the radar operators in the mountains. I had 13 telephones in that small building and I was responsible for passing information between the Army and the Navy” Snyder said.

“Red tail fox” was the code pilots gave for “I am landing” Snyder told me part of Snyder’s job was to insure the radar operators knew the pilots landed safely at the airstrip near the JOC.

Soon, the Army discovered the skills Snyder learned on his Chippewa twp farm. “ I could fix about anything with an engine, trucks, cars, generators I fixed them all” he said.

Snyder served in Alaska for 25 months and served in the Army for a total of four years.
His pay? $21.00 per month.

Upon his discharge Snyder moved back to Wayne County and worked a number of jobs around Wayne County before moving to Palm Beach Florida where he worked in the maintenance department of a large hotel for 25 years.

Snyder moved back to Marshallville and was one of the founders of the Marsallville historical society. On the day of my interview the town festival was taking place and Snyder was in the village blacksmith shop. The shop is the headquarters for the historical society.

I pointed out that Snyder’s picture was not on the wall with those of other founding members.

“Those guys are all dead. Why would I want my picture up there?” Snyder told me.

Wise words from a 91 year old man who had just slid down a 40 foot inflatable slide just moments before his interview!


1 comment:

  1. Hello Doug-

    I am a former Wayne County resident living in Alaska now. I know about the Aleutian campaign. My brother in law, Randy Gard, just told me about your project-how cool. I have enjoyed looking back on Wayne County through your eyes-thank you.


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