|Birth: ||Mar. 16, 1945|
New Jersey, USA
|Death: ||Mar. 15, 1966, Vietnam|
United States Army Specialist 4 served with C Company, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, 25th Inf Division. He was killed in action while in South Vietnam.
From March 14 thru 19, 1966 the 1/5th(M) participated in a search and destroy operation, the first phase of which was located in the general area southwest of Bao Trai (XT 5204) near the Oriental River. The units of the battalion crossed the LD [line of departure] at 1000 hours on March 14, 1966 and encountered light enemy contact. Some APCs got stuck in the soft ground as they approached to within 1000 to 1500 meters of the Oriental River. The battalion then continued the operation dismounted. The battalion spent the night of March 14 in the vicinity of XT 483023. One man was wounded when he attempted to throw a captured booby-trapped hand grenade into a canal. He pulled the pin and threw the grenade but it had been short-fused and immediately exploded. Light enemy contact was made on the morning of March 15th as the companies moved to and searched various objective areas. At 1507 hours Company C received SA fire and at the same time a booby trap was detonated. The encounter resulted in 4 Bobcats wounded and 1 killed. Sporadic contact continued through the day and by 2045 hours all units closed in the vicinity of XT 5202. Courtesy of www.bobcat.ws
George Snodgrass spent his life in foster homes before he enlisted in the Vietnam War at the age of 19. The day before his 21st birthday he lost his life in the war. But his friends back home and one soldier buddy never gave up on honoring him properly.
This Memorial Day hits home for Snodgrass' friends who all grew up in the "Summer of Love" in a close knit town in Bergen County. It was a simpler time full of neighborhood barbeques and backyard pool parties, but it was also the time of the Vietnam War. Snodgrass went to Vietnam and was killed March 15, 1966, after serving only 18 months.
Snodgrass' neighbor Teresa Guide, only 13 at the time, was devastated by the news of his death. Snodgrass had lived next store to Guide with his foster family his entire life.
"That day will forever be ingrained in my head," Guide says. "When soldiers came to our door to report the bad news, my mother ran down the hall and gave the most blood-curdling scream that I'll never forget. My father left work to pick up the other foster children in the family at school." Snodgrass' foster mother was uncooperative when asked where he was buried. Visiting Snodgrass' gravesite became a mission for Guide, her brother Petey and a soldier named Jim Wilson.
Wilson met Snodgrass during boot camp at Fort Dix and the two quickly became good friends while stationed in Hawaii for 18 months. When Snodgrass was shot, it was Wilson who put him on the helicopter to get him to the hospital. "George was originally shot in the leg and it looked like he was going to live," Guide recalls the story. "Jim put him on a MedEvac helicopter and said ‘I'll see you in a couple of days.'" But Snodgrass did not make it to the hospital. The MedEvac was shot at in transit. Snodgrass was killed by a shots that went through the helicopter. After the war, Wilson, a Montclair native, eventually moved to Pompton Lakes, where Snodgrass and Guide grew up. He met Billy "Smitty" Smith, a Pompton Lakes police officer, at their sons' little league game. Smith tried to get information from George's foster mother for Jim, but only received information that he was buried at "Arlington." Guide's family and Wilson spent each every Memorial Day at the Pompton Lake Vietnam Memorial honoring their friend Snodgrass and two other soldiers from Pompton Lakes, George Carlough and Donald Miller, who perished during the war.
Everyone accepted the fact that we would never know where George was buried," Guide recalls. But in 2007, new technology eventually helped Snodgrass' friends find some answers. Feeling the need for closure, Wilson and the other veterans from Pompton Lakes decided to again pursue the location of Snodgrass' gravesite. Snodgrass wasn't buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia at all, he was buried in North Arlington, New Jersey, at Holy Cross Cemetery, much closer to home. Ironically, Guide had spent years decorating graves of family members at Holy Cross for each major religious holiday. Guide was given the plot number where Snodgrass was buried. However, the tombstone read "Joseph Kowalski." Guide discovered that the foster mother's brother, Joseph Kowalski, was also buried there. Snodgrass did not have a tomb stone or plaque. After contacting her local VFW and Guide telling them the story, Snodgrass now has a proper marker on his grave.
"The following Memorial Day, they dedicated George's site with a proper marker and he was given a full military service," Guide said. In addition, Congressman William Pascrell, who aided in the search, was present as well. Guide now fixes up Snodgrass' grave not just every Memorial Day, but every Christmas and Easter when she is there to decorate her family members' sites. She also tries to make it every year on his birthday. Wilson has also found the closure he needed. He was instrumental is getting an honorary street sign for Snodgrass, and there is now a "Snodgrass Field" in Pompton Lakes.
BY JAIMIE JULIA WINTERSAND LESLIE SCOTT
- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/northarlington/209459881_After_40_years__veteran_s_grave_found.html#sthash.rippzDsL.dpuf
Sent to me by, MEB (#47998630)
Holy Cross Cemetery
New Jersey, USA
Plot: Block 64 Section B Tier H Grave 44
Maintained by: Denis McDonough
Originally Created by: Robert
Record added: Jun 19, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14649083