Freedom Fighters: Bill Snow - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Freedom Fighters: Bill Snow

By Joan Hallmark - bio | email

VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - During World War II Bill Snow was a "submariner" aboard the legendary U.S.S. Flasher, which had destroyed a record hundred thousand plus tons of Japanese shipping in the south pacific.

Bill Snow joined the navy as an 18 year old in 1943. The Snows were a patriotic family with sister Wanna in the Waves and brother Joe also joining the Navy. Although Snow had been tapped for submarine service right off the bat, it wasn't until after extensive testing and training that he became a submariner.

"You go through a lot of psychological tests and other tests, aptitude tests and they see if you're suitable for submarine service because if you've got claustrophobia or anything like that you never make it," said Snow.

After two months on a subtender, Snow was assigned to the U.S.S. Flasher, a submarine with an unparalleled record in World War II.

"Our ship claims, or actually earned the distinction of having sunk more tonnage than any other ship in the sub fleet," said Snow.

It's said that in the early part of the war "the Japanese conquered the land, the sea, and the air, but they lost the ocean depth and their ships to the U.S. submarines."

"You had to get a certain amount of ships and tonnage to be considered a war patrol," explained Snow. 

Unlike the nuclear subs of today that can stay submerged for months at a time, the submarines of World War II stayed on the surface a great deal of time.

"Generally at night, we'd come to surface ad charge batteries," he said. "Daytime you'd stay submerged and search."

Snow was usually manning the periscope looking for tankers. Our submarines' success in destroying fuel tankers eventually succeeded in grounding much of the Japanese airforce. So, for the most part, danger to submarines usually didn't come from the air. It came from the dreaded depth charges.

"Our regular dive to escape depth charges was 300 feet."

At 300 feet, the sub's motors would be cut off, and the crew wouldn't move nor hardly breathe in fear the sounds would be picked up by radar.

"They could track you from any kind of noise you made," he said.

On leave in May of 1945, Snow married his childhood sweetheart Zelma and soon afterwards was able to come home for good Bill Snow says he and his generation never questioned their duty to fight for their country. It's a feeling that is as strong today as it was 66 years ago.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Dez Bryant comes home, throws BBQ party, kick ball game before leaving to camp

    Dez Bryant comes home, throws BBQ party, kick ball game before leaving to camp

    Thursday, July 20 2017 11:07 PM EDT2017-07-21 03:07:57 GMT

    With just a day's notice, former Lufkin Panther and NFL superstar Dez Bryant arrived at Lufkin's Kit McConnico Park in grand fashion for his announced "Family Fun Day."

    More >>

    With just a day's notice, former Lufkin Panther and NFL superstar Dez Bryant arrived at Lufkin's Kit McConnico Park in grand fashion for his announced "Family Fun Day."

    More >>
  • Restaurant Report - Nacogdoches - 07/20/17

    Restaurant Report - Nacogdoches - 07/20/17

    Thursday, July 20 2017 5:04 PM EDT2017-07-20 21:04:26 GMT

    Long John Silver’s, Church's. China Star, Ken's No. 4, Taqueria El 21, Texas Sports Bar and Grill, Jalapeno Tree, Papa John's, Pizza Hut-South Street, Sinc Drive-In on North Street, Subway-North Street, Newk's, and Nacogdochs Medical Center Cafeteria.

    More >>

    Long John Silver’s, Church's. China Star, Ken's No. 4, Taqueria El 21, Texas Sports Bar and Grill, Jalapeno Tree, Papa John's, Pizza Hut-South Street, Sonic Drive-In on North Street, Subway-North Street, Newk's, and Nacogdochs Medical Center Cafeteria.

    More >>
  • Best Furry Friends: Heeler-spaniel mix loves attention

    Best Furry Friends: Heeler-spaniel mix loves attention

    Thursday, July 20 2017 7:17 PM EDT2017-07-20 23:17:01 GMT

    Temporarily calling the Nacogdoches Animal Shelter a home, Remi is hoping to find something a little more permanent. Caretakers said the one-year-old dog is playful and loves attention. Remi was brought into the shelter as a stray about three weeks ago. "He gets along with the other dogs. He still in his puppy stage so he still has a lot of time to go around play with everyone," said Torion Johnson, animal control officer.  Remi is a heeler-spani...

    More >>

    Temporarily calling the Nacogdoches Animal Shelter a home, Remi is hoping to find something a little more permanent. Caretakers said the one-year-old dog is playful and loves attention. Remi was brought into the shelter as a stray about three weeks ago. "He gets along with the other dogs. He still in his puppy stage so he still has a lot of time to go around play with everyone," said Torion Johnson, animal control officer.  Remi is a heeler-spani...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly