SWLA man fought at Iwo Jima - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

SWLA man fought at Iwo Jima

Dr. Howard Lee Snider of DeQuincy remembers his involvement in World War 2 some 70 years later.

“The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor,” recalled Snider.  The President declared war.  I quit McNeese and was going to fight the Japanese.  I was 16 years old.  I found out I couldn't go in until I was 18.” 

Snider had to wait two more years before he enlisted in the Marines and was immediately shipped to the Atoll islands for his first battle.  Two years later, he was at the Battle of Iwo Jima as the U.S. Prepared to end the war with Japan.

“I saw both flags go up on Iwo, saw the first crippled B-29 crash land and had my 20th birthday on Iwo.  It was really a horrible place.”

The 36-day battle on Iwo Jima resulted in more than 26,000 American casualties, including 6,800 dead.  Snider said working in his family funeral home may have helped him deal with all the bodies he saw.

“I saw acres and acres of young Marines laid out under ponchos on Iwo at one time.  It bothers you.  But I think even now I have a different view of death than a lot of people because we grew up in it.”

After the war, Snider returned home and later went on to medical school.  He was a longtime dentist in DeQuincy.

Copyright KPLC 2014.  All rights reserved

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