Freedom Fighters: Ed Snow, pt. 2 - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Freedom Fighters: Ed Snow, pt. 2

Ed Snow. (Source: KTLV) Ed Snow. (Source: KTLV)

Paratrooper Ed Snow had already made history in World War II in the Normandy invasion and at Market Garden. But only a few years later, he was to find himself in the middle of the Korean War.

"We were up there when the Marines were trapped at Chosin Reservoir," says Snow.

Snow's company was sent in to protect the Marine's withdrawal. But when the North Korean Army crossed the 38th Parallel, they were backed by the Chinese Army, who poured across the border by the tens of thousands.

"The whole unit had been under constant bombardment for about four days and they killed most everybody. It was only 36 left." 

Although Snow and the other survivors fought valiantly in the 60 below zero weather, they were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the enemy.

Snow had received only what he called "scratches" in World War II, but the shrapnel wounds in his legs at Chosin were much worse.

"I had been wounded and they were killing all the wounded."

Snow knew he was surrounded and would also be killed. It was then that he remembered hearing that the Chinese didn't kill officers. 

A major, killed right beside Snow, was an answer to his prayers.

"I just took his jacket off and threw my jacket down and put on his jacket and helmet, and when they came up I threw my arms up and they thought I was an officer because I was wearing an officer's jacket and his help when they came."

The change of jacket and helmet saved Snow's life, but other challenges were to face as a prisoner of war.

"We went to several little camps not knowing where we were but we were there only a few hours and ended up about 10 miles out of Manchuria, the Manchurian border at a Russain run camp up there."

For 14 months, until a peace treaty was signed, Snow endured the cold and filth, with only watered down pumpkin south for nourishment.

Snow's leg wounds never received medical treatment while he was a prisoner. But after several infections, they healed with time.

Snow says one of the biggest challenges was the propaganda the prisoners had to endure.

"It was about three or four hours a day, seven days a week and that was by the Russians."

Many of the captives didn't survive the harsh treatment, but it was a prisoner of war, that Snow found his source of strength.

"I found faith in God and that carried me through."

With the end of the Korean War, Ed Snow returned home. 

He had planned to make a career of the army but because of his leg wounds, he was prohibited from jumping. Snow had mad four combat jumps, two in World War II and two more in Korea and being a paratrooper was what he loved best. 

So, in March of 1954, Snow was honorably discharged to begin life as a civilian, but the memories of his service, both happy and sad have stayed with him.

"We lost a lot of our friends over there."

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