My uncle Cliff


My name is John and I have been researching my great uncle 1st Sgt Clifton O. Snodgrass. He was (during WWII) a member of the 803rd Eng. Avn. Bn., sent to the Philippines in late 1941. He survived the Bataan Death March, camps in the Philippines, and Japan. I got to know Cliff well when I was a teenager and we talked about lots of things but not 1941-45. I guess I'm just hoping to maybe connect with others associated with the 803rd during that time. The more I learn about this time in his life, the more I seem to understand the way he was. I am also very interested in the 803rd itself. I know at the time it was a new concept. That's about it.


Welcome John:


Okay, you've got me curious already; Grumpy John??? :armata_PDT_23::kermit:


Now you'll owe us an explanation!


Okay, appealing to anyone who was a member of said unit, or their family members. If you're out there, give us a shout. We'd all love to hear from ya!


Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

Well, I'm not the type to smile a lot so my kids started to call me "grumpy" yes like the dwarf. My first name is John, so I use Grumpy John a lot. I'm not the suit and tie type. Grew up in a small town, lots of agriculture, animals stuff like that. Seems like people have always refered to me as a redneck or cowboy because of how I dress and where I was raised. My kids thought grumpy and redneck sounded good together. So I use that also


Okay Grumpy John. Better be careful 'round here though, because we can make anyone smile!




Have a good night. I here my pillow calling me....

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

Hi John, welome to the forum.

there is an associtaion contact for the 803rd Engineer Aviation Battalion at:


A short history on unit page:

Apr 02 803rd Engineer Aviation Battalion WW11

When the Japanese attacked the Philippines on Dec. 8, the 803rd Engineer Battalion was stationed at Fort Stotsenburg, next to Clark Air Field, 50 miles northwest of Manila on the island of Luzon. The 803rd extended runways and built landing strips at Clark and nearby facilities. Company B was constructing an entire new airbase for fighter planes at Del Carmen, south of Fort Stotsenburg.Word of the Pearl Harbor attack reached Fort Stotensburg early on the morning of Dec. 8 (Dec. 7 in Honolulu). Despite this advance warning, all but two of Clark Field's aircraft were on the ground when the Japanese struck. At 12:15 p.m., Japanese bombers attacked Clark and Fort Stotensburg, followed by Zeros strafing B-17s and P-40s loaded with fuel. The Japanese planes also attacked soldiers' barracks, aircraft hangars and warehouses. Air crews and other ground personnel attempted to fight back and evaded strafing Zeros to help wounded comrades. Simultaneous attacks at Clark Field and Iba Field destroyed American fighter planes and heavy bombers, and within a few days, the Japanese had neutralized American airpower in the Southwest Pacific

Posted by Andrew Butcher


There is a posting of a newspaper clipping on containing a disposition given by Clifton O. Snodgrass for a War Crimes trial at:


an Oral History by Joseph Vater of the 803rd:


there are some interviews from members of the 803rd atRutgers site:


From records of World War II Prisoners of War, 1941-1946

about Clifton O Snodgrass

Name: Clifton O Snodgrass

Race: White

Residence State: Kansas


Report Date: 7 May 1942

Latest Report Date: 29 Oct 1945


Grade: First Sergeant

Grade Notes: Colonel or Superintendent of Nurses or Contract Surgeon or First Sergeant or Captain or Chief Petty Officer Acting Appointment

Service Branch: Army

Arm or Service: Corps of Engineers

Arm or Service Code: Corps Of Engineers

Area Served: Southwest Pacific Theatre: Philippine Islands

Detaining Country: Japan

Camp: Tokyo POW Camp Branch #2 (Kawasaki) Tokyo Bay Area 35-139

Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated

Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.


Thanks for the links. I have seen the stuff on Ancestry already, not sure about some of the other stuff. I will check it out in the morning (late now, just got home from a Hockey game). I have also a copy of the deposition he gave. That was taken late 1945 after returning to the Philippines at the 29th replacement Depot. His statement was quoted in several newspapers around the country while the Yokohama trials were going on. Most of what I have been looking is just info on the 803rd itself. I know that it was a new unit formed in the summer of 1941 deployed out of Westover Field, Mass. I have copies of a rosters for 4 of the companies, copies of the unit citations and some details of activities from Dec. 1941-April 42. I guess I'm just looking for small details that might be out there to help me fill in the blanks. Most of there records, from what I understand were destroyed before moving down the peninsula into Bataan. I will DEFINATELY check out the other links you posted. Any info is good info. Thanks


I have been researching information from the 803rd Eng Av Bn, company A due to my uncle being a member of that detachment. He was listed as MIA on 6-May-1942 per the information from the American Battle Monuments Commission (Manila American Cemetery). I talked to Mr. Joe Vater this a.m. and he knew my uncle due to his assignment to Co. A, I also, talked to a Mr. Clarence E. Campbell who wrote a article for the RUAN regarding the 803rd Eng, that is all the information that I have at this time.


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