Huerfano County, Colorado

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Thomas Martin Snider

Thomas was in the 301st Infantry Regiment, US Army, WWII. He was a part of the vast US Army that was in Europe during 1944-45. He was first reported missing in action, then later reported killed. We do not know much of the facts. The story is that he was acting as an advance scout, when he was captured and made a prisoner of war . Later he escaped with two other soldiers. One of them wrote to our family telling us that the last time he saw Tom he was running around the side of a barn. Later he was reported killed. The two other soldiers were recaptured; they returned home. Thomas was the only one who did not make it home; he was killed!  

The perfunctory report of the War Department states as follows: The individual named in this report (Thomas M. Snider, 39711048, PFC) is shown by the records of the War Department to have been absent in a missing in action status on 23 Jan (19)45 and subsequently reported killed in acton while POW of the German Government on 14 April (19)45, such absence was terminated on 29 Jun 1945, on which date evidence of death was received by the Secretay of War from a Commander in the European Area. Combat Infantryman, GO#7, Hq., 301st Inf., 10 Oct. (19)44.  Tom reported for active duty June 23, 1943.  

Interment Record is as follows: Thomas M. Snider, PFC, 39711048, 301 Inf. Regt., US Army, b 5-5-1924; d Apr 14, 1945; date of interment Febr. 3, 1949, grave location, sec J, grave no. 911, WWII deceased returned from Margraten-Aachen, Holland, Headstone Form mailed to next of kin, June 1, 1949, San Bruno, CA, Golden Gate National Cemetery.  

The tragedy of the above Army record of my my brother, Thomas Martin Snider, is that WWII was over May 7, 1945, only 23 days after my brother's death. Thomas (Tommy or Tom to the family) died before his 21st birthday; he was 20yrs, 11mos, 9days old when he was killed; or he would have been 21 in 21 days. Had he not attempted to escape, he would have most likely survived the war and probably been one of the first to be returned home. My mother would probably have lived longer too; she could not get over the death of Tom. (Note: written by Ray F. Snider, Jr., bereaved brother, July, 1999).
Contributed by Ray F. Snider Jr..

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