Snook’s Army History (Introduction)

Snook titled his World War II memoir: My Army History of Service in the First Special Service Force and the 474 Infantry Regiment of the United States Army, From May 11, 1942 to October 31, 1945.

Frank M. “Snook” Barber composed this memoir entirely on his loud old typewriter, completing it on April 4, 1988. The dedication on the title page reads, “Dedicated to my three grandchildren, Lisa, Joanna, and Frankie Barber.”

Some editorial notes ahead of posting the memoir’s contents:

  • Without note, I will edit Snook’s spelling mistakes, except when they are obviously intentional vernacular misspellings.
  • Any edits beyond spelling mistakes, such as for clarity or correction, will be noted.
  • To my knowledge, his only sources of reference beyond his own memories were Geneva’s collection of his letters home, a scrapbook of mementos she saved, and two books: Adleman and Walton’s “The Devil’s Brigade” and Burhans’ “The First Special Service Force”. For each entry, I will note any associated pages in these books, as well as link to any applicable letters here on the site.
    • As I collect and read additional books on Snook’s two units, I will expand the bibliography associated with each entry. See an up-to-date list of my current library here (also under the Media tab in the header).
  • The tone of the memoir is very much one of a storyteller recounting his adventures for his grandchildren. I was not even ten when he finished writing this, which certainly must explain why the text lacks the raw grit of many other war memoirs.

Ideally these entries will be posted weekly, occasionally more frequently. As always, I welcome comments and corrections. Thanks for reading!

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