Ben David Snowden

Master Sergeant
Army of the United States
01 September 1937 - 15 June 1967
Georgetown, Texas
Panel 21E Line 108

Ben David Snowden

Ben Snowden, daughter Sharla Snowden and wife Betty Snowden

Senior Parachutist

Combat Infantry

Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Armed Forces Expeditionary, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

RVN Senior Parachutist

The database page for Ben David Snowden

08 November 2001

Ben David Snowden served in Southeast Asia on three different occasions as a member of the 5th Special Forces Group. Ben was known as a man who went after what he wanted and one who stayed with it until it was obtained. He believed in the Vietnam cause and believed his serving on foreign soil would help divert the Communistic regime from infiltrating into the United States. He was instrumental in helping the South Vietnamese learn how to build schools, churches and bridges and to defend themselves. He established great relationships with the Montagnards (mountain people) and the people of Vietnam.

Those of us, who knew Ben, loved him and his keen sense of humor and adventurous spirit. He is deeply missed.

A memorial from his sister,
Carra Snowden Elkins

17 November 2001

To the Dad I never met.

You're in my thoughts on Veterans' Day, and almost every day in between.

Your children miss you, but are proud of the sacrifice you made.

We love you,
Sharla, Lisa, and Volker

Sharla Snowden Green
4201 N. Fairmount Rd. Signal Mountain, TN 37377

25 March 2002

Until recently, basically all our family knew of Ben's military career was the info given previously. We did not find out until recently (35 years later) the extent of his military prowess. Thanks to the marvels of the internet and the fact that so much of this information is now declassified we have discovered that Ben was a member of a highly skilled group of ace fighting units consisting of Army Green Berets, Air Force Air Commandos and Navy Seals. Information regarding Ben's last mission is in a book on pp. 103-107 written by three-tour SOG veteran Major John L. Plaster entitled "SOG, The Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam".

The Studies and Observations Group was "the most secret elite U.S. military unit to serve in the Vietnam War - so secret its very existence was denied by the government." According to John Plaster's book the group answered only to the Pentagon and the White House and his book gives an account of "SOG's stunning operations behind enemy lines - penetrating heavily defended North Vietnamese military facilities, holding off mass enemy attacks, launching daring missions to rescue downed U.S. pilots. From sabotage to espionage to hand-to-hand combat, these are some of the most extraordinary true stories of honor and heroism in the history of the U.S. military."

The SOG's operations in Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam are spellbinding and although it was painful to hear in excruciating detail of some of these missions, we are thankful to men such as Major Plaster and the other brave men of SOG for sharing their stories with us.

At the time of his death, Ben was assigned to Detachment B-50, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He was a member of MACV/SOG, Project Omega, Forward Operating Base Two, Operation Daniel Boone on 15 June 1967.

03 May 2006

My name is Cadet Bierschenk.
I grew up in Georgetown, Texas and I attend UT Austin.
I am very thankful for our heroes of the past
and I wanted to add a memorial to MSG Snowden because
he is from my hometown and he accomplished everything I
wish to accomplish in my army career.
Although I never met MSG Snowden,
I will always remember the sacrifice he made for our country.

Cadet Eric Bierschenk

11 Nov 2006

I just wanted to say a few words about my daddy.
Although I never met him, I know that he loved me.
I was 5 1/2 months old and my sister was 2 years old when my daddy was killed.
He loved and died doing what he did best,
fighting for our country.

Although he is greatly missed,
I am very proud to be his daughter.

Love and missed deeply,
your baby Lisa (Little Bit)

Lisa Lynn Conner (Snowden)
1185 Mtn Creek Road Apt 1205, Chattanooga, Tn. 37405

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 5th Special Forces Group's Detachment B-50 was known as "Project Omega" and specialized in long-range recon and intelligence-gathering missions in and across South Vietnam's border regions. Although accounts vary, it appears that Sergeant Snowden was flying as a passenger aboard a RVNAF CH-34 "King Bee" helicopter in support of the extraction of a recon team which had been engaged by North Vietnamese troops. The helicopter was heavily hit by ground fire and was forced to withdraw; SGT Snowden is the only known fatality aboard the aircraft. One report on the site states that the King Bee pilot returned to the patrol's location in another helicopter and extracted the six-man team.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 8 Nov 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009