Conway W. Snyder, eminent space scientist and long-time resident of La Crescenta, died in Redlands on April 14th at the age of 93.
Born in Macon, Missouri, in 1918, Snyder moved to California in 1932. He earned a BA in Physics from the University of Redlands in 1939, and an MS from the University of Iowa. He married Marjorie Frisius in 1943. The couple had three children.
During World War II, Snyder worked on the Manhattan Project and was present at first atomic bomb test. He was one of the few, true "Rocket Scientists," as he designed and tested rockets for the Navy, including the Sidewinder and the Holy Moses, an air-to-ground rocket that was considered the most effective rocket in the Allied arsenal.
Snyder was awarded a Ph.D. in nuclear physics by Cal Tech in 1948. He then moved his family to the east. He worked for the Atomic Energy Commission in Washington, D.C., and on the Nuclear Energy for Propulsion of Aircraft program in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and taught physics at Florida State University. In 1955 he returned to California to begin work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Snyders resided in La Crescenta until the mid-1980s.