John Rolland Snowdall enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 in May 1941 in Creston, Iowa. After training, Snowdall was first assigned to Utility Squadron One (VJ-1) in February 1942 and was later stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. During this time, Snowdall was first a Seaman Second Class and later was a Aviation Machinist's Mate First Class. During his time with VJ-1, Snowdall worked on Sikorsky (S-43) JRS-1 and Grumman J2F-5 Duck aircraft. In April 1943, Snowdall was transferred to Utility Squadron 9 (VJ-9) and stationed at Espiritu Santo and Efate, Vanuatu. During this time, Snowdall worked on the following aircraft: Lockheed PV-1 Ventura; Consolidated PBY Catalina; Cessna JRC-1 (Cessna T-50); Martin (Glenn L.) JM-1 Marauder (Model 179C); Douglas SBD Dauntless; and the Grumman JRF-5 Goose. In April 1945, Snowdall was transferred once again to Utility Squadron Twelve (VJ-12). Snowdall attended Aircraft Hydraulics School in Chicago, Illinois in May 1945. John Rolland Snowdall was honorably discharged from the Navy in September 1945 as an Aviation Machinist's Mate H First Class.