Centenarian World War II veteran from South Ozone Park reminisces on his time serving in the army

Photo by Naeisha Rose

Earl Alfred Snell, a World War II veteran who resided in South Ozone Park turned 102-years-old last month.

He was born to a farmer and a housewife in Virginia on Oct. 15, 1916, and later served as a Technician Fifth Grade on a warship for the U.S. Army and on the front lines in Okinawa, Japan from April 30, 1942 to Jan. 9, 1945, according to his certificate from the military, which said he was honorably discharged.

“I was a good shot in the Army,” said Snell. “They were shooting but they miss me. They shot my hat right off my head.”

The fight on Okinawa was so bloody that he remembers loading injured and dead men on three trucks, said the centenarian.

“They were shooting all day and all night,” said Snell. “It was like bop-bop-bop-bop-bop.”

After his service, he traveled across the U.S. to Maryland, California and then later settled in Harlem, and he met his wife Carrie a nanny who moved from Georgia and sparks flew when they met on the Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.

They would later get married on Aug. 27, 1949 and live in Long Island City, until moving to other parts of Queens and settling in South Ozone Park in 1966. He did odd jobs until he worked on cars for Chevrolet for 30 years.

He was married to her until she passed on Sept. 13, 2018, and for the last two years he combed her hair after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Together the two had seven kids, five grandchildren, 11 great grandkids and one great-great-grandchild.


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