WWII Vet Gets Back Pay, Six Decades Later


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LEESBURG, Florida (WOFL FOX 35, Orlando) -- After 63 years of fighting the Army, Samuel Snow finally got his check in November for back pay for his service in World War II: $725.

This weekend, Florida?s U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson took concrete steps asking the secretary of the Army to revise the military decision and adjust Mr. Snow?s 1944 pay upward for inflation. If the Army czar agrees, the $725 could increase to at least $8,600 for pay Mr. Snow lost during months he spent in prison for an overturned conviction.

?Think about it,? Nelson said in a statement released to FOX 35, ?we wrongly convict someone, lock him up, deny him a career in the military ? and, 63 years later, try to fix it by paying him:unsure:ks. :unsure: It?s intolerable if we compound an injustice with an unfair remedy.? In his letter to the Army secretary, Nelson said he felt there was sufficient discretionary authority for him to revisit the case and allow a greater payment.

In 1944, Snow and twenty-seven other black soldiers were convicted and dishonorably discharged in connection with a melee that resulted in the lynching of an Italian prisoner of war.

Snow said he wasn?t involved at all. And in late October, the Army?s Board of Corrections of Military records granted a petition by him and three other families to overturn the convictions. The decision to do so, due to an unfair trial, made the 83-year-old Leesburg resident eligible for all back pay.

On Nov. 13, Snow received the check for $725. Besides Snow, at least one of the other 28 soldiers involved reportedly still is alive.

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