World War II Veterans Make History

March 7, 2005 Posted at 7:00 p.m. CST

JONESBORO--The attack on Pearl Harbor is 60 years past, and the number of veterans who bravely served our country during World War II are dwindling.

It's a time that the few living veterans don't like to talk about, but their recollections are helping shape our history.

"Every day that passes, there's between 16 to 18 hundred World War II Veterans that are passing away. What we need to be doing is sitting down with these individuals and documenting their history because when this generation is gone, their oral history will be gone with them," Danny Honnoll of the Co. Historical Society says.

World War II Veteran Frank Snellgrove says, "When you think about all the boys that were lost, we can sit back and say how lucky we were."

Snellgrove never dreamed of becoming a pilot. He joined the guard to make a few extra bucks for college.

He was just a kid, only 19 years old. At that age, he said, he was fearless.

"Back in those days, you didn't have time to get scared," Snellgrove says.

In the Pacific Theatre, Snellgrove flew his twin engine bomber at 200 feet or less facing anti-aircraft fire.

Surviving 52 missions, his crew members were never injured.

"We just had a job to do and we just wanted to get it over with and come back home," Snellgrove says.

World War II veterans are often referred to as the greatest generation in U.S. history, but Snellgrove says that honor might belong to another brave group of men.

"I figure George Washington's group is probably the greatest. Those are the guys that founded the country. All we did was try to keep the country in shape," Snellgrove says.